Former MOTÖRHEAD guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke has explained his absence from the funeral of the band’s iconic frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister.
Family and friends observed a memorial service for Lemmy on Saturday, January 9 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood.
Rock and rollers turned out in droves for his memorial, with Dave Grohl, GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Slash and METALLICA members Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo taking the mic to share their experiences with Lemmy. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, WWE wrestler Triple H, Dee Snider, and Gene Simmons were among the many attendees.
The memorial service was broadcast live on YouTube and was watched by more than 280,000 MOTÖRHEAD fans around the world.
In a post on his Facebook page, Clarke wrote: “I have been a bit quiet lately…I was unable to get a visa to go to Lemmy‘s funeral. I have past sins, which means it takes longer for me to get a visa and with being Christmas, there wasn’t enough time…
“I watched it online last night. I thought everyone did very well. Todd [Singerman, MOTÖRHEAD manager] did an amazing job as compere. I thought [Lemmy‘s] son, Paul, spoke magnificently and [MOTÖRHEAD drummer] Mikkey Dee followed up well. It all reminded me of what a great man Lemmy was and how much he lived for his music and MOTÖRHEAD and the fans.
“It was great to see the picture of the old band with Phil in the middle. They were great days and I miss them both.
“I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. It was very sad but the message got across about the great man.”
Clarke previously stated about Lemmy: “I am just coming to terms with the great loss I feel. It was only a month ago I buried Phil. Lemmy has now gone and all the good and bad times we had together are now part of history.
“We made six albums together but more than that, we forged an identity for kids to follow when there was little else around.
“Lemmy played right up to the end as only he knew how. He had the heart of a lion and will be remembered as a true icon of the rock era.
“As the last man standing, I know Phil and Lemmy would wish me well but I miss them very much and all they meant to me.”
Clarke was a member of MOTÖRHEAD from 1976 until 1982. He was one-third of the band’s classic lineup, which also included drummer drummer Philthy “Animal” Taylor, who died in November of liver failure.
Clarke, Taylor and Lemmy appeared on five albums together: MOTÖRHEAD‘s 1977 self-titled debut, 1979’s “Overkill” and “Bomber”, 1980’s “Ace Of Spades” and 1982’s “Iron Fist”.
In 2014, Clarke spoke about the disappointment he felt after he was fired from MOTÖRHEAD. He said: “Some things you just don’t get over. I had imagined dying onstage with MOTÖRHEAD, so it was a blow when they didn’t want me any longer.”
In a 2011 interview, Lemmy talked about the circumstances that led to Clarke‘s final departure from MOTÖRHEAD. He said: “I like Phil; he was my best mate. Eddie was kind of a friend except he was always complaining about something. It got kinda tedious. Last time he left, we laid low. Before, one of us would go off and bring him back. It was a shame. He shouldn’t have done that; we had a lot going for us back then. He should have stuck though it. It was the Wendy O. Williams thing and I couldn’t understand that (reference: recording ‘Stand By Your Man’, a cover version of the Tammy Wynette with Wendy O. Williams). He just gave up on it, because Wendy wasn’t immediately perfect on it, she just needed to go through it a few times and he left the band over it. I couldn’t fucking believe it. I think he was expecting to be talked back in. Phil came in the room and said, ‘Eddie‘s left again.’ I said, ‘Whose turn is it to go talk to him?’ [Laughs] I said, ‘Fuck it, I’m not doing it.’ That’s the way it went. Wrong decision on his part.”