Fastway came together when "Fast" Eddie Clarke (lead guitarist for Motörhead) and Pete Way (bassist for UFO) were both fed up with their current bands and wanted to do their own thing. The name Fastway came from the merging of Clarke's nickname and Way's last name.

Just as soon as they had formed, Way had to bow out of the project when he could not break his record deal with Chrysalis (UFO had all signed as individual artists to the label), and was then asked to join Ozzy Osbourne's band. Way was eventually replaced by Charlie McCracken, who had played bass in Taste. Although they recorded the initial LP with session players, by now the permanent line-up of Clarke, McCracken, drummer Jerry Shirley (ex-Humble Pie), and singer Dave King (who now fronts the popular Celt-rockers, Flogging Molly) was in place.

All Fired Up, its second LP which, despite making it to #59 on the Billboard chart, failed to break the band worldwide. McCracken and Shirley left soon after, and Clarke and King replaced them with former members of Stillwood, the band that King had left to join Fastway. Through the late 1980s and most of the 90s, Clarke revamped the band numerous times, working on and off again with King. However, once King found success in Flogging Molly in 1997, Clarke has had to settle for replacement vocalists.

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