|Ipswich Headbangers radio show, 9th March 1984
DB: "Probably, yeah, it could well be." (laughs)
The band have been together - what, some fourteen years...or certainly, Hawkwind have been around
fourteen years. What are the sort of high spots you remember during that time?
DB: "Well there have been lots. In the rock'n'roll business it's sort of like a graph, you know, where it goes
up and then down, and along for a nice patch. Other than that, I couldn't really tell you the high spots.
There have been lots of high spots, you know. I mean, there's been loads of low spots...â€�
Early on you had a very big hit with 'Silver Machine'. Has that been a bit of a bugbear for you?
DB: "No, no, no..."
Do you still enjoy playing it?
DB: "Well yeah, sometimes, I mean, we do different things... The thing is, actually, music is playing - a lot of
bands forget this, I think. With music you have to play. You find a lot of record companies treat you like
toothpaste, which...they regard you as product. And I think a lot of bands actually *work*, you know what
I mean, rather than *play*. I mean, we're pretty sort of irregular in what we do anyway."
What about the personalities in the group over the years? Early on you had the dancer, Stacia, in Lemmyâ
€™s time with the group. How did you get involved with her?
DB: "Well, she just turned up one day and said 'Can I dance?' and we said 'Yeah, if you like,' and she took all
her clothes off!" (laughs) "And that was it. You see, in the 70's people didn't seem, weren't too bothered
about taking their clothes off like they do now, for some reason, you know! But, er, then she said 'Can I
come and dance again' and we said yeah, and she did it, and she then sort of worked with us. And then she
got really well known, actually, she appeared in quite a few films too, you know. She started wearing exotic
costumes and things like that. She's married, she lives in Germany now with two kids, she's got two kids.
She married a drummer, an English drummer..."
What was the story behind Lemmy leaving the group?
DB: "Um, well, he got busted, actually, in Canada, for amphetamine sulphate which at the time was they
thought was cocaine. And we had a gig in Toronto and he got busted at the Customs. We had to leave him
there, he was arrested, and we had to sort of carry on and do this gig. We had to send for a replacement
bass player 'cause it was a huge place that we were playing in, in our heyday in America!" (laughs) â€œAnd
actually, he was let out: they discovered it...you know, we got him out on bail, but he had to report back the
next day, and the next day we were flying back into the USA, we were playing Detroit, I think it was. And
that was the story about that. Read all about it in our biography, we've got a biography actually out now,
which we sell at gigs, and was written by Kris Tait. She interviewed all the ex-members, wonderful stories:
it's like reading a continuous saga of the Furry Freak Brothers and their comic book, with all these wonderful
It must have been a long job for her!
DB: "She spent about two years actually getting it together, I mean, it's quite a lot to do. And she had loads
and loads of newspaper cuttings and loads of conflicting stories, because everybody she asked told
conflicting stories; the same stories, but their version, sort of thing. So she just wrote down exactly what
they said, with all these wonderful stories, it's really funny. I think it's a great book, actually."
Is that only available in the concert hall, though?
DB: "Yeah it is. Well, hopefully...we're going to try to get a publisher to actually take it on, but you know
what publishers are like: they want sort of ninety per cent and they only give, like ten, which is yet another
There has been a flood of rock books over the years...
DB: "Yeah, but this is different, this is nothing like the average rock book, I'll tell you that now. Because I've
read loads, and they're a load of crap, half of them, because they're written by journalists, you see, and
journalists only ever like to write about themselves, rather than write about the true character - which is true,
you know? I mean, it's like, I'll do an interview for a paper, and I'll quite often read...the journalist has
written totally what *he* thinks, and in fact the guy... When she actually got all this book together, she took
it to a journalist to write it for her, ghost write it, and he actually changed the whole book - the whole
concept was changed to the way he thought it should be, you know. And I mean, it's like, Huwie would say
one thing and he would say 'Well, Huw Lloyd-Langton...' and he'd go off at this great tangent, and Huw was
'I didn't say that!' So she had to completely rewrite it again, you know."
How about your connection with Ginger Baker, by far the most famous musician the band has worked with â
€“ how did you get involved with him?
DB: "Um, well actually it was Huwie's wife Marion, who was working as a publicist for Ginger's band, and
they'd split up... Ginger was looking for a gig, you know, and our drummer was going through a very bad
time - taking bad drugs, actually, was his downfall...and he couldn't play his drums, so we actually asked
Ginger if he'd, you know, be a session man. This was the Levitation album. And he come along and did it. I
mean, he's a wonderful drummer - fantastic things he used to do. I mean, I was...everybody was quite in
awe, you know, because, like, he was a big star. We don't consider ourselves stars, you see, in this band!"
I think rock fans were very surprised to see him team up with Hawkwind...
DB: "Well, it... I mean, you know, his style's completely different, because, I mean, he's not...I don't think
he's a real rock drummer - he's very, very good, I mean he's a world class drummer..."
Now over the years you've more or less kept to the same sound -you personally, on your guitar- youâ€™ve
been accused of perhaps playing things very riff-happy. How do you react to that sort of criticism?
DB: "Don't care...I don't care. It doesn't bother me - I mean, you know...it means nothing." (chuckles)
You're still producing the goods, so it doesn't mean a lot...
DB: "Well, yeah...I mean, it's the same as...I find that, I mean, Lemmy used to get criticised for playing his
bass like a guitar, which he does. But it's his style. If you can actually have a style, man, you know, that is
very important - to actually have your own style of playing. And a lot of people forget that: they might
accuse you, you know, of being slap-happy and riff-happy and playing three chords - that youâ€™ve got a
style and you keep it, you know, and that's something that people always want."
It's done you no harm.
DB: "Well yeah, that's true, you know."
You've teamed up with Lemmy again recently, to record 'Night Of The Hawks'.
Quite a surprise, that, actually.
DB: "Why's that?"
Well, I thought he'd severed all links with the group.
DB: "Oh no, you're joking...no. We see Lemmy quite often. Every time we're in London we bump into him,
you know. And I asked him if he'd actually, you know, do some gigs, because he was going to do this tour.
But what actually happened was, you know they sacked their lead guitarist, and he was going to do this tour
and went off to America, and come back again in January - 'I give up', he says, and well, you know... His
manager used to be our old manager, and they got loads of guitarists for him to try out because he wants to
get a Motorhead fan for a guitarist, you know. They've got two now, I think, playing with the band. And he
simply couldn't do it because he had to audition all these guitarists. But he's going to do some gigs in London
anyway, you know."
So we could see him teaming up with you yet.
DB: "Yeah, I mean, we'll probably do some more recording together, because, I mean, we haven't played for
a long time, and we just done it, just like that, really quick. I mean, very together, done the vocals together.
I mean, that E.P., three tracks on that E.P. were recorded at home - my house, he came and stayed with us.
We actually got an eight-track tape recorder and just sort of got a drum loop, you know, just got a bit of
tape. Cut that together, and I put the guitar on, we put the bass down, put the keyboards, vocals... And we
took it off to a 24-track and Huwie put his lead guitar down, and Huwie put his cymbal crashes onâ€¦"
(laughs) "...and then we mixed it, you know, and that was that."
Dave Brock of Hawkwind, and here's one of the tracks he just mentioned, the current single 'Night Of The
['Night Of The Hawks' is played]
|This radio interview with Dave Brock was broadcast
on 9th March 1984 on a local radio show called
Ipswich Headbangers. The gig that the band played
that night, which is referred to in the interview, was of
course filmed for the 'Night Of The Hawks' video
Thanks to Dave Law who provided me with the tape
from which I transcribed this.
...Ipswich Gaumont. I put it to guitarist Dave Brock
before the concert that the theatre must now be one of
the group's favourite places to play.
DB: "Yes, actually, it is. It's one of my favourite
How many times have you actually played here, do you
DB: "I don't know, I couldn't tell you that at all."
It must be near a dozen I should think...