Hawkwind Trivia

A place to put snippets that don't fit anywhere else...thanks to Frank Weil for some of this information
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- Hawkwind were the first British band ever to headline on their debut tour of the USA.  Which was back in
  Nov-Dec 1973

- Hawkwind have 428 distinct numbers in their repertoire (ignoring retitlings!) as of the end of 2010.  .

- The most often recorded song is Brainstorm, with 28 versions appearing on 73 different releases

- The most often released song is Silver Machine; 18 different versions of it appear on a total of 102 releases

- Other widely-released numbers are Hurry On Sundown (7 versions appearing on 56 releases), Master Of
  The Universe (22 versions appearing on 106 releases), Sonic Attack (18 versions appearing on 64 releases)
  and Spirit Of The Age (17 different versions appearing on a total of 58 different releases)

- Hawkwind have had 37 permanent members, and the same number of guests, making a total of 74 people
  to have been in the band!

- Of these, 21 were vocalists, 13 played drums, 11 played bass, there were 10 guitarists, 18 played
  keyboards, synth and/or electronics, 3 played brass instruments and 2 played violin.  (Some people did
  more than one thing, of course.)

- The lyrics to Assault & Battery were based upon a single stanza of a poem by Henry Wadsworth
   Longfellow, called
A Psalm Of Life

- The lyrics to Magnu are based upon the 3rd verse of Song of Apollo by Percy Bysshe Shelley

- Dave Brock and Pete Judd opened for the Groundhogs at the Bluescene in Twickenham on 31/03/69

- For about 4 months in the mid-80's, Guitarist magazine carried a regular feature called Langton's Leadlines,
  wherein Huw Lloyd Langton gave away all his secrets

- The opening number of the Sex Pistols gig at Crystal Palace on 27th July 2002 (for the Queen's Golden
  Jubilee) was 'Silver Machine', intended to be an acknowledgement to Hawkwind.  It remained in the set for
  their subsequent tour of the USA.

- A suspiciously cleaned-up sounding version of 'Silver Machine' was also used in a series of UK television
  commercials for Mazda cars in 2000

- The first ever Hawkwind CD was "Anthology Vol. 1" on Samurai Records, released in May 1986
- Hawkwind's sold-out gig at the Exeter Phoenix in October 2003 was an unannounced benefit for "The
  Future Sound of Exeter." Which, it turns out, is a collective of local musicians scratching to get by... they
  share all revenues from shows, CD sales, etc. in an effort to not have to go flip burgers at McDonald's.  It
  turns out that
FSOE put on the Hawkwind gig, and that the band donated their cut of the revenue (the
, biggest Exeter gig of the year) to the FSOE kitty.  Hawkwind have apparently agreed to do it again late in
  2004.  (And they did!)

- There have been 192 Hawkwind albums, ignoring bootlegs, non-Brock solo albums and straightforward
  reissues where the original album name / cover art was used.

- Of these, 20 were studio albums, 11 were contemporary live albums, 29 were retrospective live albums, 12
  were mixed live/studio, 51 were Hawkwind compilations, 6 were extensive Hawkwind appearances on
  general compilations, 6 were Brock solo albums, 42 were unauthorised, and the remaining 14 were "Friends
  and Relations" type albums.  They've also released 35 singles and 21 EP's...all figures correct as of the end
  of 2010.

- The earliest (and rarest) vinyl bootleg album was 'Mind Journey', recorded at the Glasgow Apollo on 10th
  August 1975. Allegedly there is only one copy in existence!

- The Church of Hawkwind album got its name from Michel Moorcock, who wandered into the recording
  sessions at Rockfield in Wales, and commented that it sounded as though they were in church.  He had also
  come up with the 'Sonic Assassins' tag all the way back in 1972.

- According to the Rolling Stone Encyclopaedia of Rock, the 'In Search Of Space' album sold over 100,000
  copies in the UK in 1972 alone.

- Despite his apparent dislike of Hawkwind, John Peel played "Infinity" and "Life Form" from the just-
  released PXR5 album during his set late on Friday night at the Reading Festival in August 1979. 

- The participation of various Hawkwind personnel on Bob Calvert's solo albums is well known.  But just
  slightly more obscure is the fact that both Simon King and Paul Rudolph went on to play on Brian Eno's
  "Here Come The Warm Jets" solo album (as a result of Eno having produced the Captain Lockheed LP)

- Q Magazine once ran a 'top ten' list of "70s Prog-Rock Song Titles That Explain Why Punk Happened."
  Hawkwind were at number 9 with "The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon"

- According to
this web page, Bruce Dickinson's 1996 'Skunkworks' tour used intro and outro tapes from
  Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters. "Catch a falling Starfighter" was used as the intro tape and "The
  Song of the Gremlin pt II" was used after the band had ended their gig.

- Hawkwind's 1972 hit Silver Machine featured 5 times on BBC's "Top Of The Pops".  These occasions
  were 13th July 1972 with Jimmy Savile presenting: 27th July 1972 with Tony Blackburn presenting: 10th
  August 1972 with Ed Stewart presenting.  On each of these occasions, the film clip from Dunstable
  Queensway Hall (7/7/72) was shown.  Silver Machine was also played, minus the film clip, on 24th August
  1972 with Jimmy Savile presenting: and finally, on the Christmas Day edition (25th December, 1972)
  presented by Jimmy Savile and Ed Stewart.

- Broadcast in Jan / Feb 2006, the BBC's
Life on Mars series, being set in the year 1973 and evidently
  directed and/or produced by one or more Hawkwind fans, has so far featured "Silver Machine",
  "Brainstorm", "Urban Guerilla", "You Shouldn't Do That" and Ejection" as part of the soundtrack...

These next three things are items that I believe to be correct, but I've no proof of any of them...

- Why does the Astrounding Sounds, Amazing Music album seem to have two different cover designs?
  Originally, the "radio" side, which carries the album title, was the front cover.  The back cover design was
  the vaguely sinister (as in Third Reich styling) "eagle" design, which carries the name of the band.  I believe
  the second pressing of the original UK vinyl release was inadvertantly done with the cover reversed. This
  seems to be the most numerous of the original ASAMs out there, but I don't know the numbers involved,
  i.e. how many were in the first pressing run as against the second pressing, etc..  The splendid
Files discography mentions at least one subsequent reissue (1983) that looks like it used the reversed cover
  as a template, which probably helped enshrine it thereafter as a legitimate styling of Astounding Sounds
  Amazing Music, for example on the box set that came out in in the USA many years later.

- Why has the Warrior On The Edge Of Time album never been reissued alongside the other United Artists
  titles that Hawkwind recorded in the first half of the 70's?  Aside from the often-made point that not all the
  musicians involved have agreed to it, there may be another reason.  Hawkwind's original UA contract was
  for 5 albums, and it thus expired with the release of Hall Of The Mountain Grill. However, Hawkwind were
  separately contracted to a record company called ATCO in the USA, and that contract was still running
  when they came to do Warrior On The Edge Of Time - and in fact was the only record contract that
  Hawkwind had at the time. So, the album was actually recorded for ATCO, they licenced it back to UA for
  UK (maybe European) release on a short-term licencing deal. Which has long since expired, and hence EMI
  (who acquired United Artists and their back catalogue) has never had the rights to reissue the album.

- The 1978 "Hawklords" album is often, and wrongly referred to as "25 Years On".  The reason for this is
  that when it was first released, as a promotional device, the first 25,000 copies had the words "25 Years
  On" printed in very small type in the top right-hand corner of the front cover.  This was a commonly used
  marketing ploy in the time, based on the idea that collectors would prize limited editions sufficiently to give
  these records an enhanced resale value - "one day it'll be worth a lot of money".  Which is quite cynical on
  the part of the record companies...but where are *they* now, eh?!
- Through the end of 2011, Hawkwind had played a grand total of 1,672 gigs.  They break down thus:
The first few years of the band's existence represented their heaviest gigging schedule, which stabilised at around 40 per year from the mid-70's onwards - until it went pear-shaped in 1998.  Maybe because manager Doug Smith left at that point?
The general trend is for the band to play Autumn / Winter  tours, hence the peak in November with the months either side also getting up there.  There is also a tendency for the band to do (shorter) Spring tours, resulting in the other peak during April.

The summer months are generally quiet and historically have tended to feature one-off festival appearances rather than tours.  There is a slight peak in June, which is probably accounted for by the Stonehenge and Glastonbury festivals that the band played in the 70's and 80's. 
The fact that London comes out top by a long way is no surprise.  After that, Manchester pips Liverpool, which compared to other cities listed here probably has the highest incidence of Hawkwind gigs relative to its population.

Amsterdam is the most often played city outside the UK, with 18 Hawkwind gigs. Chicago is tops in the USA...
The last time Hawkwind played at Hammersmith Odeon was 1992 (and they had not done a 2-night sellout there since 1989).  Some of the other venues are surprising - 18 appearances at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall?  The band may not play there any more (the smaller Wulfrun Hall has featured on recent tours) but it is at least still in existence: some of these venues have long since disppeared, e.g. the Dunstable
Queensway Hall and Glasgow Apollo were bulldozed years ago (1985)

- Through the end of 2011, the most played numbers at Hawkwind gigs were:
Only ever played twice: Fable Of A Failed Race, Sweet Mistress Of Pain, Clouded Vision

Only ever played four times:
Upside Down*, Stonehenge Decoded

Only ever played five times: Living On A Knife Edge, Wage War, Jack Of Shadows

*Upside Down additionally featured in the set list on all 4 of the December 2005 UK dates, as an interlude within Brainstorm.  I'm amazed they remembered how to play it!

These songs may admittedly have been played more than this, as the set lists (source material) are far from complete.  One more interesting fact is that some recently revived oldies never were popular stage numbers back when they were penned.  Examples are Flying Doctor (16 performances), Where Are They Now (21 performances),  Chronoglide Skyway (14 performances), You'd Better Believe It (29 performances) and Spiral Galaxy (20 performances)...most of them recent (rhrough the end of 2009...with even more since then)...
This contribution from Hawker fits the bill of being a snippet that doesn't easily fit anywhere else on the site:

Sometimes when I remember this I think I must have been dreaming. But no, it's true. In the year Xitintoday came out I was watching the BBC. I think it was Horizon I was watching. The subject was reincarnation. Suddenly there was the briefest glimpse of Sphynx on stage. Then the narrator says
something like "this young man" (yes that's the exact phrase) "believes he is the reincarnation of..." ...(some Egyptian)... and there is Nik Turner in full Sphynx body costume on Horizon!  My mum said "Oh my God" - not because it's Nik but because of the weird costume.  I explain it's a stage costume. He then took off the head covering and goes on to explain who he once was (the Eygptian that is, not the manic sax player from Hawkwind).  He's followed by some woman who knew Nik when he was an Egyptian and now they've met again.

The only thing I'm not 100% sure about is the programme.  It could have just been some other documentary on reincarnation but the voice I remember is that of the usual Horizon narrator from that period.

For a cross-reference, have a look at this 1978 newspaper clipping and you'll see what made Hawker's mum squawk!
Silver Machine just about sneaks into the Top Ten, at number 9 with 206 plays.  Also interesting were some of the least played numbers.  There are many which were one-off jams with whatever name applied to them, but here are some of the best known rarely played songs:

Only ever played once: The Reason Is, We Do It, Over The Top, In Your Area, Chronicle Of The Black Sword