|Hawkwind Buyer's Guide
"Space Is Deep, so is their debris-filled catalogue.... Your navigator: Phil Alexander"
This is from the May 2005 issue of Mojo.
"Hawkwind are to the festival-goer what James Brown is to the 'funkster' and 'hip-hopper'," proclaimed
the press release for Hawkwind's 1994 album The Business Trip. "They are the godfathers." Such
comparisons may provoke a chuckle among the uninitiated. And yet, over four decades, Hawkwind's
influence in terms of graft, attitude and output has been prodigious.
Their roots lie in the volatile freak scene around London's Portobello Road and Ladbroke Grove in 1968.
A convergence of cheap drugs, free sex, art, literature and music created a politically-charged
counterculture, and Hawkwind became its house band with a groove-led space rock ad a radical
Staunch supporters of the UK's free festival scene, Hawkwind helped establish Glastonbury and provided
support for the travellers at the bloody Battle Of The Beanfield at Stonehenge in '85. Their positive,
confrontational attitude and sense-altering visuals would also influence rave culture, with Aphex Twin,
Utah Saints and The Orb admitting their debt to Hawkwind hust as Johnny Rotten had done a decade
To many, Hawkwind's classic line-up consists of Dave Brock (guitar, vocals and sole constant), Nik
Turner (sax, flute and vocals), Robert Calvert (poetry, vocals), Simon King (drums), DikMik (audio
generator), Del Dettmar (synths) and Lemmy (bass). With over 35 members over the years, legal battles
followed concerning rights to the name, royalty payments and bootleg-festooned catalogue (see Avoid
These panel). Key releases from 1975-'79 are hard to find on CD.
They've released over 20 new albums since the 80's, but it's the band's first decade that provides the
listener with some of the most expansive, adventurous music to live your life by or, at the very least, lose
yourself in. This, then, is Hawkwind. Do not panic!