|Hawkwind Fly As A Kite
This is a piece written by Robert Calvert, which appeared in issue 31 of Frendz magazine back in
1972. An excerpt of it appears in the CD packaging for the reissued Doremi Fasol Latido, and struck
me as being a cut above the psychedelic gibberish of the time. So here it is in its' entirety.
Once upon a time, in the deepest reaches of outer time, there came a something, out of nothing, into
nowhere. By some freak of chance it somehow landed up on Earth, where it lay, amorphous, in the
mud for years. Until the rains came and washed it into the drains. Drifting on dark currents
underground: an embryonic blob of consciousness.
Later, it got itself entangled in a swirl of newsprint that was lodged in the sewers under Notting Hill.
For countless aeons this spore of pure potential slept. In suspended animation, dreaming all the shapes
it might assume, of all the forms it was yet to find. Portobello Road had always been the most desolate
of places until the Busker People arrived on the scene. The Buskers, a hairy race, were given to making
unearthly sounds with the aid of primitive equipment of stick and strings while calling out in a strange
guttural tongue, to attract the attention of the Straight People going past.
Occasionally, one of the 'straights' would throw a small round metal object or a collection of these in
assorted sizes, into the upturned hat of the Busker. The origin of this outlandish custom is now obscure.
These then were the unlikely beginnings of what was later to be known as Dave Brock. Some secret
key of sounds, stumbled over quite accidentally by a clumsy Busker bawling the Blues must have
brought this thing to life.
Out of the drain grating it came, a nightmarish thing of no shape or form seen on Earth before. An
unknown thing, a supernatural, extraterrestrial, alien thing... it came with the power to assume the form
and the essence of the first thing it saw.
This new Busker acquired the name Dave Brock, because he never had any money (and was also
hopeless at spelling).
Once outside a time there was one man who had two bodies. He called one of his bodies Mik, and he
liked the way it walked. The other he called Dik. It was a busy body, it used to speed around all day.
It was a strange body. It liked to be on its own. And it wandered off for days on end and was never
seen, until it chose to turn up, looking worn out and scroungy, mumbling inarticulate Rock'nâ€™Roll
lyrics to itself, with staring eyes.
The man who owned these two remarkable bodies lived in a cybernetic castle by the sea, and liked it
there. And so he didn't go much on the idea of his other half wandering off like that without a word.
At night he often lay awake thinking... if only Dik and Mik could co-exist, things might be different...
One day he noticed, with a leap of joy, an advert in the paper for Dr. Brock's amazing cure. He made
an appointment that very day.
Doctor D. Brock, who had graduated from busking to doctoring by protoplasmic absorption, gave him
an electronic integration box, with knobs. "Thank you", said Dik. "Thank you", said Mik. And DikMik
walked out into the street.
A great honking hawk-beaked being suddenly appeared in the sky with a great whirl of wind, turning
and turning, it came to land in front of DikMik. "Just flew back from Uranus, on the run from the
heavy metal moguls, watch out for them" it said between gasps for breath.
"What's your name?" said DikMik. "Nik" it said. "Nik, that's nice", said DikMik, thinking... DikMikNik,
that would be nice...(if only I could make out how this box worked).
The box began to make weird sounds that the bird man replied to on his saxoscope. The two of them
listened to this weird space language, and neither of them knew a word.
"Look, look", said DikMik. "Look, look, what's that?" Nik Turner turned and looked and saw... it was
gleaming... golden... high up... flying... unidentifiable... it was...
"A Venusian space bassist", said Turner the bird being. Beaming, Doctor Brock appeared in his
doorway brandishing a Harley Davidson Guitar. DikMik and Nik turned to see what had caused these
revving chords. Their instruments were excited. The Saxoscope sent out wild enthusiastic greetings.
The integration box went berserk. The instruments seemed to be communicating in some intergalactic
language of pure sound. None of them knew a word. Seeing the Venusian, Dave Brock threw down
his guitar. "Coming in for a cup of tea?" he said. "Yes please" said the Venusian. They all went in.
While they were slurping, there came a knock at the door. And then another knock, and soon a series
of rocking rhythmic knocks. The door was opened to a hairy creature with staring eyes. Dressed in
cast-off scraps of metal. "Is that heavy metal?" said DikMik. Laughter filled the room, like the
unearthly mirth of space hyenas and interstellar bats. "Do you want to buy a hurricane, cheap at half
the price. Or how about a cyclone, high winds of all kinds, come to you in a can. Gales, gusts,
monsoons, breezes, blasts of Arctic agony in an aerosol," said Terry Ollis, the door-to-door scrap wind
hawker. "Are you hawking", said Dik, "the wind?", said Mik (he had accidentally switched his
integration box off and couldn't find the knob). "Did you say monsoons?" asked Dave Anderson, in an
There came another knock at the door. A chorus of voices called for entrance. It was Del, the longest
haired building labourer in the world, who entered with a hod on his back. And in the hod, a bleeping,
chirruping, wherping, blaspheming machine.
"It's a sympathiser", he explained. "It must have heard the sounds coming from this room and started to
sympathise, and now I can't stop it."
Nik Turner, the birdman, peered through the curtains. The room was curiously vibrating. "Hey", said
Nik, "This room appears to be in outer space, unless my eyes deceive me..." The others looked. Dave
Brock pulled back the curtain. "Right", he burst out. "We ARE in space... Too Much! Weâ€™ve
taken off... What now?"
They travelled vast spaces and spiralled on through time. Hawkwind. And had many adventures, too
many to tell and too involved. Their name went before then throughout the Universe and huge crowds
gathered to watch their ritual of noise and light.
As always with Venusians, who by their very nature cannot stay in one place or one form for very long,
it was soon time for Dave Anderson to move on. The others waved and watched, amazed as he slowly
vanished into the sun, changing shape as he went. A telephone, a Persian carpet, an eggbeater, a flock
of geese, a sewing machine? "Bye bye Dave." they said.
"We shall heed a new thrumper" said Brock. "A new what?" Nik said. "No, not a thrumper" said
Brock. "I mean a new, you know, 'thing'." "Oh yes," said Dik, â€œa bassist". "No, a blazer, you
mean." said Nik. "I think you mean a bassootist" said Del, chirrupingly.
Suddenly there was a puff of blinding blackness and thick smoke filled the air. As it began to clear they
saw, through watering eyes, the figure of a dark stranger, standing before them. "I believe that I am the
very man you seek" said the dark one with a nonchalant nod.
("What is that word?" Said Brock snapping his finger and tapping his head.)
"Words are only for mincing" said the dark stranger cloaked in smoke, grinding his menacing teeth.
"Give me a word" he said. "Any word, and I will demonstrate the mincibility of all free verbiage before
your very eyes."
No-one understood what he said, but all were deeply impressed by the speed with which he said, it and
by the way that his hair moved in time with his lips.
"I am Lemmy," he announced, "known to some as Lemmy The Lurch. For in the art of lurching, there
is none finer. None may lurch more lavishly than I." And with this, he went into a frenzy of lurching.
They had to agree that they had never had such lambastious lurching performed before their eyes.
"Does anyone know where Terry is?" said Brock.
"He hasn't been seen for some time" said Nik, preening, "but I expect that's because of the potion."
"The potion the sorceress gave him. To make him invisible."
"Are you there Terry?" said Brock cautiously. There was no reply. "I don't think he's there. We'd
better look for him."
And so they looked. They looked high and low, they looked round and around and back and forth and
inside out and sideways. But Boris was gone.
"Do you think he has OD'd and slipped the dimension?" said DikMik (who'd eventually managed to
master his knobs) in the stereo voice he always used when he was being serious.
"We are going to need another stickbeater, it seems," said Brock, "and I know the very place to find
The Enchanted Grove.
And so they set out through the dark forest to find a stick-beater among the Elves, who would join
them. And as they went, they found signs and trails that led them to a magic glade where the air was a
haze of orgone blue. In the midst of this there stood a tall red-bearded man intoning some strange form
of litany. The flowers cowered back from his voice and no bird sang.
"I think it's a Druid" said DikMik.
"He looks sober to me" said the Lurch.
"Welcome" said the priestlike creature. And they saw that his cloak was swarming with stars and
agitated planets. "You must be the ones who go under the name of Hawkwind. About whom I have
had many ominous dreams." His voice had a curious echoing tone.
"Do you know how to mince words?" said Brock.
"Mince them? No, but maybe this will suffice." He grasped the words that he had just spoken out of
the air and placed then in a small stone crucible. He shook the crucible, held it to his ear like a shell,
then held it at arm's length in front of him and closed his heavy-lidded eyes. There was a tiny but
intense flash of light and then a flock of tiny images burst into the air. Images of all they had been
watching. Images that hovered and then flew to the tops of the trees and away.
"If that isn't mincing, then I don't know what is" said Lemmy with a humorous tilt.
"By the way, how are you known?" said Brock.
"By the nane of Calvert," said the echoing voice, "and if you have use for one skilled in such magikry, I
should be pleased to join you in your voyaging. The Orgone Glade is a lonely place."
There was no more to be said. They marched on through the trees.
They stopped, when they heard it. A high barking sound. They listened. It came from the air above
them. They looked up and there it was. Hovering above the trees, a winged hound.
"Look, it's got something in its mouth."
"What is it?"
They listened with clenched breath. Vaguely, far off in the distance, a sound of dancing trees, of
stamping woods, a storm of metal branches, a cloven-hoofed machine of perpetual motion.
They headed towards the sound - and presently came to a small clearing, where, sat in the centre of a
maze of wood and metal machinery, was an Elfin stick-beater, the tallest they had ever seen. Taller than
a man, with long straight hair and fine-boned features.
The sticks whirled in his hands, concocting enough rhythms to quake the earth. Every now and then a
stick would fly out of his hand, high into the air, where the winged hound would catch it and, in
midflight, swivel and return it to the furiously beating feet.
Failing to attract the attention of the bowed head, Dave Brock switched off the machine, whereupon the
Elf looked up and smiled.
"Hello," he said, "I believe you were looking for me."
"We would be glad to have you aboard."
They all agreed with nods of heads and shufflings of feet.
"What's yer name?" said Del.
"Simon King...and can I bring my dog?"
"Sure" they all replied as one.
And so the seven of them slouched to their vehicles of whirling blue and blasted off.
|Originally it was laid out in the shape of a kite, and it looks like someone went to the trouble to
assemble the thing. Pic courtesy of Wilfried Schuesler.