|Dave Brock on Radio Clyde, March 1984
do all round London and all that, so he doesn't have to travel far. And the other thing we were going to do is -
well, hopefully will do- is use the laser light show which takes a bit of getting together."
Your light shows are normally fairly spectacular. The 1982 show, it was like, er, a wind tunnel, wasn't itâ€¦
DB: "Yes, a backdrop, it was all painted up with TV sets and that, yeah."
But it looked as though it was a tunnel, going away from you...
DB: "That's right, yeah"
...when you were in the auditorium. What do you have for us tonight?
DB: "Well, unfortunately we..." (laughs) "...have half of that show, we've got a half-and-half because we've
got the beginning of the Earth Ritual, which is a different sort of backdrop and a different show, and then
we're using the other, old part, as the sort of latter. But, er...that's why it's called the 'preview', you see!"
Now, we have a new 12-inch E.P. just released this week - 'Night of The Hawks'...
DB: "That's right, yeah. I mean, the E.P. was done... What actually happened - I'll tell you a story. What I
did, I nearly cut the top of my finger off last year, you see, and it put me out of action playing the guitar for
three months. I put my hand through a window, I was puttying a window and I leant on it and went through
it. And that E.P. was supposed to be an L.P., and of course I didn't have enough time, and like, not being
able to play the guitar... In fact I didn't start playing the guitar again until January, and it sort of put
everything really back. Most of that was recorded in my room at home, Lemmy came and stayed with us
and put the bass on it and I sort of recorded it on an 8-track, and we had a drum loop for 'Night of The
Hawks'. The drummer on it is a drum loop that I cut together, you know! Put the keyboards on and Huwie
put lead guitar on it, and it was all done very sort of cheaply, in actual fact. It's a good track, though."
Now, the Flicknife / RCA position - what is the position there? 'Choose Your Masques' came out a couple of
years ago on RCA. Are you now signed totally to Flicknife?
DB: "Well, we're not signed to anybody, actually. I mean, we're just doing the thing with Flicknife, because
the previous album that we had out was Zones, which we actually put through Frenchy. It's only Frenchy
and his wife, Flicknife - you know, an independent company. And they've been sort of releasing the odd sort
of live Hawkwind album and bits and pieces, like they do Michael Moorcock and Bob Calvert. And me - I've
got a solo album coming out on 'em as well!" (Laughs)
What's that going to be called?
DB: "I don't know yet. I couldn't tell you, really - probably at the end of this tour, maybe. Iâ€™ve got it all
together. I just sit at home, you know, playing my guitar and synthesizer and just knock up a few things.
And Frenchy's, you know, that's how he put that one out. And the guy who does the artwork, is sort of a
friend of ours as well. RCA wouldn't print that cover up either, that's the other strange thing. The cover of
this, they said there's too many colours in it and they wouldn't print it up so I never used it. You should see
this in relation to the 'Church of Hawkwind', the actual cover, and the booklet. Because I suppose you know
the story about, you know, the guitarist leaving and all that, and Lemmy wasn't doing anything and I'd sort of
bumped into him few times and I said 'Well, you know, do you want to come and play bass on this tour', and
he said 'Yeah, I'd love to do it, you know, greatest wish to be able to do that'. So we sort of embarked on
doing it and then what happened, his, you know, manager, Douglas, said 'Listen, Motorhead are losing so
much money, you've got to find another guitarist and get a band together, it's really urgent that you do this'
sort of thing, you know."
"So that was... the priority was getting Motorhead together, and so he didn't do it. So Harvey, our bass
player who was going to be relegated to play the keyboards, what we've got is Fred, now, playing keyboards
and synthesizer, as well as Harvey and me, ha ha ha ha! And there you are."
How surprised are you that Hawkwind are still packing in the audiences, after all these years? The media hate
Hawkwind, the press hate Hawkwind, and yet, you still go out there on tours and people go along to see youâ
DB: "Well...I think it's because people can relate to us a lot more, you know. I think if you're an anti-band,
which we are, you know, people can relate to an anti-band a lot more. Apart from that we always do a
different stage show, and there's always a lot of chaos on stage, with us, you know, we're real chaotic. A lot
of bands are very together and very rehearsed, but we're sort of...people come along and see all sorts of
weird things happening on stage, you know...improvisation, I suppose, in a lot of ways. And we've got a
cult following, it's really good. And we do play the odd free festival, you know, which a lot of bands don't!"
So what's the line-up on stage for the 1984 tour?
DB: "Um, well, there's Nik Turner who's had all his hair shaved off and looks like Twizzle, ha ha ha ha, and
he jumps around all over the joint. Huw Lloyd Langton on lead guitar; Harvey Bainbridge on bass; Rick
Martinez on drums, Dead Fred (keyboard and synthesizer) and me - and that's it. We only got Rick, actually,
a week before we did the tour, you know - we rehearsed a week to do this major tour. Very few bands
rehearse a week to do a major tour, I might add!" (Laughs) "And get the whole show together on the road,
it's actually being got together on the road, but, you know... So it's gradually coming together, you know,
we've had to shuffle different numbers, try different things out as we go along, you know, changing all the
So whatever you feel like doing on the night?
DB: "Yeah, yeah, it is like that...I mean - poor roadies! They keep on writing different gig lists out all the time
and then have to change it the next night, you know? 'Oh dear, another number in there!' The lighting guy
doesn't know what's going on because we change things around."
1970 -or thereabouts- we saw the start of Hawkwind. We're now 1984: fourteen years, there's been a lot of
changes in the rock music scene. For the better?
DB: "Well, I dunno, really. It's... I mean, music actually has to be changed, because the art of music is
improvisation, so things have got to always be changing, and I think the good thing about rock music, now,
it's in so many different categories, you know? And it makes it a lot more interesting...I think so, anyway.
The only trouble is, I find nowadays musicians, a lot of musicians, look like bank clerks, ha ha ha ha ha!
They all have short hair and wear suits, and they all...eccentricity seems to have gone down the drain, which
is a very unfortunate situation - because all musicians used to be renowned for being eccentric or unusual,
you know. They all seem to have become very, er...what's the word?...normal. Normal!" (Laughs)
They've all left the eccentricities to Hawkwind...
DB: "Well, I don't think so. I think they do actually look quite normal, which is a real shame. People should...
the punk era was really good, people looked really different, you know. I mean, there's still a few around but
it's a shame that people don't sort of look unusual, don't you?"
Do you still find it as easy to write, Dave, as you did in the earlier days?
DB: "Well sometimes I do, yeah. I mean, unfortunately, when I used to have Bob Calvert working, we used
to work really well together, 'cause, like, we used to feed off each other, you know. He'd sort of give us a
lot of ideas, and when he left I found it really difficult, you know, for the past few years...â€™cause it's very
hard to feed off everybody else. Calvert was a real loony, you know, and he used to make me go a bit
peculiar and go a bit lunatic as well!" (Laughs) "And the same with Lemmy, when Lemmy was with... We
used to have the right sort of mixture for getting these things together, but since then it's been quite difficult,
actually. I mean, I do write a lot of weird things at home, but I don't think...it's very difficult to put them out
because record companies don't think they're very commercial, ha ha ha ha!"
If they're not going to sell a million copies, they're not interested?
DB: "Exactly, yeah. That's why, you know. But then, you see, a lot of the things are really up to date with
what's going on and by the time they suddenly decide that what you've been doing... Like five years later,
they think 'oh yes, you know, we could have...why didn't you put that out five years ago, because it was
really what was happening...', you know. There we are."
Two years ago you did Donington...er...
DB: "Yeah, that was horrible!"
Not the greatest of reactions.
DB: "Yeah. I didn't like doing it. We'll never do a big festival again. They wanted us to top the bill at
Reading - turned that down. Quite a lot of money as well. But we played Stonehenge through...â€™cause I
think that Donington's a big con, you know. It costs a lot of money. People paid fifteen quid to get in, plus
another four pound for parking plus another three pound for a programme, plus another eight pound for a T-
Four pounds for a hamburger...
DB: "Yeah, I mean, you know, it's crazy. And apart from that, you're stuck in a place...it's just terrible. I
didn't like that. I didn't want to do it in the first place, anyway, ha ha ha! But there we are. Stonehenge isn't
like that. It's a lot pleasanter. Everything's free. I mean, you have to buy food, of course, but it doesn't cost
a lot of money, you know."
So we'll not be seeing Hawkwind at one of the major festivals this year?
DB: "No, you won't be seeing Hawkwind at any major festivals. Well, you will see them at Stonehenge,
which is a major festival, it's one of *the* major festivals [over] the whole of the year, you know."
What sort of turnout do they get for that?
DB: "About 60,000 people there, you know. It's very big, I mean, it's *vast* - no-one actually...
Why so little publicity?
DB: "Well, it's just...yeah. Doesn't want it. It's just nice the way it is. And that's...a typical sort of
So what are we going to see you doing for the rest of the year after this tour's finished? We'll see the Brock
solo LP coming out, and then what?
DB: "Er, well, dunno! Maybe we'll go to America - maybe, I don't know. I'd like to go to America and try
and... because a lot of people over there want us to play. We've got quite a big cult following there. And I
like to go there and play over there. That's about all I can think of that we can do, really. And assemble a
light show together is the next thing, and assemble some good songs, and get the next stage show in action
so that we're actually really on the case for the next tour. Because for this one, you know, it was a bit of a
rush from my point of view. I hate... I like things being right and really good, you know. I mean , people
will come and say 'this is fantastic', but you know, but when things are right they're just going to have their
minds blown. It'll be incredible, you know. Won't they."
Well, we look forward to that. Dave, thanks for coming in - all the best with the rest of the tour...
DB: "Thanks very much."
...and all the best with 'Night Of The Hawks'. Dave Brock...cheers...
DB: "Thank you."
|This radio interview with Dave Brock was supposedly
broadcast on 9th March 1984 on Radio Clyde. The
original duration was 10 minutes and 42 seconds.
Thanks once again to Dave Law who provided me with
the tape from which I transcribed this.
Well, a couple of weeks back Hawkwind played the
Apollo in Glasgow. Dave Brock came into the Rock
Show studio on the Sunday afternoon, and after a cup
of tea I asked him how the tour was going.
DB: "Well, not too bad. It's called the Earth Ritual
Preview actually, which is... It's a preview to the real
Earth Ritual which we're going to do, the next tour that
we do. I mean, this is just sort of the build-up to it
because before this we hadn't actually done a tour since
1982. We've only had week's rehearsal before it, so,
And what's the Earth Ritual tour going to consist of?
DB: "Well, the actual... well it's going to be a grand
spectacular with quite a few old stars coming back to
shine on stage with us, you know. Bob Calvert was
going to do it with us but his wife won't let him out this
time, but we'll do it later, ha ha ha! And Lemmy,
Lemmy's doing a few gigs but he's probably going to