Fastway are a heavy metal band formed by guitarist, "Fast" Eddie Clarke, formerly of Motorhead, and bassist, Pete Way, formerly of UFO.
In 1983 both players had been disgruntled with their own bands and decided to work together in a new outfit. They recruited drummer, Jerry Shirley, formerly of Humble Pie, and the then unknown vocalist, Dave King. They took their name from a combination of the founding members' names. However, Way then discovered that he could not escape from his recording contract with Chrysalis Records, and then received a tempting offer to play for Ozzy Osbourne, so abandoned the project. Bringing in session bassist, Mick Feat, the band then recorded their debut albumFastway, Fastway. They are often incorrectly considered to be a NWOBHM band. NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden and Motorhead started in 1975, whilst Fastway did not commence until 1983.
A critical and commercial success, the band toured to promote the album (with Alfie Agius as their session bass player). The band then recruited Charlie McCracken, formerly of Taste as "permanent" bassist, and released another success in the form of All Fired Up the following year. After the hardships of touringFastway, Shirley and McCracken subsequently left. In 1986 Clarke and King reformed Fastway with a new line-up. Recruiting Shane Carroll (second guitar), Paul Reid (bass), and Alan Connor (drums) from Dave King's first band Stillwood, this line-up released Waiting For The Roar . The record took an album-oriented rock approach instead of the driving bluesy-metal of the previous albums. The success of the record was limited, and it disappointed many fans. In 1987 Fastway was approached to make the soundtrack for the heavy metal horror film, Trick Or Treat . The film flopped, but the soundtrack re-established Fastway as a hard hitting metal band. The soundtrack was a moderate success, and stayed on the Billboard Hot 200 chart for eleven months. The success of the soundtrack, and the very little money the band received, caused in-fighting and the band disbanded. King took most of the band with him and started Q.E.D., a more AOR styled outfit. They released a two-track single.
King then got a call from David Geffen and Jon Kollodner to come to the United States to head up a heavy metal supergroup, called Katmandu. Katmandu also featured Mandy Meyer from Krokus on guitars. The band was rounded out by Cain Carruthers of the punk rock band The Untouchables, and Mike Alonso of the punk band, The Meanies.
Clarke decided to restart Fastway again from scratch using vocalist Lea Hart and session men, quickly releasing On Target in the same year, but it sold poorly.
In 1990 this duo released Bad Bad Girls , employing various session musicians including members of Girlschool. It was widely ignored and sold poorly. After calling it a day in 1991, they released a perfunctory live album Say What You Will LIVE (an older recording, curiously with King on vocals). In 1997 however the pair reunited and released a reworked version of On Target , but there was no commercial success.
Vocalist King later returned to his roots in 1997 with Flogging Molly, an Irish inspired punk band, who have sold over a million and a half copies of recorded output. The last studio CD Within a Mile Of Home hit #20 on the Billboard Hot 200.
As reported on MelodicRock.com on 26 February 2007, an updated line-up for Fastway will appear at this year's Sweden Rock Festival. They will also be appearing at the 2007 Download Festival at Castle Donington. Besides guitarist Clarke, the band features among others John "Harv" Harbinson (Stormzone), Steve Strange and John McManus (Mama's Boys).
On 25 May 2007, Toby Jepson, former lead singer with Little Angels, announced he had accepted an approach from Fastway to perform lead vocal duties during the year's festival appearances. Jepson will also continue with his solo work.