|Album Sleeve Notes, Part 8
At the conclusion of the previous chapter, the
sleevenotes for the 1984 reissue of Hawkwind's
eponymous debut album (Liberty SLS 1972921),
we left the group in September 1970 with a roster
comprising Dave Brock (guitar, vocals), Nik
Turner (sax, flute, vocals), DikMik (electronics),
Terry Ollis (drums) and Thomas Crimble (bass).
DikMik quit in May 1971, intending to head for
India, but this departure was neither his first nor
his last and he returned in August to operate the
audio generator alongside Del Dettmar, a roadie
who'd been drafted into the band on DikMik's exit.
Crimble also left during May, to become involved
with the following month's Glastonbury Fayre
festival preparations. He appeared with the group
at the event, standing in for a temporarily
indisposed Brock, as well as replacement bassist Dave Anderson (ex-Amon Duul II). The band were
augmented by Bob Calvert, and Stacia, two individuals who were to play vital parts in Hawkwind's
As indeed did the late Barney Bubbles, remembered by Nik Turner as the artist and designer who "really
gave the band an image and, with help from Bob Calvert, a direction" with stage sets, equipment
decoration and artwork for record sleeves, advertisements and posters.
The record-buying public's first exposure to Barney's work was the intricate cover design for the group's
second album, "X In Search Of Space", released in October. A complex, interlocking, fold-out sleeve
included photos, lyrics and credits and enclosed the Hawkwind Log, a booklet of SF and occult based
ramblings put together by Calvert as a more serious forerunner of the Total Perspective Vortex later
envisaged by author Douglas Adams.
As the lyricism embraced the "Technicians of Spaceship Earth" concept, the music successfully
integrated the previous album's busking basis of "Hurry On Sundown" with the electronic improvisation
of "Seeing It As You Really Are", closing the gap between songs and instrumentals towards a point at
which the listener could trip out and boogie at the same time!
Side two's opening track "Master Of The Universe" was to become regarded as a classic, lending its title
to a 1977 compilation, appearing on several live LPs and a 1983 single flipside. Remaining a stage
favourite to this day, it is the earliest of the group's recorded numbers to undergo reworking for retention
in their repertoire.
DikMik's return to the ranks led to his photograph's late addition to the album sleeve at the expense of
symmetry, His recommendation of flatmate Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister as replacement for Dave Anderson
(who formed Amon Din with ex-Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton) saw the introduction of
another important character to the Hawkwind story, giving speedfreaks and bikers a member to identify
Terry Ollis was next to leave, in December, his place being taken by Simon King, who'd been in Opal
Butterfly with Lemmy. The classic Hawkwind line-up was now complete.
On 13th February 1972 a benefit concert was staged at the Roundhouse in aid of an 'alternative
community organisation' known as the Greasy Truckers. The gig, featuring Hawkwind, Man, Brinsley
Schwarz, Magic Michael and Byzantium (who lost out to a power cut), was recorded and a double album
compiled from the tapes. "Greasy Truckers Party", released in May and scheduled for deletion on 31st
August, included Hawkwind's performances of "Master Of The Universe" and a lengthy "Born To Go",
the latter making its debut appearance on vinyl.
Another track recorded at the event was to become a milestone in the group's career. The tape of "Silver
Machine" was taken into Morgan Studios for remixing and overdubs including a new lead vocal featuring
Lemmy in place of Bob Calvert. This was released as a single in June, with a picture sleeve depicting a
winged monkey grinning through a framework of cogs...or something...and promptly began a chart
ascent which took the band to no. 3 in July.
October 19i78 saw "Silver Machine" back in the chart, though only reaching no. 34 this time, with a new
picture sleeve reproducing the "Doremi Fasol Latido" album artwork on a white background, whilst a 12"
edition was issued with the design as a silver embossed 'mirror' sleeve.
January 1983 brought more than the simple addition of a 7" picture disc and revamped sleeves for both
black vinyl editions (the "Doremi" logo now in white on a black background). Whilst a couple of
pressing errors kept collectors busy, it went largely unnoticed that the version of "Silver Machine"
featured was the 1975 remix prepared by Dave Brock for the "Roadhawks" compilation. This has been
retained to date, even surviving a change of label from United Artists to Liberty, leaving the original single
version unavailable until its inclusion on this collection celebrating the 18th anniversary of its release.
Further confusion surrounds its flipside, "Seven By Seven". The 1972 version was replaced by a
different mix for the mostly ignored 1976 reissue. 1978's charting re-release restored the original mix,
although the 12" single used the alternate cut.
To complicate matters even more, the 1983 edition of the 7" pressing, along with the picture disc, contain
the "Space Ritual" rendition recorded at Liverpool Stadium in 1972, contrary to the label credit. For
"Stasis" we have selected the 1976 remix of the studio version.
The success of the original release of "Silver Machine" provided a welcome upturn in the fortunes of a
band dogged by a miscellany of thefts, accidents and illnesses: just a couple of months earlier the group
were driven to the verge of disintegration when $8,000 worth of uninsured equipment was stolen.
Fortunately AKG and Vox offered replacement but Hawkwind's performance at the Bickershaw Festival
suffered from the use of unfamiliar gear, Simon King playing with a fractured wrist and Bob Calvert
having only recently rejoined following his recovery from a nervous breakdown.
"Silver Machine" produced an injection of cash for channelling into ambitious projects, both from the
single's sales and from the cover version by -wait for it- James Last!
The next item on the agenda was the recording and release, in November, of "Doremi Fasol Latido", an
altogether heavier set than previous albums. Conceptually, "a collection of ritualistic space chants, battle
hymns and stellar songs of praise as used by the family clan of Hawkwind on their epic journey to the
fabled land of Thorasin", setting the band members as heroes of a space fantasy saga wherein the Lords
Of The Hawk, having fought a losing battle against the Bad Vibe squads in the age of the machine logic
god Eye See Eye, departed from the planet, swearing to one day return to rid the world of evil, intending
to seek help from the Great Mother and the Galactic Union. The story continued in the programme for
the forthcoming tour, an earthbound audio-visualisation of the fabled trip.
Opening track "Brainstorm" was the LP's highlight and subject for subsequent rearrangement, several
versions turning up on vinyl and video over the years.
German fans were treated to a single combining an edited "Lord Of Light" with a substantially trimmed
"Born To Go" (from "Greasy Trucker's Party"). Unfortunately, neither of these items were available for
this compilation, but as "Lord Of Light" has been spared the over-exposure suffered by most of
Hawkwind's classic tracks, the unedited studio recording has been included.
The Space Ritual tour coincide with the release of "Doremi" and was the group's third tour of 1972, each
having featured a different set. Two dates, Liverpool and Brixton, were recorded and in May 1973 a
double album was released containing virtually an entire performance. "Brainstorm" and "Time We Left"
appeared in truncated form and encore track "You Shouldn't Do That" was shelved for the time being (it
was later dusted down by Brock for use on "Roadhawks").
"Sonic Attack" was the only single taken from "Space Ritual" and that was a promotional-only release. It
proved another enduring track, being included on the "Masters Of The Universe" compilation whilst a
studio version became the title track of a 1981 album, and remains a 'live' favourite.
Personnel upheavals reported in the press had Brock, Lemmy and DikMik (again) leaving the group, but a
full line-up appeared at the Wembley Empire Pool on 27th May to promote the album and to preview the
The British follow-up to "Silver Machine" was "Urban Guerilla", backed with "Brainbox Pollution", a
change in style reflecting Brock's statement that "Hawkwind music is city music and it's trying to relate
to what's happening". Although written two years earlier as a satirical comment, the release of "Guerilla"
coincided with an outbreak of terrorist activity. This prompted the decision to withdraw the single,
despite its having penetrated the Top Forty. The initial intention to flip it over and promote "Brainbox" as
the topside was abandoned and whilst "Guerilla" turned up on "Roadhawks" three years later, "Brainbox"
has never reappeared until now.
Calvert subsequently dropped out of the band to concentrate on his solo project "Captain Lockheed and
the Starfighters", the album of which featured the Hawkwind crew to such an extent that the single
"Ejection" became a regular inclusion in their live set. DikMik made his final exit in September, returning
Two months later the group embarked upon a preliminary expedition to the States for a handful of dates,
immediately followed by another UK tour. The Edmonton Sundown gig on January 26th was recorded
for a possible live album but only three of the tracks subsequently made it onto vinyl.
For their second US trip the band were "unofficially" accompanied by ex-High Tide keyboardist Simon
House, allowing Del Dettmar to play from an offstage position. House had become a full-time member
by the time Hawkwind returned to the studios in May to record their next album, "Hall Of The Mountain
Grill", named after a Portobello Road cafÃ© ("city music", remember?).
Three instrumentals were included, these being House's title track, Dettmar's brief "Goat Willow" and
Brock's "Wind Of Change", the latter, perhaps surprisingly, emerging as the LP's 'classic' piece, later
featured on the "Roadhawks" compilation. Lemmy's "Lost Johnny" (co-written with Mick Farren)
featured the bassist on rhythm and lead guitars as well as vocals, reappeared on the "Masters Of The
Universe" collection and was later reworked by Motorhead.
"Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In Smoke)", the seven-minute opening track, was edited down to
under four minutes for release as a single in August. The song was re-recorded for RCA in 1982 but this
version has been unavailable since the original single's deletion.
One of the Edmonton live tracks, "It's So Easy", provided the single's coupling and was later included on
"Masters Of The Universe". Two more tracks from the gig, "You Better Believe It" and "Paradox" had
appeared on "Mountain Grill" when it was released in September. There were edited down, "Paradox"
also being notably remixed, for a German single. Both sides are included on this compilation.
Just a week after having completed the album, Hawkwind were due to tour Scandinavia and the
Netherlands. Simon King promptly broke three ribs playing football so Allan Powell (ex-Vinegar Joe) was
drafted in to deputise. King recovered in time to play the last three dates alongside Powell, the
double-drumkit sound gaining favour and leading to Allan becoming a fully-fledged member, while
Dettmar chose this moment to leave and emigrate to Canada.
September's American tour brought out the usual gremlins, all 18 members of the entourage being
arrested in Indiana for non-payment of taxes. Their equipment was impounded and the remaining dates
rescheduled for October. A massive UK tour opened in December but was prematurely curtailed in
February 1975 with the group exhausted after a year of working practically non-stop. A tired and
emotional Brock suggested that the next album would be their swansong, the culmination of everything
they had been working towards.
Recording began in March, the theme now sword and sorcery with Michael Moorcock guesting as
vocalist on two tracks, "The Wizard Blew His Horn" and "Warriors", the latter being a revised version of
a poem from his book "The Eternal Champion".
"Warrior On The Edge of Time" lived up to Brock's assessment in as much as it was certainly their finest
album to date, both musically and production-wise. Although he selected "The Golden Void" for
inclusion on "Roadhawks", the LP's real classics are "Assault & battery" and "Magnu", both still inherent
parts of their live set.
"Kings Of Speed" was released as a single, backed with Lemmy's composition "Motorhead" (frustratingly
unavailable for use). May 1975 brought the album's release and the US tour which ended an era as
Lemmy was ejected from the band following his arrest on possession charges. Whilst he flew home and
formed Motorhead with ex-Pink Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis, another ex-Fairy, Paul Rudolph, flew out to
become Hawkwind's new bassist.
By the end of September, Stacia had left to get married, Liquid Len / Jonathon Smeeton had quit
(rejoining in November). Bob Calvert had returned to the fold, the latter's second solo LP "Lucky Leif and
the Longships" had been released and Hawkwind's debut album had been reissued on the Sunset budget
Brock spent November in Olympic Studios, selecting and remixing tracks for the "Roadhawks"
compilation which was released in April 1976, a month or so after the largely unnoticed first reissue of
Another compilation "Masters Of The Universe", appeared in February 1977, since when various
Hawkwind LPs on United Artists have been deleted, reissued, repackaged, rehoused on different labels
under the EMI umbrella and enjoyed by each successive generation of fans.
The group itself has seen numerous personnel changes over the years, through arguments, sackings and
reconciliations, their direction shifting with similar regularity, 1985 bringing a return to sword and
sorcery with their adaptation of Moorcock's "The Chronicle Of The Black Sword."
1988 brought the untimely demise of Bob Calvert, to whom this compilation is respectfully dedicated.
May the "Silver Machine" fly forever.
Dedicated to the memory of Robert Calvert, Barney
Bubbles, John 'The Bog', Supernova and to Sue
Bennett (from Lemmy).
Robert Calvert had always had a fanatical interest in
flying, and ultimately in space (outer and inner),
science fiction, and all its aspects. He was
stimulated originally by, amongst other things, 'The
Eagle comic, with Captain Dan Dare, pilot of the
future, and the fiendish Mekon', 'Jet Morgan -
Journey Into Space', sci-fi writers, Clarke,
Vonnegut, Heinlein, Dick, Asimov etc.
Robert later became involved in the space rock
band, 'Hawkwind', which his mate Nik Turner had
formed with some friends, and which Nik invited
Robert to join, as Space Poet. Robert welcomed the opportunity. He had already worked on the band's
album, 'Xin Search Of Space', a science-fictional 'concept album', about a space-ship which landed on
earth, and became two-dimensional, that being the album sleeve, the vinyl representing all that remained of
the band and it's memories. Included within the overall concept was the log of the Space-Ship
'Hawkwind', which told of the ship's various travels and adventures, and embodied the metaphysical,
metaphorical, philosophical, astronomical, and astrological, ideas and ideals, inspired by their impression
of Nik's vision of the band.
Robert had worked on this concept with another mate of Nik's, the very inventive and creative Mr.
Barney Bubbles, the then art director of 'Frendz' magazine, the underground newspaper. Barney was
responsible for the band's artwork, graphic imagery and ultimately stage presentation. For Robert, joining
the band enabled him to develop an idea he had been working on for some time; that of his space rock
opera. He saw it, initially, as a stage performance that would ultimately develop into the idea of a 'concept'
album: the record of the event. Calvert was working on the concept generally, and was writing a
structure for a mixed-media show, embodying music, songs, and poetry, lighting and imagery, dance and
mime, and other theatrical effects, all very avant-garde and experimental.
Around the same time Robert was working on his songs, one of which was a song called 'Silver
Machine', which Hawkwind recorded and released as a single, featuring vocals by Lemmy the
'bass-strangler'. The band at that time was Robert Calvert - vocals and swazzle, Nik Turner -
sax/flute/vocals, Dave Brock - guitar/vocals, Lemmy Kilmister - bass/vocals, Simon King - drums,
Dikmik - dikmikator/audio generator, and Del Dettmar - VCS3 synthesiser/delatron/hod. The record went
to the top of the charts in the U.K. and Europe, and its success enabled the band to think realistically and
financially, about mounting Robert's space-rock opera extravaganza, the 'SPACE RITUAL'.
Barney and Robert worked on the stage presentation, with Jerry Fitzgerald, who was responsible for
realizing the stage equipment designs, building and readying for Barney to paint his paintings on them, and
for Barney to create his overall magical presentation.
These were to cover many aspects, the overall concept was to embody that of the music of the spheres,
the Pythagorean principal of the planets of the solar system. This corresponded to the notes in the
western Pythagorean scale, with members of the band and their positioning, being a part astrologically
and astronomically, with reference to the colours, the astrological signs, the ruling planets, and the relative
colours of the relevant planets. He designed each piece of band equipment for each member of the band,
painted in particular ultra-violet light-sensitive coloured paint. Also embodied in the designs was the inner
story about the Hawk which steals the heart of the lotus, rather than doing the necessary spiritual work to
achieve enlightenment. Ironically, all the band's equipment was actually stolen from them some time later,
so who knows to what portentous statement Barney might have been alluding? A story within a story?
Some of Barney's designs, those where the speakers were to be mounted on pneumatic structures which
were to vary automatically, in response to the need to control and limit certain sound frequencies and
maintain them within Barney's defined harmonic parameters, were never actually completed, but are
included here in order to demonstrate Barney's attention to detail, his comprehensive vision of his grand
plan, and his conscientiousness in his overall design. Everything Barney did for Hawkwind he did from
the heart, for the love of it, and executed it with love.
The basic principal for the Starship and the Space Ritual is based on the Pythagorean concept of sound.
Briefly this conceived the Universe to be an immense monochord, with its single string stretched between
absolute spirit and, at its lowest end, absolute matter. Along this string were positioned the planets of our
solar system. Each of these spheres, as it rushed through space, was believed to sound a certain tone
caused by its continued displacement of the ether. These intervals and harmonies are called The Sound Of
The Sphere's;' the interval between the Earth and the fixed stars being the most harmonic interval. The
musical intervals do not coincide with the reality of their actual positions, but the following arrangement is
generally accepted for the musical intervals:
Earth to Moon - one tone
Moon to Mercury - one half tone
Mercury to Venus - one half tone
Venus to Sun - one and a half tones
Sun to Mars - one tone
Mars to Jupiter - one half tone
Jupiter to Saturn - one half tone
The sum of these intervals is equal to the six whole tones of the octave. The octave or harmonic scale
contains sounds within its own frequency these sounds ranged by increasing sharpness are called 'notes' -
do re mi fa sol la ti do.
When the colours of the spectrum are added to the musical notes and their respective planets we end up
with the following musical analogies:
Do - Mars - Red
Re - Sun - Orange
Mi - Mercury - Yellow
Fa - Saturn - Green
Sol - Jupiter - Blue
La - Venus - Indigo
Ti - Moon - Violet
By drawing the diagram on the following page and positioning the band in their normal line-up, we arrive
at this solution.
Del and Bob - Jupiter/Mars/Sun
Dave and Dikmik - Sun/Mars
Nik and Lemmy - Sun/Venus/Mercury
Simon - Moon/Earth
Dancers - Jupiter/Saturn/Stars
Assuming the stage area to be our solar system, the audience becomes space outside our system, and the
perimeters of the stage become near space. Near space being divided into our Zodiac System, [see
diagram]. This system provides sympathetic feedback both in colour, shape, and invisible geometry. The
music can awaken the Starship, but its fuel must be Audience/Hawkwind Mind-energy. We were born to
go. Bless all who sail in her.
To break away from our system and enter deep space will need a booster. Each Musicnaut comes under
and contacts a Sphere of Influence. To boost this, each person feeds into a computer/life-pack, while at
the same time the life-pack is scanning for information and broadcasting the Musicnauts' amplified
impulses. Each sensor will be placed in its appropriate 'space' situation.
Around the immediate area of the sensors are light poles, one for each Zodiacal sign; an Inner Space (four
elements) and an Infinity Outer Space. As these are the boarders of Near/Outer Space, they will be
coloured to their appropriate element.
Earth - White
Air - Green
Fire - Red
Water - Blue
Inner/outer - Purple
Barney also referred within the Space Ritual plan to the vitally important integral component/ principal, the
Module -the Tetractys- which hath the fountain and root of ever springing nature! By connecting the ten
dots, nine triangles are formed, six of them form a cube; the same triangles also form a star. The three
unused points represent a threefold indivisible causal universe, i.e. Microcosm/Macrocosm, the whole
figure arranged within its Pythagorean Geometry manifests the name of God.
Barney designed the great heraldic banners which flew from the lighting trusses, each representative of a
band member. Nik's was defined as a swan with 5 stars around it, emblematic of Lohengrin, the Heroic
Swan-King of Teutonic Mythology and other banners portrayed iconic images alluding to other members
of the band. Barney had a very artistically, creative, intuitive and astute eye for salient and relevant
characteristics and detail and he designed lighting with colours co-ordinated to each band-members
characteristics. Liquid Len and the Lensmen, (Jonathan 'Liquid Len' Smeeton, 'Molten' Mick Hart, John
'Leaky' Lee, and 'El Pyrana' Jon Perrin), co-ordinated on this, producing multiple imagery, and
staggeringly astounding lighting, to Barney's order, with mind-boggling effects. Doug Smith, the band's
manager, arranged all logistics, the band worked on the music, including a lot of Robert's songs and
poetry, and songs of the rest of the band-members, individually and collectively written, and poetry of the
awesome time-lord, science-fiction, science-fantasy writer, Mr. Mike Moorcock. All this was
incorporated as an overall concept, with a story and allegorical, metaphorical, metaphysical, astrological,
astronomical references, as the scenes change into different dimensions, other worlds, different realities,
the great ritual of space, the music of the spheres, the planets moving relative to each other within the
solar system, other solar systems, the great cosmic wheel, other universes, the shifting galaxies, super
novae, black holes, the infinite possibilities, other dimensions, other realities.
Nik rehearsed with the dancers, Miss Stacia (larger than life, statuesque Valkyrie), Miss Renee Le Ballister
(magical fay spirit), and Tony Crerar (cutting edge mime artist). The whole show was assiduously
rehearsed by band, dancers, sound and lighting and all stage crew. The band and the stage were the
space-ship, the audience were the driving force that powered it all to other dimensions and other realities,
other spaces. Andy Dunkley was mothership control, holding it all together, with his DJ'ing, 'FM on the
road.' Tour managers, John 'The Bog' and Alex 'Higgy' Higgins, sound engineer Steve Casey, road-crew
Bob Batty, 'Hairy' Pete, Graham 'Muscles' Reynolds, (and Fran Reynolds) made it all happen. Everything
to do with the promotion carried on in the Hawkwind Lady, drawn in a super chrome finish, and
suspended in space.
The colour themes were continued throughout every aspect of the band's promotion and design, tickets
and advertising; the complete colour co-ordination of everything. Costume designer Miss Debby
McNeedles and Miss Joan Ferguson, with co-ordination by Lady Jilly, record company administration
from Martin Davis and Andrew Lauder, press officer Ewan Greeneyes and Asgard Enterprises agent Paul
Fenn mounted the whole 28-date tour.
And so the Space Ritual took off, or had it already gone, or was it yet to come?
-Mighty Thunder Rider xxx
See if you can make any sense out of this next set of sleeve notes, written by Nik Turner. In 2007.
Hawkwind began their professional life as Group X
before changing their name to Hawkwind Zoo, and
shortening that to just Hawkwind when they signed
with United Artists Records in 1970. The band had
been formed by guitarist and singer Dave Brock and
the original line-up also included Huw Lloyd
Langton, Terry Ollis, Nik Turner, Dave Anderson
They built their initial reputation playing many of the
free festivals which proliferated in the UK in the
early Seventies. Their first eponymously titled album
was a commercial failure but following the arrival of
poet and writer Bob Calvert in their ranks,
Hawkwind's fortunes were to change rapidly.
The band's first chart album In Search Of Space
reached the top 20 at the end of 1971, and was
followed by a steady stream of big sellers which has been carried through to the present day. Their early
gems included Doremi Fasol Latido, Space Ritual Alive, Hall Of The Mountain Grill, Warrior On The
Edge Of Time and Astonishing Sounds, Astonishing Music. Altogether they have spent 96 weeks in the
In July 1972 Hawkwind had their first and, to this day biggest hit single with Silver Machine. It's a record
which has become a classic of its time, still frequently picking up airplay and even charting again in
October 1978 and in the Eighties. At the time of its original release it peaked at number three. Hawkwind
enjoyed two other minor single successes, Urban Guerilla and Shot Down In The Night.
Like many other bands, Hawkwind went through numerous personnel changes. Huw Lloyd Langton,
Terry Ollis and Dave Anderson eventually left, and Lemmy (who later went on to form Motorhead),
Simon King and Del Dettmar -in charge of the electronics side of the group- joining. Bob Calvert also
eventually left the band's ranks but in spite of all the changes, Hawkwind as a rock outfit has refused to
lie down and die, still being led by Dave Brock.
It's true that the punk era in the mid-Seventies dampened their record sales, and at one point they even
changed the name of the band to Hawklords, and recorded an album called 25 Years On, which was a
minor chart success in 1978, but the early Eighties saw a revival in fortunes and they've retained a huge
following, both with their live shows and on record.
Hawkwind have come a long way from Ladbroke West London, and the Isle of Wight Festival which he
their name. Their live act is a wonderful fusion of heavy metal, sci-fi and space rock. Their original hippie
philosophy meant that their initial appeal was very much "underground", but there are few genuine rock
fans around now who haven't heard the band at some point, in particular their personal anthem Silver
Hawkwind have released some two dozen albums in the last 16 years but this collection is sure to appeal
to fans old and new. It's a great compilation of tracks which illustrate the perennial appeal of the band.
-Chris White, Music Week