|Although there are numerous national Ebays, it
is really only the UK and USA sites where there
is an abundance of Hawkwind items available.
This page looks at what's likely to be found
there and how much to expect to pay for some
|items.Trying to describe how to actually use Ebay is beyond the scope of this page and I would refer you to
the instructions on the Ebay home pages.
The home page for the UK Ebay site is http://www.ebay.co.uk Search for 'Hawkwind' and you should see
results of anywhere between 100 and 300 items for sale. The search results are titled 'All Categories' and the
default here is for these items to consist of everything that mentions Hawkwind and is *located in the
Not everything that mentions Hawkwind is necessarily to do with the world's greatest space rock band. For
starters, there is a plastic toy called a Hawkwind X-Wing Fighter or similar, which I think is a spin-off of a
1980's science fiction film (not Star Wars, something more minor than that.) Motorhead items also
sometimes carry the word 'Hawkwind' in the description, as do occasional items offered for sale that are
actually related to Hawkwind-influenced bands; typically US Space Rock outfits like Sloterdijk or Anubian
Lights. Lastly, there are also some fantasy books by an author called Adrian Drake which feature a
character called Hawkwind, I think. It's nothing to do with the band.
The UK site uses a category structure where the highest-level entries are Music, Books Comics &
Magazines, DVD Film & TV, and Collectables.
This can be found at http://www.ebay.com and unlike the UK site, by default lists items from *all* Ebay
sites. Consequently it has more content - typically anywhere between 200 and 500 items. The US site also
has a different structure for Categories - Entertainment, Books and Collectibles are the highest-level
categories, with Music being a sub-category under Entertainment. As you will see, this results in some items
being not immediately apparent when using the Category links to see what's on offer.
With both the UK and the USA sites, there is no certainty that any given item will be categorized correctly: itâ
€™s up to the seller to select the category or categories when listing the item for sale, and sometimes people
make mistakes. This can work to your advantage as a buyer - if for example, someone is selling a T-Shirt,
which you would normally expect to see under Memorabilia, and they don't list it under that category, it will
only be visible in the 'All Categories' listing that you see when you first get the results of your search for
'Hawkwind'. Given that those results usually span over several pages, it's unlikely that many people will see
it buried among all the other entries and so you may be able to pick something up for cheaper than expected.
Moral of the story: don't rely only on the categories. Every now and then, it makes sense to trawl through
Most of the Hawkwind items for sale on Ebay fall within this category, and it means albums, singles and/or
EP's in whichever format. On the USA site, there is a link to "Entertainment; Music", which then leads you
to further links to "CD's", "Records", "Cassettes" and "Other Formatsâ€�. I personally never bother going
with these format-specific links. Normally there is no risk of confusing CD's with vinyl, as CD's normally
mention 'CD' in the title of the item and vinyl albums usually include the term 'LP' ('45' for a single). The UK
site uses a category of â€˜Music' with additional links for 'CDs', 'Records' and (oddly) 'Music Memorabilia'.
This is the cheapest way to pick up Hawkwind albums but of course not
everyone has a turntable, and vinyl is much more subject to damage than
CD: the condition of the album (usually described separately for the sleeve
and for the vinyl itself) needs to be checked. The terms 'VG' (very good)
and 'NM' (near mint) are what you need to see, but like everything else on
Ebay, these are subjective descriptions determined by the seller. It's
probably a good idea to check previous feedback on sellers of vinyl to see
what other buyers have said about the accuracy of the claimed condition
of items sold, compared with the actual condition encountered by the
|Below: 1st album picture disk
Well, this is the heart of the matter and probably what most people want out of Ebay - trying to get out of
print Hawkwind albums on CD. Plenty of CD's offered for sale there are not out of print and are sometimes
more expensive than new copies available from online or mail order outlets. For example, when Godreah
Records' 'Daze Of The Underground' tribute CD came out in Autumn 2003, there was no US distribution.
Consequently, new copies of it started appearing on Ebay.com at prices exceeding those for which it could
be bought from UK outlets such as CD Services or even Amazon.co.uk. Watch out for this tactic.
Another thing to watch out for are the vast numbers of run-of-the-mill and/or unauthorized compilations like
'The Masters' or 'Entire and Infinite Universe of Hawkwind', which appeared a few years ago and of which
there seem to be considerable stocks of unsold copies. These are often offered for low prices, still
shrinkwrapped, and still no good even when sold for peanuts.
But then (every now and then, actually) along comes the real deal - an out of print Hawkwind CD, for sale
on Ebay, and the prices might come as a shock. There is real demand for a few titles, namely Warrior On
The Edge of Time, Astounding Sounds Amazing Music, Quark Strangeness and Charm, Hawklords / 25
Years On, and PXR5. These are the titles which have only ever been made available on CD once or twice,
for a relatively short time and some years ago - consequently they change hands rarely and profitably for the
Warrior On The Edge of Time: this was available on the Dojo label (remastered
from a vinyl copy of the album!) and also on Griffin (remastered from the original
master tapes provided to Atco Records in the USA for the 1975 American issue of
the album). Although they have identical tracklists, the Griffin version would be
more expensive - but basically any CD copy of this album is going to attract a large
number of bids and will go for around Â£50 (yes, fifty quid! Which is currently
about US $90.) But you can pay more - if you get one of the limited edition boxed
sets, where the Griffin CD was sold with 'The Illustrated Guide To Hawkwind' by
Godwin, the price can go up closer to Â£90 / $170. These items are the rarest of all, and so the prices vary
- but this is the most I've seen it sell for. For some reason these tend to get a higher price on the UK site
than they do if listed on the USA site.
Astounding Sounds Amazing Music: another rarity, there are again two versions: the
one released on Virgin, and the Griffin reissue. The Griffin copy has 3 extra tracks
(Honky Dorky, Back On The Streets and Dream Of Isis) which makes it much
more desirable. However, it so rarely appears for sale that there doesn't seem to be
any price difference between the Virgin and Griffin versions. You should expect to
have to pay around £50 to get one of these.
Quark Strangeness and Charm: this was released on CD as one of Virgin's mid-
priced range and must have sold more copies than some of the other Virgin CDâ
€™s, since it becomes available more often than ASAM, and sells for cheaper.
There are two different cover designs (one of them being the original album
artwork, and the other has a graph paper background with some monotonal red
graphics superimposed on them.) The going rate is about £30, and as far as I know
there are no extra tracks on either of the cover designs.
Hawklords / 25 Years On: this
is probably the single rarest
Hawkwind CD. A 1989
Virgin release, it almost never
comes up on Ebay. The last
one that did sold for $127, i.e.
about £70 - I would expect
the next one to go for more
PXR5: also rare, but not as
highly prized as the
preceding titles, it would
seem. This one would
normally go for about £35,
and as far as I know there
was only ever one CD
release, on Virgin, in 1989.
On the UK site, this is listed under 'Music; Music Memorabilia' - for the USA site, it's listed under
'Entertainment; Memorabilia'. The UK site is straightforward enough - click on that link and you'll see
everything that's there. However, the USA site has a couple of wrinkles here. If you click on the
'Entertainment; Memorabilia' link, you'll see a handful of items listed, typically 5 to 10. But there is also
another link in the sidebar to the left of the screen, titled 'Music Memorabilia'. It will be followed by a
number in brackets, indicating how many items are listed behind that link, and in this case that number is
always inaccurate. It will always be the same as the number of items listed under the main 'Entertainment;
Memorabilia' link. However, when you click on the 'Music Memorabilia' link, you will typically see many
more items listed. This happens because the USA site shows items from all Ebay regions and has a problem
in representing the different category structure of the UK site accurately. But once you've checked these
two links in the USA site, you will see everything that is listed in the UK site and more besides.
Again, sometimes items that should be listed
under these category links are not, and can only
be seen in the 'All Categories' list of items.
That can help you to buy something a little
cheaper than expected - and another thing that
can help you to secure a bargain is looking out
for items of memorabilia where there is no
photo shown (although obviously this is a
riskier strategy). I bought a Griffin poster for
the princely sum of $3 because the seller listed
it without including a photo. This is most
effective when looking for a fragile item like a
poster. For an enamel badge, it may not make
as much difference.
Obviously, if you're selling rather than buying, it's essential to include a photo when offering memorabilia,
for the reason just mentioned.
The kinds of things you most often find in the Memorabilia categories are badges, tour programmes and T-
Shirts. Badges are also referred to as pins and/or buttons in different parts of the world, and will normally
be either largeish 70's designs (typically 1"-2" across) or smaller and more recent enamel efforts â€“ there
doesn't seem to be much price difference between them. The price will depend upon the attractiveness and
rarity of the design, with Â£3 - Â£4 being typical. The earliest badges that one sees are the yellow and red
Winter Tour 1973-74 designs. These are often listed as 'rare' but usually they pop up every 2 months or so,
and therefore can't be as rare as all that. Space Ritual and Doremi badges are fairly frequently offered too,
but I suspect were actually produced a while after the Space Ritual tour and the release of the Doremi Fasol
Latido album. The Doremi shield design must be the one most often seen on all Hawkwind memorabilia.
I don't think any original badges more recent than some mid-80's designs are ever seen
on Ebay. There is a very occasional Xenon Codex badge, but most of whatâ€™s
available is clustered around the late 70's and early 80's. There are some particularly nice
Levitation and Astounding enamel badges in various colours (the Astounding designs are
considerably rarer) and for enamel badges, the years 1979-81 represent the majority of
(How many subsequent tours actually had a programme prepared
for them, one wonders?) Prices range from Â£4 to Â£25, and
the ones most often seen are Hawklords (1978), Masters Of the
Universe (1979), Levitation (1980), Sonic Attack (1981) and
Chronicle Of The Black Sword (1985). These should all go for
prices towards the lower end of this range, especially the 1980
and 1985 programmes, which seem to have been produced in
very large numbers. Slightly rarer and therefore more expensive,
are the Choose your Masques (1982) and Earth Ritual (1984)
programmes, along with the (otherwise untitled) 1988 tour
programme. These would tend to be higher priced, say in the
range of Â£8 - Â£12. Most expensive of all would be the rarely
sold A Dead Singer (1974), Astounding Sounds (1976) and Quark
(1977) programmes. Less often seen, and with accordingly less
predictable prices, are the one-off festival programs like Monmore
1982, Treworgy Tree Fayre from 1989 or (very rare) Rock At
the Oval, from 1972
T-Shirts are something often seen, and not all
of them are by any means vintage; though I
have (fortunately!) not seen any homegrown
efforts for sale there. As there are very few
places to buy Hawkwind T-shirts these days,
the shirts on Ebay tend to sell for healthy
prices, $20 being typical (say £11). The Doremi shield design is often seen, but interesting things like the
1984 Earth Ritual baseball style shirt appear from time to time. Right now, for example, the UK site has
someone selling a 1990 tie-dye shirt with the Space Ritual design, for £19. Most of these unusual designs
seem to have originated in the USA and were probably never 'official' merchandise.
Some of the other things that come along from time to time are posters (usually tour posters or those that
came free with vinyl albums in the 70's), press clippings, the very occasional Hawkwind book, and
recently-manufactured unofficial merchandise like guitar picks, coasters and even clocks with Hawkwind
designs on them. Prices for these items vary considerably.
Sellers and Purchasing
Some sellers are regular Hawkfans ("there's hundreds of people like you and me"), some are people who
seem to make a living out of buying and selling on Ebay, judging by the number of transactions to their
names, and a few are places like used record stores - generally I have found sellers of Hawkwind items to
be honest and straightforward. This doesn't mean that rip-offs never happen, but Ebay has instructions
which give hints on how to deal with sellers and how to check them out before you part with your money.
I won't attempt to repeat those instructions here, but they are worth checking out.
If you are purchasing from overseas, one thing to remember is shipping charges - I've never been ripped
off (yet!) but sometimes unscrupulous people have overcharged for shipping as a way to make a bit more
money on the deal. It's also worthwhile checking on whether or not a seller will ship overseas and what
they will take by way of payment, before you submit a bid. You can't send a personal cheque from the
USA to a UK seller, for example, as the seller won't be able to cash it. I've used PayPal for all my
purchases and it seems to work well and be very widely accepted.
Lastly, it's in your interest to leave feedback after you've completed a transaction - sellers will want to
check you out too, and some of them won't deal with a buyer who has no feedback or has negative
feedback to his / her name. This presents a problem to somebody just starting out, but there is a way
around this. Both Ebay sites have a feature called Buy It Now, where a seller may opt to sell the item
immediately if someone offers the specified price. You can normally buy on this basis (when it is being
offered) even if you've not made any purchase before and therefore have no feedback to your name. When
you receive the item(s) you've purchased, make sure you leave positive feedback for the seller, and they
will normally reciprocate, giving you the start of your track record as an Ebay purchaser.
Good luck, and remember: Lost Johnny's out there, so you're not necessarily ebaying at the moon...
Unfortunately, the high prices of the above titles have now (June 2005) attracted the attention of pirates,
who have been flooding Ebay with unauthorised pirated copies of Warrior On The Edge Of Time,
Astounding Sounds Amazing Music, Quark Strangeness and Charm, Hawklords 25 Years On and PXR5.
These are often attractively packaged and sometimes doubled up as "two albums on one CD" - for example,
Quark and ASAM are often paired, and PXR5 is often sold with Michael Moorcock's New World Fair. All
this has served to achieve is to rob the musicians involved of their rightful revenues, impair the chances of
any legal reissue of these titles and to depress the price of legitimate CD's.
How can you spot a pirate CD? As well as the doubling up of titles, look for CD's being sold with extra
tracks that they have not traditionally carried, and in particular, look for any mention of Rock Fever Music
as the vendor or issuer of the CD. This stuff seems to have originated in Hamburg, Germany and
sometimes carries mention of a non-existent web address. They occasionally claim that these are authorised
releases (they are definitely not) or say that they've been licensed through Ridgetop Music - who seem to be
based in the Botley area of Hampshire. (We are looking in on you now!)
If you want to be sure that any of the above titles for sale on Ebay is not a pirate, look for the word
"Original" in the title or description of the CD and bear in mind the record companies that did legitimately
issue these titles on CD: Warrior On The Edge Of Time was released on CD by Dojo in 1992 and by Griffin
in 1993/4: ASAM was put out by Virgin in 1988 and by Griffin (with extra tracks) in 1995: Quark,
Hawklords and PXR5 were only ever issued by Virgin in 1988-9
available designs... However there are lots of newly made badges for sale: often resembling original badges
such as those described above, but sometimes giving themselves away by being based upon new themes,
like the one showing the cover of Carol Clerk's 2004 book, "The Saga Of Hawkwind". Unlike the situation
with pirate CD's these do no harm as far as I can see and I've occasionally bought these myself with a clear
Tour programmes also seem to cover the same time period, with the earliest ones being the black and white
Space Ritual leaflet from 1972, and the most recent being the 1988 tour programme.