DB talks to Cherry Red

This interview with Dave Brock comes from the Nov / Dec 2008 issue of the Cherry Red catalogue
(issue no. 8), and was very kindly supplied by Steve Freight - cheers!
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Going blind?  Don't worry, I retyped the content below:
Featured Artist - Dave Brock

The chief Hawk himself takes a break from recording to chew the fat about two Hawkwind box sets that
kick off an exciting sequence of reissues.

A new sub-label, Atomhenge, has been created to handle Hawkwind's extensive post-United Artists back
catalogue that has been acquired by Cherry Red.  This will result in some 30 albums being made available,
all with bonus tracks and often as limited edition vinyl.

The reissuing of the Hawkwind catalogue takes place from the beginning of 2009, under the aegis of the
Esoteric team.  So over to Dave for the story straight from the Hawk's mouth.

Cherry Red: 'Spirit Of The Age' covers 1976-84 - any highlights from that period?

DB: I would say 'Hawklords' in '78 was a really good album and tour for us.  Bob Calvert and I organised
all that.  Then we did 'Quark Strangeness and Charm', which is another album I like.  We used Ronnie
Lane's mobile he built into that silver bullet Airstream.  Bob and I used to live across the valley from each
other so we parked Ronnie Lane's studio on the farm.  I have a lot of photographs of us all having fun.  I
could go on...all these stories!

CR: Was the second period covered by 'The Dream Goes On', 1985-97, more challenging?

DB: We did 'Live Chronicles' in 1985 and the 'Black Sword' thing with Michael Moorcock took three
years.  We went through Europe and America with that one.  I had to read five of Michael's books and
condense them down into one story, as it were.  And then to actually do the stage show was quite a task,
but good fun.

CR: How is it you've managed to keep the show on the road for so long?

DB: Well, simply that it's good fun doing it.  We enjoy playing so we carry on.  We like doing what we do;
it's an interesting band.

CR: You must be one of the most copied bands around.  Certainly, you've inspired many others.

DB: Absolutely loads of them, lots of interesting bands.  I've got tapes you wouldn't believe of bands doing
fantastic versions of Hawkwind numbers that are quite unusual.  Nothing like the way we do them.  There
was an album out called 'Assassins of Silence - 100 Watts of Violence', that came out in America.  Loads of
different bands doing interpretations, they weren't boring copies.  Punk, electronic, metal - all interesting.

CR: Sleevenote writer Ian Abrahams penned a Hawkwind book.  Have you ever considered writing you
own?

DB: (Gravely) What I've been involved with I would not tell...

CR: So what will the Atomhenge series of album reissues have on board to make them definitive?

DB: Loads of outtakes, things that haven't been released.  We've got stuff with Ginger Baker on, a lot of
stuff fans would love to get hold of and I've got it here.  It's a treasure chest!

Sometimes outtakes aren't always the best - you select the ones you like best for the album.  But the fans
also like the demos we do before we record the numbers, and what these numbers sounded like when we
played them live or were mucking around in the studio.

It's like a museum, really, with these old relics, an archaeological site.  Fans compare the versions and say
'Ah.  This is what they were doing there!'  It's like jazz - I collect a lot of jazz records and you can compare
what Hawkwind were doing over the years with that.

CR: As there's a version of 'Silver Machine' on the first box set, what are the most memorable covers of
your 'greatest hit' you've heard?

DB: The Sex Pistols use it as their show opener when they re-formed, still do.  Lemmy does it as well with
Motorhead.  The funniest was by James Last, the German with the beard.  His orchestra is still going
strong: they sell out wherever they go and they need eight trucks to take all their gear over the world.  He
did a version; I've got it here (laughs).

CR: Maybe you could use it as a ringtone?

DB: (Defiantly) No!  That will never displace 'The Flight Of The Bumble Bee'...

Hawkwind's 'Spirit Of The Age - Anthology Volume 1: 1976-1984' (Atomhenge ATOMBOX 3002) and 'The
Dream Goes On - Anthology Volume 2: 1985-1997' (ATOMBOX 3003) are released on 24th November.