|Dave Brock on Radio Piccadilly, October 1981
Apparently an absolutely jam-packed gig as well. They had to sneak you out of the back door - god help the
rest of the band!
DB: Never mind!
What were the audience like with reference to age groups?
DB: I dunno, it goes from maybe about 13 to about...40, you know!
So you're getting a lot of the young punters as well as the older generation. Because I think that most people
regard Hawkwind as one of the original underground bands - is that fair enough to call you that?
DB: Psychedelic...psychedelic bands.
Psychedelic bands. The music industry is going towards the psychedelic sound, as you like to call it - I love
that term, I think that's good...
DB: Well, you know what actually happened, fashions go full circle you know, that's what happens. Full
Yeah, well that's an interesting point. Blue Oyster Cult did it, but they didn't go down too well at the open-air
festival at Donington, unfortunately...
...I appreciated their set but I think the music was a little bit beyond some of the younger punters. But youâ
€™re hoping to make a comeback with this type of music?
DB: Well I dunno, really, we never sort of died out, we've just been carrying on, you see, we just carry on
doing what we've been doing all this time.
Now you concentrate quite a lot on open-air festivals, big festivals...
DB: Basically, yeah
...and now you're concentrating on a British tour, and you've got in the punters...
DB: Yeah, we do it every year, you see. We don't get press, that's the thing, we don't get any press. We
just carry on doing exactly the same thing. We play the same gigs, every year we do the same tour. But
people come and see us because they know that every year we do a different sort of show, thatâ€™s the
reason for it.
In what respect?
DB: We do this sort of... I mean, they know they can come and see something different, that's the
difference. Good light show, we do a really good light show.
DB: Well there you go.
It's really amazing.
DB: And a wide variety of personnel, which changes every year! (laughs)
Yeah, this is so. This is so.
DB: It's wonderful!
Yes, well in many respects...I remember Ritchie Blackmore saying a few weeks ago that he likes to change
his personnel because... so that different people were kept alive with rock music. Rock music has never
been more to the fore now, because the ordinary disco-type sounds have died right out.
And so... let's hear another track from your album... OK: Hawkwind, and their current single, too, called
"Angels Of Death". When is that due for release, Dave?
DB: I think it's due for release in about two week's time. Of course it's usually released at the start of a tour,
but...it's not! (laughs)
So that's the record industry, Dave
DB: Yeah, so we started in front, you know
Who's produced the single and the album?
DB: Um...we have
You've done it all yourself?
DB: Yes, we're very clever boys! (laughs)
OK - well where was it recorded?
DB: It was recorded at Rockfield Studios down in Wales. And Kingsley Ward - I must say, Kingsley Ward,
my old friend, there at Rockfield Studios, signed us up to his label which is Active Records, after we left
Douglas Smith, our old manager. And sort of...you know, we'd been with him for years, rehearsing down
there at Rockfield. And he signed us up to his own label, which comes out on RCA.
Of course, yeah. But there was that sort of a little bit of a gap wasn't there. Why...
Why was that?
DB: Well, we were with Bronze at first, you see, and I mean... we had Ginger, you know, Ginger Baker in
the band, and we had a lot of weird scenes with Bronze, I won't go into that.
In what respect? No, go on, tell us. Go on, this is interesting, tell us...
What, with Ginger?
DB: No, no, Ginger is, er...(laughs)... It's very difficult to explain all this, it's very complicated. It's like... I'll
tell you what it's like, it's the Roman Senate, you know, with all the people with their daggers out, stab you in
the back... But um...Ginger's sort of, er... Ginger's into jazz more than, sort of, our sort of music...
Always has been...
DB: Yeah, I mean, he actually come and done the Levitation album with us, right. And he was well into the
band and sort of, er...we signed a contract with Bronze records, but then Ginger sort of had a personal deal
which fell through. He'd gone to work with Elton John! (Laughs)
Yeah, but let's be quite honest Dave, Ginger Baker's Air Force didn't do very much, did it?
DB: Yeah....I dunno really, I never listened to it! (Laughs)
I mean, quite frankly Ginger Baker's never done anything since Cream
DB: No, he's a wonderful drummer though, he's an original old...
So and so?
DB: (Laughs) An original old sod! But he's a very good drummer. And that's about it, you know, we just
didn't get on, sort of, very well in the band. He was like a black cloud settling on the band when he was in it.
That's very interesting because he was a fantastic drummer.
DB: He still is man, he's a fantastic drummer. He is a good drummer, he's got a good band together now.
He's got Keith, the keyboard player working with him, sort of playing with him as well. I'm sure it's a
wonderful band he's got, but you know...there you go.
Very unpredictable character, yeah. Like barbed wire... OK. On your gigs now, quite a lot of the punters
unfortunately won't have been able to see you...
...because it's a sell-out tour, basically, right? And what are the type of tunes you play now, are you still
playing Silver Machine and some of the older ones?
DB: Well we actually do that as an encore, we have actually started doing Golden Void and Magnu, which are
sort of old favourites. Lots of people write us letters saying can you play these numbers, and Psychedelic
Warlords, you know... So we started actually putting them into the set, 'cause they really like them, you
know. And we've got a lot of new stuff, because we've been doing some stuff with Michael Moorcock,
who's been in and out of the band, doing things with us.
Mike Moorcock, previously with Blue Oyster Cult?
DB: Yeah, well he's written stuff for the Blue Oyster Cult, he sort of wrote a lot of stuff for them. He's
written a lot of stuff for us on the album which is just sort of coming out.
Yeah...any tune in particular?
DB: Coded Languages. He actually does the vocal on Coded Languages.
DB: It's a very good track - he's got a very good voice
Well, I think we can just listen to that, then...(plays Coded Languages)
OK, Mike Moorcock, with Hawkwind there - a number called Coded Languages. Dave, it's good of you to
come in and have a little chat because you must be very much under pressure at the moment, trying to make
an impression on some of the younger crowd as well as your old stagers as well. What do you think about
some of the New Wave Of Heavy Metal bands that are floating about at the moment? Because thereâ€™s an
awful lot of them.
DB: Well I dunno really, because I don't listen to them! (Laughs)
DB: I don't. Listen, I don't read any music papers, you know, I don't have anything to do with the music
business whatsoever, you know that. I really don't, I live a completely totally different existence.
In what respect?
DB: Well I just don't have anything to do with them, actually, at all. I'll tell you what's happening now. You
get anyone who's going into a shop and they can buy a Casio - you know what a Casio is, the little set of...
keyboard with a drum machine, they're very cheap (I hope they give me a free one for this!) - anyone can go
and actually buy their own sort of little computers and sit at home and do their own sort of music, you know?
But you've still got to compose the music though, Dave...
DB: But anyone can do it
You must very definitely be the only person, as a member of a band...
DB: I'm like the cuckoo in the nest! (Laughs)
...to come up or out with something like that! Which is good, it's interesting, it's really good because as we
said previously, the rock business is going to go back to the early psychedelic music, as you described it -
what I call underground music. Atomic Rooster have got a new album coming out shortly, etc...
DB: They haven't got Arthur Brown with them though, have they...unfortunately. Do you know what
Arthur's doing now?
No, go on...
DB: Arthur's actually very into philosophy you know, and he lives down in Dorset in Thomas Hardy's house
and he's become a philosopher. (Laughs)
Al <someone> is playing with Cozy Powell.
DB: Yeah...yeah, I've seen him. Well I haven't seen him for about a year actually. And all these people float
around and go in and out. I go round all these people's houses, or bump into them occasionally, you know...
So much for the New Wave of Heavy Metal music. It seems to me that it came in with Neil Kay down in
London, which I strongly disapproved of because I worked with him at the time...it's floated out of the door
or it is floating out of the door very, very quickly. And we've got to get back to some proper music.
DB: Yeah, I don't know because, I mean, it's been going like...I mean, if you take... Rush toured with us in
the States, right, as our support band, you know that...
OK, let's get onto American type of music, then. What do you think about Rush and bands of that nature?
Rush are probably a band on their own, aren't they? All right, well take Foreigner, Foreigner and Journey and
bands like that...
DB: I've never heard of them! (Laughs)
Well Dave, you never listen to anything, do you?!
DB: We done a tour, we used to tour with Rush in the States, well Rush were our support band. I mean,
many years ago a lot of bands, when we were touring the States - Kansas are another band that supported us
in the States, and we really used to get on very well with them. So everything goes full circle, you know,
you rise and you fall. But if you keep going, eventually you rise up again. I mean, you go down and you go
up, like Motorhead, right - they've really worked at it, and look where it is now, so there you go. So
anybody who's in a rock band, you've just got to keep going...
And this is the way you've influenced the rock <inaudible>
DB: In a way yeah, if you just keep going you'll eventually win through. It costs a fortune, we run a really
big light show. I mean, our light show is one of the best in Europe, maybe the World, now. I donâ€™t
think anybody's really doing light shows at any rate. It costs a lot of money to run it.
Well Blue Oyster Cult were forced to get out of their light show...
DB: Yeah. Well, lasers, they had lasers last time. The last tour but one, the 1979 tour that we did, we had
lasers, and we had so many scenes, didn't we. Every place we went to we used to have the council come
down on it. And you wouldn't believe it, the council come down, when they come down to sort of see what
the lasers are like, and as soon as Patrice, who's the French guy who's put the lasers on, they used to hide
their eyes - "Oh no, no, no, take the lasers off!", you know, you wouldn't believe it. And eventually we got a
professor from the university to come and say the lasers were not dangerous, and they wouldn't believe it.
We had, every time we done a gig, we had to go through the whole scene. And at Sheffield we had to lock
the guy out. The guy come down and we were really nice to him, you know, and his kids...we got tickets to
the concert, the whole number. And when he came he said OK, yes, we'll let you have the lasers, so we
went through the whole scene. And when he came down at 8 o'clock he said "Right, no lasers" so we
locked him in a cupboard, you know...
DB: ...and we just carried on and done it. It's a lot of bad scenes 'cause they're so silly. Theyâ€™re just, it's
the same with strobes...
Well as far as I'm concerned Dave, the music's got to do the talking...
DB: Yeah - quite right
...so we'll hear another track off the album. And thank you very much for coming along and having a word
Very, very best of luck for the rest of your tour.
DB: Thank you very much
So what are we going to go out with?
DB: Um...we're going to go out with The Streets Of Fear, and maybe Sonic Attack as well.
And this, just by chance is written by yourself...
DB: Yes, er...well, there you go!
Dave Brock, thanks a lot.
DB: Thank you very much.
Dating from October 1981, this interview with Dave
Brock was broadcast on Manchester's Radio Piccadilly...
duration was 9 minutes 23 seconds. And the DJ doing
the interviewing, besides being solely interested in Blue
Oyster Cult, seems to have been none too clued up on
Hawkwind, limited as he was to a single monomaniacal
preconception and equipped with a less than scintillating
line of questions.
Thanks to Dave Law for the interview tape!
Left: Dave (Brock!) some time in the early 80's,
although possibly a year or two after the time of this
Dave Brock from Hawkwind... Hi Dave, how are you?
DB: Hello there! Very well thank you.
Good to see you. Fantastic gig tonight at Manchester...
DB: Yes, we enjoyed it.