|Dave & Nik on Radio Swansea, March 1984
DB: "Hello Paul and Steve..."
NT: "Hello Paul and Steve!"
Hello David, and Nik Turner from Hawkwind.
DB: "Hi there"
NT: "Hello everybody"
First of all, who's in the band now, because Hawkwind seems to be changing a fair amount...
NT: "Uh, Dave Brock..."
DB: "And Dave Brock."
NT: "...and Nik Turner."
DB: "And Dave Brock."
NT: "And Nik Turner! And Dead Fred is playing keyboards."
DB: "And Misdemeanour Clive on drums."
NT: "Clive Demon...or Clive Deamer."
DB: "Huw Lloyd-Langton on lead guitar, with Harvey Bainbridge on bass."
NT: "And Dead Fred on keyboards and violin."
Right, was that... Nik, was your rejoining the band planned after guesting on the 'Choose Your Masquesâ
€™ album, or did it sort of come about?
NT: "It wasn't really planned, it was just sort of out of the blue. Dave said 'come and do a tour with us',
and I thought 'oh, great!'."
DB: "He was fed up with running his band, you see."
NT: "Fed up with running my band, because, er..."
DB: "It's hard work..."
NT: "...running a band. It's hard work, and..."
DB: "...it wears you out."
So Inner City Unit is somewhat devolved at the moment, then.
NT: "Well, it's on ice really, that's all."
So you've no plans for an album, then, with ICU...
NT: "Oh yeah, I hope so. Yeah - lots of plans."
Right. So this is the final stage of the Earth Ritual tour - how did that title come about?
DB: "Well actually, it's not really the Earth Ritual tour, it's a preview tour of the Earth Ritual, itâ€™s not an
actual... I mean, this tour is actually getting the band together, because before we undertook this tour we
had a week's rehearsal - we didn't have a drummer either, we had to audition half a dozen drummers. And
we had a week actual rehearsing for the tour, and then we sort of went on the road, and things came
together as we were, sort of, you know, working. And then we got rid of the drummer halfway through
the tour and we got the one that we've got with us now: Clive, who joined up atâ€¦halfway through...he's
on the case." (Sings:) " 'He's really on the case...' That was a Bob Calvert song, sorry!"
Is there any plans for Bob Calvert to rejoin the band, then?
DB: "Well, he's actually writing stuff for the band, I mean, he was going to do the tour, wasn't he..."
NT: "Yeah, he was."
DB: "But they won't allow him out!"
NT: "He's not in a very energetic frame of mind at the moment. He's, er..."
But you're still friends?
NT: "Oh yeah, we're really good friends, yeah."
Any other ex-members of the band turn up for this tour, at all?
DB: "Yeah, Lemmy...Lemmy's played a few gigs with us, and Michael Moorcock, the well-known science
fiction writer, has done some poetry readings and sung some songs, hasn't he?"
NT: "Yeah, and done a bit of general lunacy on stage..."
Did you manage to fit the full stage show in for tonight?
DB: "Um, I dunno..."
NT: "Yes, I think so. ..."
DB: "...not all of it..."
NT: "No...not quite all of it."
DB: "No, no...no...it's not all of it."
Are you going to give us a preview of what it's going to look like?
DB: "Well..." [obviously wondering how this is meant to work in a radio interview]
NT: "Well if this programme is going out after the show...No!" (laughs)
NT: "If it's going out before, yes..."
Are you still on the RCA record label?
You joined Flicknife?
DB: "Yeah, we...well, we haven't actually joined Flicknife - I mean, we've just got a one-off deal to release
this E.P. and the single. I mean, it's just something to get organised, you know, that was it, really."
So how do you feel, like, about using an independent company rather than RCA or UA, or...
DB: "Well, they're a bit restricted in the sense of distribution, because they go through Pinnacle, donâ€™t
NT: "Yeah, their distribution is rather limited, actually."
DB: "They can only go so far. Because what has actually happened, with this single that we've got out, if
we'd have put it through a major company, it would have been in the Top 20, you see, instead of, where is
it, number 74 or wherever it is now..."
That's 'Night Of The Hawks'...
DB: "Yeah. If we'd actually put it put it out through a bona-fide company, because they've got really good
distribution, they would have sort of guaranteed it to be in the charts, but I don't think it will be because
Flicknife are only run by a husband-and-wife team, anyway, you know..."
NT: "And their baby..." (laughter)
DB: "And their baby, yes... Jesse James... And, er...there you are."
So what do you think of United Artists releasing compilation albums of your early material?
NT: "Disgusting! Outrage!" (makes farting noises) "I'll have the law... Outrage!"
Or even reissuing earlier records, like 'Hawkwind' has just been re-released...
DB: "Yeah, it is. There are so many things floating around this band, we must be one of the most widely
bootlegged bands ever. Seriously, there are so many tapes and bootleg albums around of this band, you
NT: "It's deplorable on one level, but it's quite flattering on another level."
DB: "Yeah. What it does, it ruins... If we decide to get an album together, you know, it undercuts anyone
buying that, you know, like doing this tour - there's already bootleg recordings of this tour out. And
consequently none of the band get any money out of it, for a start, you know. Which is a real piss-off
because, like, all our money goes into the show at any rate. So consequently we don't sort of see
anything, do we?"
NT: "No, we won't come out with anything."
What sort of material are you playing now, then? Is it all new or do you feature the old stuff at all?
DB: "Well it's half and half, really, isn't it...it's a bit of both, really."
Do you find it difficult writing original material now, after fifteen years?
DB: "No, not at all. No, it's easy...easy-peasy!" (laughs)
Do you notice that you've got a younger following at the gigs, now, than you used to have? Or is it still the
same old stalwarts?
DB: "No, we've always had a young following, anyway, I think, haven't we?"
NT: "Yeah, we have. I mean, we haven't really got the same following that we had in 1969. Most of those
people don't come to the gigs any more. A few of them do."
DB: "Their kids often do!" (laughs)
NT: "Their kids do, yeah..."
And Nik, your style of sax playing - is it different in Hawkwind nowadays to your Inner City Unit time?
NT: "Um, is it different? Not really, no, I don't think so. I mean, I might be playing a little bit better
because I've done a bit more practice..." (laughs) "...but then, other people might say I'm playing worse,
Do any members of the band feel too restricted within Hawkwind, and are they going off, doing their own
DB: "Well everybody does their own things anyway, you know. I mean, it's a band that you can do your
own things. It doesn't make that much difference, like Huwie's done his own thing, everybody likes
mucking around at home recording things."
NT: "Everybody's got their own projects really, you know, I mean it wouldn't be healthy if they didn't. If
everybody was just concentrating on Hawkwind, because Hawkwind doesn't do enough recording and live
work, really, to warrant total, full-time attention by anybody. Unfortunately, actually ...â€�
DB: "Yeah - if we actually worked more..."
NT: "It would be better if we could..."
DB: "Yeah, it would be."
NT: "You know, the situation is that we don't. It's not..."
Are there any plans now for an album with this line-up?
DB: "Well, we'd like to do it, yeah, but we haven't got a record contract, have we?"
NT: "Not really, we've got something with Rockfield Studios, they're interested in putting an album out of
the band, and we've got to sort of negotiate some sort of a deal with them. But we havenâ€™t got any
plans with major labels, and I don't really think it's a very good idea to do another one with Flicknife
because of the distribution problems that they've shown that they've got with these last records."
Dave, did you see Robert Godfrey say that he viewed his group as more of a mission than a commercial
venture? Do you, as the mainstay of Hawkwind...
DB (laughing): "A mission? Admission, did you say? Or..."
...see your group in the same way?
NT: "Enema emission... Sorry!"
Have you ever seriously thought about winding Hawkwind up, for instance?
DB: "Um, no, not really...."
NT: "Not seriously. Unseriously - lots of times!"
DB: "Lots of times. Lots of times you just feel like giving up, I mean, you do give up sometimes, and then
you feel despondent, and you get loads of letters...people... I mean, what happens, you see, the
unfortunate thing with being in a rock'n'roll band, you feed a lot on it, on your ego. When people say
'Gosh, you know, that was a really good gig' or whatever, and when you know it was terribleâ€¦ But then
when you're not working, people, you get letters from people saying 'It would be really good if you'd do
this again' it does cheer you up to do it, you know."
At the moment there's a live set out called the Text Of Festival, which includes some BBC recordings. Is
that an official release from Hawkwind?
So, who's that arrived from, then?
DB: "Well, that's from Dave Anderson, who used to be in the band."
NT: "He was in the band at the time of 'In Search Of Space', actually."
DB: "They're not very good recordings, they're not, anyway. I heard it - I had to take it off!" (laughs)
NT: "I haven't actually got a copy of it, myself..."
DB: "It's quite awful - slum recording. It's substandard, more substandard trash."
Your most commercially successful period probably came with the Space Ritual tour and album, after
'Silver Machine' came top three in '72. A version of the track appears on 'Glastonbury Fayre', the triple
album featuring Bob Calvert's vocals. Can that be regarded as the original version of 'Silver Machine'?
NT: "Yeah, I think so, yeah. I mean, it was recorded live at the Roundhouse, in fact, with Bob singing on
But it appears on, or that version anyway, appears on Glastonbury Fayre.
NT: "Yeah, that...I think it is the same version, isn't it, with Bob on it..."
DB: "I don't know."
NT: "I think it is, probably, yeah. I've got an idea it is."
OK. Dave - I understand you're a member of the clergy, with 'Church Of Hawkwind'!
DB: "Oh that, yeah...."
NT: "He probably is a vicar, actually...he lives in a vicarage."
DB: "And I haven't been having new models, this agency that... If there's any girls, of course, listening that
want to come to my church and become Nuns, I would be jolly excited. They can write to Box 6,
Oh... Do you enjoy playing open festivals, rather than in halls?
DB: "Yeah, I like playing... Well, actually it all depends on what sort of festivals they are, mind you. You
know, we turned Reading down last year, and we got offered quite a lot of money. And we went and
played Stonehenge, didn't we. We like playing Stonehenge. And we'd never do a place like Donington
again, that's for sure."
I don't blame you (laughs).
DB: "It's awful."
What has been the attitude of the music press towards you over the years...and what do you think they
think of you now?
DB: "Bad!" (laughs)
Has there been anything in regard to gig reviews in the press recently, do you know?
DB: Well, we haven't had any!"
NT: "We haven't had any, I don't think."
DB: "I think we're one of the few bands that can actually do a tour..."
NT: "A sell-out tour."
DB: "Yeah, a sell-out tour. You won't read about it in any music paper at all..."
|This radio interview with Dave Brock and Nik
Turner was broadcast during March 1984 on Radio
Swansea. Thanks to Dave Law who provided me
with the tape from which I transcribed it.