Hawkwind in Black To Comm

Artists and models go wild in the naughtiest nudenik scandal of the swinging sixties!

This lengthy article (dated 1994) comes from issue 21 of 'Black To Comm' fanzine which is/was a
voluminous American publication dedicated to 'high-energy music' and seems to have originated in
Pennsylvania...  The accompanying photo has no real connection with the article other than being reasonably
contemporary in terms of time and location - it's the soundcheck from the Toronto gig on 04/04/95
As time goes on, and from our safe vantage point here in the mid-90s, we can safely say that the 1960s
were definitely a crucial turning point in Modern World History. On one hand that decade virtually ruined
everything that the past few thousand years of Civilization was yearning for (technological salvation in
health and general living, recreational fun and games) with a "return" to the horrid ways of the past
(shamanistic "back to nature" mentalities etc.) that the average person was trying to avoid all these years.
The freeing of the sexual drive has brought about more ruined lives than can be counted whether it be via
disease or the acceptance of aberrations as perfectly "normal" ideals (not to mention the deification of the
truly evil forces in our society that continue to deny their eugenics past - and present) while the
preoccupation with "pacifism" (and the denial of the fact that there are things in this world worth fighting
for) and lack of any general direction in life has given us a big ZERO in general popular culture with an
emphasis on entertainment, from unfunny comedians, dramatic TV shows with sleepwalking actors and
bland plots (violence is BAD, but gratuitous sex can be a "beautiful experience") and popular culture which
relies totally on animal instinct, style, glitter and unbridled emotion but no substance. It won't be until the
current, wiser group of youth who're only now rejecting the ultra-liberalism of their parents and teachers
finally take over the reigns in what, twenty years or so, that we'll finally get back to a (Western)
Civilization/life that will STAND for something worthwhile just as the culture of the pre-hipple 20th
Century did before a bunch of elites decided that the past 10,000 or so years (y'know, Aristotle and all
that) were just a waste of time, but until then, you better just huddle in your bunkers with copies of
FUNHOUSE and stacks of Bangs-era CREEMs because it really is gonna be a long haul.

Of course there's a flipside to all this late-60s condemnation, and that has to do with the CREATIVE edge
of that particular decade (or at least the last three/four years of it - we all KNOW that the real energy and
style of the 60s happened  before the "Youth Rebellion" and boring hippie jams took place)...out of all this
destruction and re-inventing of culture and society came a creativity in rock in roll that continues to amaze
the true rock & rollers amongst us to this day. Not necessarily in hippie haven San Francisco whose only
important claim to fame in the late 60s belonged to Big Brother and the Holding Company, Blue Cheer, the
Flamin' Groovies and perhaps a few garage aggregations like the Mystery Trend and Final Solution nor did
it come from Jimi Hendrix...more likely it came from Detroit where a whole movement of groups didn't
bother to forget their punkiness and extrapolated on the "Louie Louie"/"Hey Joe" theme to the point that
the MC5, Stooges, Up, Rationals, Alice Cooper etc. became a major force in a truly populist rock & roll
movement, ignored by the socialist intellectuals at
[Rolling] STONE yet important enough to influence
teenage garage beings as far away as Europe and Australia for the next decade. The Velvet Underground
were always thought of as shucks by the West Coast image makers and spent their days touring low-rent
bars and college gyms, but their music also made more of an impact with the real rock & roll fan of the
day than the aforementioned Social Reformers/Planners would like to believe. These bands really weren't
revolutionary...they only extrapolated on their frat/garage roots to make a music that was still basically
three-chord, but it wasn't anything that would evolve into Santana and other warped visions of the once
wild and wacky world of rock & roll. And an Oy Como Va to you too!

England too was a breeding ground for rock & roll - still reeling over becoming a hot property after the
British Invasion effectively jolted the nation out of 2000 years of bad teeth and worse food, the
once-world power suddenly found itself back on top with its high energy music scene. No longer were
pimply-faced British teens trying to imitate big name American rockabilly/blues acts, now pimply-faced
American teens were rehashing Stones/Kinks riffs in their suburban basements! London therefore thrived,
and out of this new sense of National Pride came a slew of bands who reflected the English Renaissance
rather well. Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd were (like the Velvets) mutating r&b riffs into avant garde ecstasy
although the loss of Barrett left them twisting in the wind only to become yet another hippie psychedelic
band which did them little until the advent of DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, a good half-decade after
Barrett left. John's Children were also ahead of the pack with their feedback-drenched one-chord thud that
had geek critics calling 'em the first glitter band during the era of Bowie. Also making waves were the
Deviants, who resembled a wayward mid-60s punk rock band lost in the Perfumed Garden without a clue
playing over-amped, greased up Chuck Berry and Velvets covers with a truly free-form approach that
made them look even more amateurish to the Hindu-leaning hippies in attendance. These and many other
English groups were helping to change the music scene in the late-60s, many times thanks to John Peel
and his growing popularity (as well as his free-form radio show which featured such acts as a rule) and
the underground mags such as INTERNATIONAL TIMES which kept up on truly underground doings in
a way that made ROLLING STONE look like a house organ for the IWW.

Hawkwind were one of the few groups to emerge from the budding London scene to make good - and
without sacrificing any of their original vision for commercial viability as well. Although late-starters in the
UK psychedelic sweepstakes (have formed/debuted in 1969), Hawkwind were one of the few bands to
spring from the British psych scene that would have any major impact on the rock & roll of the 70s...
which might be hard for some of you readers to fathom since in your minds Hawkwind might be
associated with British hippies driving rusted-out Mini-Coopers to Stonehenge. Well, although there is
much credence to Hawkwind's hippie leanings and their continued support by the best of the British
Burnouts, you gotta know that 20± years ago Hawkwind were considered to be one of the better high
energy rock bands of the day (which their recordings and surviving live tapes point out) - chances are that
if you were a fan of the usual groups carrying the  BTC-imprimatur  (Velvets/Stooges/MC5)  during those
supposedly dark days of 1973, you were also listening to a variety of groups that sorta dinged to the rim
of underground acceptability like Hawkwind as well as Can, Faust, Neu, Roxy/Eno (all of whom were
being pushed as some futuristic vision lumped in with the Stooges even!) as well as American aberrations
like Black Oak Arkansas and those new New York punk bands you only read about but who wouldn't
have any records out for three years, if lucky.

Hawkwind made their auspicious debut on this planet during the autumn of 1969, a prophetic time
considering how they were destined to take hold of the early-70s UK underground scene within a
relatively short timespan...as "Group X", they made their first stage appearance at All Saints Hall, Notting
Hill Gate for a ten-minute improvisation, a rather inauspicious coming out for a soon-to-be superstar band
but then again these things rarely let on as to their future importance. Nevertheless, this group, soon
changing their name to Hawkwind Zoo and later shortening it to just plain Hawkwind  (a veiled reference
to vocalist/sax player/ex-sailor Nik Turner's big schnoz), was one bound for glory and one with a past as
well - besides Turner, Hawkwind featured Dick Taylor of Rolling Stones and Pretty Things fame and
electronics specialist Richard Michael Davies who at one time was the drummer in the group that would
soon become the Yardbirds. Taylor soon found himself out of the band in order to concentrate on a future
of record production (he eventually produced the first Hawkwind LP), while Davies, as Dik Mik, passed
on the percussives for electronics - like Eno and Simply Saucer's Ping Romany, he knew nothing about
playing idiophonic instruments and made quite a legend for himself creating the Outer Space whizzes that
typified the early music of Hawkwind which were soon to become a cliché in early-70s "Space Rock"
music. However, it became clear that the "leadership" of Hawkwind would soon revolve around Turner
and guitarist Dave Brock, a guy whose main pre-Hawkwind claim to fame would be for playing in the

After their name-change, Hawkwind made their first big splash, playing for free outside the Isle of Wight
Music Fest along with the Pink Fairies, a bunch that were to become a brother band of sorts to
Hawkwind although in many ways the two groups could not be farther apart. Both bands' performances
were in protest of the rather stiff admission prices at the fest, and for the most part the two bands played
for the hapless souls who could not get into the real festival, perhaps making them the luckier for it. This
initial surge of notoriety and the fact that Hawkwind were suddenly one of the busier and more visible
underground groups in Britain led to a recording contract, and HAWKWIND, the group's debut LP on
United Artists (then trying to create a logical counterpoint to Warner Brothers/ Reprise's "Youth Market"
cornering thanks to creative industry people like Andrew Lauder) was released a bit after the flood of
initial publicity surrounding the group took off. For a debut offering by a relatively new and basically
unknown to the mass of pop music aficionados, the album was an unexpectedly strong outing that paved
the way for Hawkwind's almost-immediate rise to fame and fortune. Perhaps the record was a bit TOO
psychedelic and progressive in spots but it was more than welcome in the light of simpering acoustic
mewlings from the likes of David Crosby...hearkening back to the 1967 British underground sound of
Pink Floyd and the Deviants on one hand and towards the early 70s underground of not just Britain but
Germany on the other, HAWKWIND featured extended rave-up instrumental passages and good-natured,
psychedelic riff-rock numbers. The band had an open-minded, non-professional attitude at this time that
fit them well; if one member for some odd reason could not make it to a gig or just didn't bother to show
up, Twink from the Pink Fairies would take his place, and given the mind-blown attitudes of some of the
Hawksters, Twink was more than busy filling in the shoes of Brock or drummer Terry Ollis.

You've got to remember that this was 1972, not exactly a fine year for high energy, underground rock
which would soon be getting tagged as "punk" or something related by pundits and fans of all sorts. In
some quarters, the "Space Rock" tag was put on the band because of their Interstellar credo, though
placing Hawkwind in the same category as Yes and Emerson Lake and Palmer seems ridiculous here in
the enlightened mid-90s. If anything, the "progressive" rock bands were totally elitist and existing only for
themselves and a rock audience that would either move onto something better when it would be revealed
to them or snobs whose previous listening experiences probably consisted of classical music, jazz (with a
cold distrust of anything post-Parker) or San Franciscan intricacies. Bands like Yes were influenced by
Stravinsky and not the MC5 while ELP were probably listening to Brubeck as well as Bach. Even Pink
Floyd had fallen into the artiste trap, more influenced by Stockhausen and Cecil Taylor than rock & roll.

If anything, Hawkwind shared more of a credo with the German "Kraut Rock" groups whose albums
were beginning to show up in the import bins of England and the USA during this time. Unlike the British
bands, the more important Germans made a wild, kranky music that was clearly and admittedly influenced
by the BTC triumvirate of the Velvet Underground / MC5 / Stooges with a few side trips to Stockhausen
and Cage. Hawkwind, to some of the smarter critics of the day, fit in more with the sonic howls of Can
and even Amon Duul's Teutonic cataclysm (or Guru Guru's acid-damaged Stooges rip off); maybe even
Faust or fellow Britishers Roxy Music, albeit their trip would copy the Germans' pre-WW II decadence
with an early Velvets feel. In fact, the band, for being a pack of renegade longhairs, often cited the Velvet
Underground as their major influence, along with Hendrix and Neu, which seems downright populist
especially for the early-70s, when frankly even upstart acts like Hawkwind and Roxy Music (let alone the
Stooges or Dolls) couldn't get a word in edgewise, what with all the singer/songwriters and ex-folkies
making such a yammer with their "relevance" pose. Heck, Hawkwind frequently performed on bills with
the Pink Fairies (whose numbers such as "Uncle Harry's Last Freak-Out" were basically rewrites of
"Sister Ray") as "Pinkwind", where both bands would jam to an orgiastic frenzy, only stopping when the
last player passed out!

Of course, now having gone beyond their anarchist "music for the people" roots, Hawkwind was going to
have to shape up their act. Well, not totally - Stacia, a dancer who was given to showing off her natural
(and well-endowed) assets onstage as the band droned on, joined the group to perform under the flashing
light show. Also joining up on the Starship Hawkwind was frustrated sci-fi writer Robert Calvert, who
wrote the 24-page Hawkwind log that appeared in the group's second album entitled IN SEARCH OF
SPACE, a spiffily-packaged (in the tradition of pre-record industry crisis overindulgence complete with an
unfortunately -for the myriad assortment of 14-year-old boys who bought this record- blurred photo of
Stacia dancing topless on the back) set which helped further define the Hawkwind sound and credo.
While LP #1 was sort of good-timey in its approach, IN SEARCH OF SPACE was a bit more
focused...perhaps a bit harder. Some writers (usually those of the UK weekly variety) have made
comparisons to the Deviants' PTOOFF! although IN SEARCH OF SPACE has quite a way to go to
approach that classic. Nowadays it may be hard to listen to some of the more "introspective" acoustic
interludes without wincing (or thinking of some of Hawkwind's "competition" in the Space Rock Brigades
of the day) but the record had at least one clearly definable Hawkwind classic - "Master of the Universe."

Between SPACE and LP #3 DOREMI FASOL LATIDO, Hawkwind acquired Lemmy Kilminster, their
third bassist who was discovered by electronics expert Dik Mik when the latter temporarily quit the group
to go on an abortive jaunt to India (he was "replaced" by synth player Del Dettmar who was kept on
anyway despite the return of Dik Mik making for more aural spazz in the air). Lemmy (who had
previously put in time not only with UK garage-punk band the Rockin' Vickers but performed on the
legendary Sam Gopal ESCALATOR album) soon became a major member of the band sharing lead vocal
as well as high-energy bass duties. Lemmy in turn brought in drummer Simon King to replace Terry Ollis,
who had the tendency to play drums nude onstage. A group that finally had a surprise hit single (a high
energy space number entitled "Silver Machine") had to keep in mind that although nude women were fine,
who'd want to look at a naked male geek anyway?

Hawkwind were being remade / remodelled even more for the big time. They appeared on TOP OF THE
POPS playing "Silver Machine" live, and set upon a British tour in which they actually headlined,
supported by Magic Muscle (a group that almost seemed like a Hawkwind homage more than anything).
The band was starting to approach even higher energy levels than before, all of which was evidenced on
DOREMI FASOL LATIDO, one of the classic early 70s heavy metal experiments whose toxic debris
would end up on bands such as Rocket From the Tombs, Metal Urbain, Von Lmo and Black Flag over the
next decade or so.

DOREMI FASOL LATIDO was the first Step towards TOTAL TAKEOVER by Hawkwind. A brilliant
album featuring some outright Hawkwind anthems like "Brainstorm" and "Space is Deep" (which was later
"rewritten" by Pere Ubu as "Final Solution"), Hawkwind had traveled far from their more easygoing roots
into a high-energy Velvets-riff sphere that, like the best of the early-70s high-energy consciousness,
satisfies even to this day. But all of this was merely a step towards one of Hawkwind's brightest moments.

In order to support DOREMI, Hawkwind embarked on yet another tour which was called "The Space
Ritual"...sort of a "rock opera" dealing with astronauts traveling through space in suspended animation
which sounds better than the usually negative connotations associated with the always-pretentious "rock
opera" mode. Never mind the entire theory behind the thing ("everybody is God, everybody is Jesus,
Buddha, everyone is everything...") reeks of New Age kaka; the group had put on what many say was an
excellent live performance which might've been as much of a post-Exploding Plastic Inevitable
swipe/homage as Alice Cooper's early gigs - in fact, the original plan for the tour was to perform inside a
giant inflatable pleasure dome of sorts that would feature projection screens and a "total environment",
sort of like a World's Fair pavilion gone acid. Naturally this tour was going to be a resounding success
with every freak kid in England in attendance to experience the wild, screeching music. (One of these
longhairs who in fact had the honor of roadying Hawkwind's equipment on this tour was John Lydon -
yes, he of Rotten fame.) Given the resounding artistic/musical success, United Artists issued a 2-LP live
set (remember, this was the 70s when every artist had a 2-LP live set, usually recorded in Japan, on the
market) culled from two shows aptly entitled THE SPACE RITUAL ALIVE IN LIVERPOOL AND
LONDON which became the pinnacle of Hawkwind's career. Not only were the performances
perfunctory ("Down Through the Night", which appeared in an acoustic form on DOREMI, was vastly
improved in an electric setting), but the record was packaged in the high quality expected of UA complete
with a day-glo pic of a nude woman (Stacia?) on the cover which REALLY guaranteed high sales
amongst 14-year-old boys. Only the spoken interludes thanks to Robert Calvert and fellow sci-fi writer
Michael Moorcock would help bring the records down a bit, but otherwise THE SPACE RITUAL remains
a great document of not only the dreaded space rock done right, but of early-70s HM at its best.

THE SPACE RITUAL became Hawkwind's shining moment, and for a gathering of their best tracks
performed in a live setting it works swell. In fact, it became the early-70s ANTHEM for thousands of
brain-splintered British burnouts (a disease which spread to the USA when issued there and garnering a
fair amount of airplay on the quickly-decaying "FM" stations) and Hawkwind's own SGT. PEPPER
(status-wise). Which leads to the musical question what does one do for an encore after hitting the
pinnacle? Well, as everyone who's studied the history of rock & roll knows...fall apart, not immediately,
but start your downslide with grace, which is what Hawkwind did on HALL OP THE MOUNTAIN
GRILL (named after the Mountain Grill restaurant, a popular Hawkwind hangout). It's still a fine record
but the beginning of the end can be heard here, not only in Dik Mik's departure but in replacement Simon
House (later a member of Tanz Der Youth alongside future Hawkwind second-drummer Alan Powell as
well as Pink Fairy Andy Colquhoun and Damned guitarist Brian James), who besides handling the
keyboards and violin played the mellotron, that famed quasi-synthesizer that was omnipresent throughout
the progressive rock scene of the early / mid-70s. The mellotron did lend a rather out-of-place "cultured"
sound to Hawkwind (as opposed to the electro-bleeps of Dik Mik's "Sound Generator"), albeit it seemed
as if Hawkwind's direction was moving away from the high energy riff rock of "Brainstorm" towards a
mix of still-Velvety numbers and more spacey (and perhaps "wimpy") electronic music that everyone
from the Germans to British to American practitioners (Kansas comes to mind) were beginning to dabble
in around this time. Mind you, Hawkwind doing more mellotron-laden, slower numbers was still better'n
some dips on the Manticore roster doing the same, but cultured space rock is cultured space rock no
matter how you state it, and although Hawkwind were still a major force to deal with in the hard rock
stakes (as evidenced by Lemmy's "Lost Johnny", not only a future Motorhead number but recorded by
co-writer Mick Farren during his New York punk days), there seemed to be something, er, conformist
about Hawkwind at this point in time. Even the back cover of HALL was prog rock sci-fi phantasy more
worthy of (dare I say) one of those budget Genesis albums that cluttered the cutout bins of the 70s before
THEIR rise to fame. Any UK (or elsewhere) readers out there willing to CORRECT me? I should hope so!

WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME followed, appearing on Atco in the States as United Artists here
had dropped the falling Hawkwind. Despite the equally dippy cover, WARRIOR skips between riffdom
and introspection at about the same pace as MOUNTAIN GRILL, complete with a memorable rocker (in
this case, "Kings of Speed") and lotsa squeals from Simon House's synth (Dettmar having also abandoned
ship). Moorcock's "Standing at the Edge" was reminiscent of his pieces on SPACE RITUAL which
should've pleased some fans, and for being dreaded "Space Rock" leftover from the late-60s, even tracks
like House's "Spiral Galaxy 28948" were of interest.

Still, the most interesting Hawkwind release of the mid-70s wasn't even theirs...Robert Calvert's
CAPTAIN LOCKHEED AND THE STARFIGHTERS, a concept album about the re-armification of Nazi
Germany, was released in 1974 some time between MOUNTAIN GRILL and WARRIOR, proving to be a
big hit with the Hawkwind fans not only because most of Hawkwind (along with some Pink Fairies)
backed Calvert, but because, despite being a concept album, the thing rocked out like something out of
Detroit, which shouldn't be a surprise given that the Stooges' Asheton Brothers performed "The Right
Stuff" while in Dark Carnival, while Cleveland's Mirrors (who certainly kept an ear open not only towards
the Velvets and Stooges but Hawkwind and their spawn) performed "Ejection" live as well. (CAPTAIN
LOCKHEED was continually in the "Import" Top Ten lists printed weekly in the CLEVELAND PLAIN
DEALER'S "Friday" magazine supplement during the early days of 1975.) In fact, because the once-bright
(but now burnt) American branch of United Artists again passed on this disc, it was ultimately issued on
Jem's (remember them, import fans?) newly-created Import label...and for years afterwards domestic
copies could be found in just about any American used record shop with relative ease. An unexpected
killer, CAPTAIN LOCKHEED was another riff rock masterpiece sans most of the electronics Hawkwind
were noted for, making it sound more like some forgotten Pink Fairies album which helped sales amongst
the more BTC-honed individuals of the day skyrocket. (Follow-up LUCKY LEIF AND THE LONGSHIPS
wasn't even released on Jem here, and fetches up to $60 on collector's lists, at least as much as a
UK/United Artists copy of LOCKHEED.)

It was right about this time (Spring '75) that things really started happening to the band, beginning with
Lemmy's ouster when he was arrested for allegedly carrying amphetamine sulfate (customs thought it
was coke) while crossing the US/Canadian border on tour. Ex-Deviants/ Pink Fairies guitarist Paul
Rudolph (then playing sessions on Eno albums) was recruited to fill in on the tour and became an actual
member as a result, with Lemmy hooking up with another ex-Fairy Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox
in Motorhead, who originally tried their darnedest to emulate the Detroit sound even though they never
could get Wayne Kramer to join on second guitar. In the meantime there were additions and defections
including Nik Turner for a spell (Rudolph and Powell led this act of mutiny, only to get kicked out
themselves by Brock when he found out they wanted Brock out as well - the two ended up in the group
Kicks before involving themselves in various Deviants/Pink Fairies reunions) as well as Stacia and her
breasts, which must have been a great disappointment to her legions of fans! Compound to this
Hawkwind's tax problems in the USA (they allegedly owed 80 grand) which led to the IRS impounding
their equipment for some time.

By now, Hawkwind were appearing on the Famous Charisma Label, then best known as one of the major
progressive rock companies in Merrie Olde. A not-so-fitting fate for one of the UK's best non-pretentious
space rock acts (especially considering how Charisma's main claim to fame are Genesis), albeit
ASTOUNDING SOUNDS, AMAZING MUSIC also remained unreleased in the USA and was a more
synth-oriented affair than one would expect and a disappointment to many of the original Hawkwind
diehards. Follow-up QUARK, STRANGENESS and CHARM (actually garnering an American release via
Sire) fared better and even got some rave write-ups in the US fanzine circuit (Eddie Flowers' VULCHER
Insert in RADIO FREE ROCK comes to mind) but although better than its predecessor it seemed so
out-of-place in the late-70s when suddenly Stooge rock was making inroads into the mainstream of
American tastes. What seemed like a really bright idea in 1972 now looked dated to many, and perhaps so
given the sudden spurt of interest in rawer, more garage-band oriented aggros worldwide. Still, the group
under the tutelage of Calvert (who was increasingly taking over Hawkwind's reins) toured the USA...it
was considered a disaster (thanks to Calvert's wig-out) by many accounts and perhaps the death-knell to
the group. On the last night of the tour in San Francisco, Brock sold his guitar to an audience member
after the show, which pretty much symbolized everything that was happening in the band.

Afterwards, Brock was calling the assemblage playing behind him Hawklords (Turner had claimed the
rights to the Hawkwind name as that was his nickname...he and various ex-Havkwinders even planned a
band "the Kittyhawks" to perform as "the REAL Hawkwind" but that never happened) and reports of that
were mixed.. .considering we were by now heading into the late-70s comparisons to Devo were being
made which really isn't a good sign. Hawkwind DID reappear in '79 with a new lineup consisting of
various old members such as original guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton, Simon King and Gong member Tim
Blake. This version of the group debuted at a Sci-Fi convention and conducted a highly-successful tour.
However, the most interesting person to join Hawkwind was none other than Ginger Baker, then
long-resting on his Cream laurels and whoring himself out to just about anyone or anything he could.
Baker and Hawkwind bumped into each other in the studio and Mr. Toad himself joined up when Simon
King's drugs got the best of him...LEVITATION resulted in the union and from all reports (like I'D listen
to it???) it was a VERY progressive, complex and "competent" record...certainly not the Hawkwind of
yore. For his efforts. Baker considered Hawkwind to be the worst musicians he'd ever played with (worse
than Eric Clapton?) although he did cop their name for a Euro tour as "Ginger Baker's Hawkwind", which
should have prompted Brock to form his own group, "Dave Brock's Air Force" in a fitting act of

Naturally, the Hawkwind saga continues from here on...Turner rejoined the band from '82 to ' 85 before
leaving again for good, while Brock found out that as long as you have a PAST that might have had a
shred of marketability, you can do some pretty good coasting. Hawkwind hitched up with UK
basement-level label Flicknife, which released a number of singles and compilations of Hawkwind (and
offshoot acts, though not Inner City Unit, Turner's punk rock side band) on albums entitled
HAWKWIND, FRIENDS AND RELATIONS. A huge variety of Hawkwind reissues and rarities began
coming out, and although some of these were reviewed in the very early issues of this magazine (BRING
ME THE HEAD OF YURI GAGARIN being just one), a person like myself could never keep up with the
expansive discography of the band, releasing new items as well as hidden rarities for a new generation of
fans who were mere zygotes during the heyday of Hawkwind's "Space Ritual."

The latest chapter in the Hawkwind story has (in Ginger Baker fashion) TWO Hawkwinds, one led by
Brock (he claiming the original lineage of the name) and the other led by Turner (who has with him
ex-Chrome guitarist Helios Creed and various ex-original Hawkwinders like Del Dettmar) who's calling his
aggro "the People's Hawkwind" in true "sixties" fashion. Reports of Turner's version of the group are
mixed, with one correspondent calling it brilliant and another saying it's a disaster. Brock will probably
have toured the states by the time you've read this, and reports of the original group will be looked
forward to.

As long as Brock and Turner live, there will be a Hawkwind, it's not hard to see the group surviving into
the next millennium, nor the name being used by a variety of former members of the group. Interest in
Hawkwind is still riding high with a variety of books and fanzines out there WORLDWIDE being devoted
to this British band whose longevity and survival in the face of instability is remarkable. Former BTC
cover personage Mick Farren in even writing a book on them, which should prove to be not only
historical (bet you that many antecedents to the Hawkwind sound including the Deviants will be
mentioned!) but an engrossing read for any fan of early-70s rock & roll. Especially now, with rock & roll
becoming popular once again and universal in a real teenage language as it was in the late-70s, Hawkwind
once again have great meaning, and any reader of this rag would do himself well to pick up some early
Hawkwind sides and settle back as they kick out the jams in the tradition of the great high energy rockers
of all time.

-Chris S
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