|Global Exchange's Short History
|This page is so called because it comes from the August 1980 issue of Global Exchange magazine (issue 3,
price 60p!) and was originally entitled A Short History (beneath the graphic you see below). I suspect Global
Exchange had a pretty short history itself...
1969 and before:-
As is the case with many bands, it's difficult, if not impossible, to pin down a definite date as to when
Hawkwind first sprang into being. We can also argue over exactly who was in the first line-up.
Prior to Hawkwind, Dave Brock (a blues busker who had a song called 'Bring It On Home' on a mixed
artists album called 'The Buskers*) formed a band called Dr. Brocks Famous Cure, in 1967. Making no
impact on England, the band moved to Holland and the name was shortened to Famous Cure. The band
fared somewhat better in Holland and one of their singles reached number five in the charts. Dave Brocks'
memory is rather vague now, in so far as Famous Cure is concerned, but he does recall that one of their
singles was called 'Sweet Mary' c/w 'Mean Mistreater'. With Dave Brock in Famous Cure, was another
soon-to-be-a-Hawkperson, Mick Slattery and while they were in Holland they were joined by Nik Turner,
who originally signed on as a roadie.
Famous Cure left Holland for England and broke up. Dave Brock reverted to busking while getting together
a new band which was to include three of the members of Famous Cure. The countdown to Hawkwind
was under way.
It was in the Autumn of 1969 that Famous Curers Dave Brock, Mick Slattery and Nik (then Nick) Turner
played an all-important gig...a ten minute jam session
at the All Saints Hall in Notting Hill Gate. With them were Terry Ollis, Dik Mik and John Harrison and, not
having chosen a name for themselves, they played under the legend of Group X. By luck, that brief set
attracted the interest of Clearwater Productions & so the band were in search of a name. They couldn't
have kept playing as Group X as there already existed a recording band of that name.
At first, it was Hawkwind Zoo. Hawkwind came about as it was one of Nik's nicknames (though he was
more often known as Thunder Rider, a name more to his liking) and Zoo came from Terry's like of
animals. Andy Dunkley then suggested that they kept the name down to Hawkwind & they did. Dave
wrote some material for them & they signed with Clearwater Productions.
In November, Hawkwind signed on with United Artists & the countdown was complete. As the
introduction to a Hawkwind In Concert radio programme was to say three years later, 'We have lift-off,
we have music, we have HAWKWIND'.
Hawkwind soon gained a small, but dedicated following & were known for their habit of playing anywhere
they could & for playing free gigs. There was no business sense involved...just a desire to play as much as
possible & have a good time while helping a lot of other folk to enjoy themselves. Experiments with drugs,
lights & sounds made every gig an experience rather than just a musical event, all loosely put together as
the mood took them. You didn't know what they would perform or which members of the band would be
there to perform it at any given gig.
Those were the days of Pinkwind. While Hawkwind experimented with a mixture of electronic sounds &
repetitive rhythms the Pink Fairies were playing what, years later, was to be known as 'new wave' &
although the music each band played was different, their attitudes were similar. Thus, at a gig there was
often a blend of the two bands on stage, according to which ever of the musicians were there.... Pinkwind.
In July, Hawkwind's first single was released. The
two songs, 'Hurry On Sundown' and 'Mirror Of
Illusion' were both taken from their forthcoming
album, simply called 'Hawkwind', which was
released in August. Both of the records appeared
on the Liberty label, though the album was later
re-released on the Sunset label. While, unlike the
albums which followed it, the first album laid
down rhythms & a sense of energy that has been
the hallmark of Hawkwind music. On that album,
however, it was a controlled energy, with every
note planned, rather than the abandoned, wild
energy of later work. Mick Slattery having left &
been replaced by Huw Lloyd Langton, the line-up
on the first album was Dave Brock, Nik Turner,
Huw Lloyd Langton, John Harrison, Terry Ollis &
Dik Mik. Ex Pretty Thing, Dick Taylor, who
produced the album, also played on parts of it.
Another important Hawkwind event of 1970 was
the Isle Of Wight Festival, even though they
weren't on the bill. As a protest against the high
price of admission, Hawkwind & a few other
bands played outside the festival site for free. Nik painted his face silver for the occasion & as well as
drawing a lot of fans, they drew the attention of the press with the result that photos of Nik appeared in
places such as Vogue, Paris Match, the Telegraph Magazine as well as more mundane places such as the
Daily Express. The Isle Of Wight gig did much to foster the 'bunch of hippies' image which stuck ^ with
the band for many years.
Huw left, as did John Harris on. Huw was not replaced but John (bassist) was replaced by Thomas
Crimble who, along with Mick Slattery & Paul Hayles, was one of the three Hawkwind members who
never got to play on a Hawkwind record.
The band, associated with drugs & mind bending music & free gigs, soon became the musical heroes of
the underground, glorified by fans & music press alike.
A year of changes. Thomas Crimble left in May & was replaced by Dave Anderson, who in turn left in
August & was replaced by Lemmy. Stacia also joined the band that year, as did Del Dettmar. Dik Mik left
& returned. Del had previously been their mixer, but joined the stage line-up when Dik Mik left & when
Dik Mik came back, both members remained on stage.
In June, Hawkwind played at the Glastonbury Fayre Festival. Dave Brock & Dave Anderson attended the
gig but were taken ill & unable to perform, so Thomas Crimble stepped in & handled guitar & Robert
Calvert joined in to handle the vocals. This was also Stacia's first performance with Hawkwind. Although
not a band member at the time, Robert Calvert acted as resident poet & recited poetry at suitable gigs.
October saw the release of the second Hawkwind album, 'In Search Of Space' (now on the United Artists
label) with a complex & beautiful sleeve by Barney Bubbles & for the first so many thousand copies, an
extremely clever 24 page booklet called the Hawkwind Log, by Robert Calvert. The musicians were Dave
Brock, Nik Turner, Dave Anderson, Del Dettmar, Dik Mik & Terry Ollis.
This album saw the band swing from the instrumentals (mostly) of the first album & into an album of
songs with the more powerful drive which is associated with Hawkwind. The main track of the album
'You Shouldn't Do That', a very long track, was built on repetitive lyrics & rhythms, but far more forceful
than those of the first album & so that song formed the link between the two styles. Also on this album
was the first recorded version of 'Master Of The Universe'.
More changes. Terry Ollis left & an old friend of Lemmy's took his place, Simon King, with whom
Lemmy had played with in Opal Butterfly. Bob Calvert joined full time. This was the year in which
Hawkwind came into the limelight, springing from being not too well known into fame.
On February 13th, they played what must be the most important gig of their career (if we ignore the All
Saints Hall gig which got them started). It was at the Roundhouse, in London, & was called the Greasy
Truckers Party. This was the first of the Greasy Truckers gigs, an attempt to set up what they called
alternative entertainment in London. Two of the gigs. Roundhouse & Dingwells, were released as double
albums. The Roundhouse one, the Greasy Truckers Party, was the first & most important one, featuring
folk such as Hawkwind, Man, Brinsley Schwarz & Magic Michael...those were the folk who appeared on
the album, a limited edition release, long since deleted, sad to say. Hawkwind's section of the album was
side four & consisted of 'Master Of The Universe' & 'Born To Go'. Both songs capture the spirit of the
Hawkwind of the time more than any other recording, giving more to the energetic & enthusiastic
atmosphere than to music. The songs sound like 'live' recordings rather than 'live' recordings which have
been overdubbed and remixed in the studio. Brilliant use of electronic beeps, burps & odd noises lend both
songs a light hearted feeling, the Party spirit. The first half of that version of 'Born To Go' appeared as the
'b' side of a Hawkwind single on the continent ('Lord Of Light' was the 'a' side), but the Greasy Truckers
Party version of 'Master Of The Universe' has been allowed to sink...a great tragedy.
Two other songs, recorded at the same gig appeared in June on a triple album compilation called The
Glastonbury Fayre, two months after the Greasy Truckers double was released by United Artists.
Glastonbury Fayre was released on a private label called Revelation & with the three records came a 32
page booklet rather similar to the Hawkwind Log (both were designed by Barney Bubbles) & a couple of
fold-out information sheets, each the equivalent of eight pages of the booklet. Like the Greasy Truckers
album, Glastonbury Fayre was a benefit album. The two Hawk-tracks were 'live' versions of 'Silver
Machine' & 'Welcome To The Future'. This was the version of 'Silver Machine' which was later remixed,
overdubbed & very much polished for the single. Other performers on the Glastonbury Fayre album were
The Grateful Dead, Brinsley Schwarz, Mighty Baby, Marc Bolan, Pete Townsend, David Bowie, Skin
Alley, Daevid Alien & Gong & The Edgar Broughton Band. Unfortunately, this too was a limited edition
album & is consequently hard to find & currently fetching Â£50+ (in v.g. condition) as a collectors item.
Also in June, the single 'Silver Machine'/'Seven By Seven' was released by United Artists & became a huge
hit. Although the vocals had been sung by Bob, he was not available for the re-mixing/overdubbing session
with the song so Lemmy provided the vocals instead.
November saw the release of their third album, 'Doremi Fasol Latido' (United Artists)...with limited edition
free picture poster.
On November the 8th, in Kings Lynn, the first gig of the Space Ritual tour took place. An extensive tour of
highly imaginative & colourful gigs conceived & put into reality by Robert Calvert & Barney Bubbles. A
very successful tour which delighted established Hawkwind fans & baffled quite a few of the people who
went to the gigs on the strength of hearing 'Silver Machine'. A good many people were taken by surprise
when they learned what Hawkwind music was really like & how complex their gigs were, & television had
done little to prepare folk for the dazzling lightshow which Liquid Len & The Lensmen put on. Hawkwind
had appeared on television three times while 'Silver Machine' was high in the charts. The band had refused
to go to the studios of Top Of The Pops & so the BBC sent a crew to film them at Dunstable Civic Hall,
while they played 'Silver Machine'. The film was run three times on TOTP & part of it was shown again in
1979 during a programme about Michael Moorcock. Mike Moorcock's first piece of work for the band
was to write 'Sonic Attack', which remained a Hawkwind classic long after the Space Ritual tours.
Following the tremendous success of the Space Ritual tour
in the U.K., the tour was taken to Europe, with equal
In May, United Artists released the double album, 'Space
Rituals Live', which was recorded at Liverpool Stadium &
Brixton Sundown in December 1972. The outer sleeve, of
folding design made from one sheet of stiff paper was
another of Barney Bubbles' imaginative creations. This
album was, & still is, the closest you could get to a
Hawkwind concert without actually being there. Their
most successful album, it reached number nine in the
British album charts. Musicians on the tour & the album
were, Dave Brock, Robert Calvert, Nik Turner, Lemmy,
Dik Mik, Del Dettmar & Simon King.
In August, their third single was released by United Artists.
As with 'Silver Machine', the first copies had a picture
sleeve. The single was 'Urban Guerrilla'/'Brainbox
Pollution' & within a week it had risen to number 39 in the
British charts. Unfortunately, the release of the single
coincided with a spate of bombings in London & UA decided it would be tactful to withdraw the single. UA
had a change of heart later & put 'Urban Guerrilla' on a Hawkwind sampler album Roadhawks but the far
superior track, 'Brainbox Pollution' had been left to sink from view.
The band played Harlow Free Festival (one of the gigs at which Michael Moorcock appeared with them) &
then, also in August, Dik Mik left again for the umpteenth time, only this time he didn't come back.
Shortly after, Robert Calvert left to work on his 'Captain Lockheed & The Starfighters' project. Neither of
the musicians were replaced.
In November, Hawkwind went to tour America for the first time, not as a support act (the normal way to
break such new ground) but as a headlining act, performing the Space Ritual.
1974 began with another extensive tour of the U.K running through January & February. Then, in March, it
was back to America with an added member, Simon House. Simon didn't have a work permit to allow him
to play in America so he went as an observer, though he did jam with the band on a couple of gigs. When
they got back to England, he joined the band full time. Simon took Del's place on stage & Del carried on
playing synthesizer, but from the lighting desk.
In May, Robert Calvert's album 'Captain Lockheed & The Starfighters' was released by United Artists.
Hawkpersons playing on it were Robert Calvert, Dave Brock, Lemmy, Simon King, Del Dettmar, Nik
Turner & Paul Rudolph (who wasn't a Hawkperson at that time but was to become one later). There was
also a Captain Lockheed single, 'Ejection'/'Catch A 'Falling Starfighter (The Gremlin)'. The album was made
up of rock songs with short comedy sketches between tracks' the whole thing being based en a large
number of Lockheed Starfighters which Germany bought from America & which were used for tasks for
which they had not been built.
In June, Del Dettmar left the band & emigrated to Canada, having earlier bought a plot of land there & built
a cabin there. He got a guitar in the shape of an axe & now plays in a Vancouver based band called the
Melodic Energy Commission. They have one album, 'Stranger In Mystery', released in Canada on the
Energy Discs label.
In July, Simon King broke some ribs while playing football & Alan Powell was brought in as a temporary
relief. However, when Simon was fit again, they decided to keep Alan & have two drummers.
In August, their next single, 'Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In The Smoke)' / 'It's So Easy'(United
Artists) was released & September saw the release of the 'Hall Of The Mountain Grill' album (UA). One
track, an instrumental called 'Goat Willow', from the album was used as the background for a television
programme a few months later ...a documentary about some bee keeping monks.
In September they went to tour America again. Halfway through the tour, the American law impounded the
bands' equipment after a gig at Hammond, Indiana, claiming that the band owed $8,000 in taxes.
CONTINUED NEXT ISSUE...