|On The Road Again With A Bizarre Quest
From the 'Scene' section of the Sussex Herald issue dated 4th November 1993:
"They've been around for nearly quarter of a century and now they're off on tour again. Mike Donovan talks
Think Hawkwind, think spaced out music for the mind and body, maaan! And there's a big emphasis on the
body when it comes to the band planning the stage act on its current tour which wings into Worthing on
November 25 and hits Hastings two days later.
You see the band, together for almost a quarter of a century, are on the lookout for "bizarre" dancers. And
when they say "bizarre" they mean it if their history is anything to go by. There was the big and bountiful
Stacia - 6ft with a 42inch chest who used to throw lashings of psychedelic bodypaint over her naked flesh
and swing her mammaries and the rest of her body in time to Hawkwind's wafting, ethereal music.
It seems they need some eye-catching performers now as the members stand still behind their MIDIs
(Musical Instrument Digital Interface) computorising and synthesizing their sound.
"We have a solitary existence on stage," smiles leader Dave Brock, who fronts the band, currently pared
down to a three-piece. "We're stuck behind our MIDIs in a world of our own with 800 pre-set sounds and
we don't move about much so a few bizarre dancers might be useful.
"Stacia was a lovely, lovely girl but she's got married and has two kids. And there was Renee from America
and a fire-eater or two. But they've gone, so we want some bizarre dancers to add some theatricals,
hopefully for this tour. So if you know of any let me know! It would go well with all this spacey music and
the nice lights we have."
In the mean time it seems Hawkwind still enjoy an affinity with big breasted, attractive women. Take one
Samantha Fox. The former Page Three girl turned singer chose the band to perform the Rolling Stories'
Gimme Shelter for a charity performance. Brock says: "She was quite professional about it all and a nice
Other recent projects have included re-mixes of work such as Spirit Of The Age written by the late Bob
Calvert, a poet member who died of a heart attack five years ago. "It's keeping Bob's music alive," says
Brock. "Bob was a loony but very clever."
And the current tour is partly about promoting their new album, It Is The Business Of The Future To Be
Dangerous, and their single, The Right To Decide from their previous album Electric Tepee. The CD single
also includes a 'space reggae' number The Camera That Could Lie.
Hawkwind have had a few "big personalities" in an ever-changing line-up like former Cream drummer Ginger
Baker, Sussex-based guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton, Bevis Frond bassist Adrian Shaw (who will support them
with Nick Saloman in Berlin next month) and synthesizer weirdo DikMik. And who could forget head of
Motorhead, bassist and vocalist Lemmy?
The chief Hawk admits that down the years there have been troubles over drug-taking. He says: "Yes we've
had a few problems but when you're touring and having to work every night you have to know your
capabilities, particularly when you're getting on!"
Those cramming the Worthing's Assembly Rooms and sticking out at Hastings Pier expecting Hawkwind to
perform their lone chart biggie Silver Machine might be disappointed. "We haven't played it for years," says
Brock. "It gets boring. There are a few old chestnuts we don't play."
Hawkwind are a band which still needs to tour. "I'm not a millionaire," says Brock. "I've lost count of the
number of records we've had out and so many have been re-packaged. But I don't think we've had the
money we should have had from it all. We've been ripped off, but lawyer's fees are so expensive.
"Anyway, I've got a nice small cottage in Devon that I love with friends dropping round. It's not too bad.
I'm still enjoying what I'm doing even after 24 years.
"Each night you never know how things are going to work out with 800 pre-set sounds including sax,
trumpet and whatever. There's always the chance that you'll press the wrong button and the band will have
to go with whatever comes out!"
Could there eventually be a little more reverence and extra royalty return for Brock, aged 52? He says:
"Well, John Lee Hooker never got all his royalties until he reached his seventies!"
Brock began his musical career entertaining the cinema queues in the West End and is still going strong. But
if it should all fall apart he has another plan. "I'd go into the antique dealing business," he says.
He dismisses my suggestion that it would make him The Lovejoy of Rock. Still, it's better than being called
a Dinosaur of Rock.
"I've got a Silver Antique Machine..."
A look back at the trip so far
1970: Release of debut single Hurry On Sundown and the album Hawkwind. The line up included Huw Lloyd
Langton who left later that year and rejoined in 1979.
1971: Lemmy joined prior to the release of In Search of Space.
1972: A stable Hawkwind line-up was established in the form of Brock, Lemmy (bass), Simon King
(drums), Robert Calved (poet), Nik Turner (sax), Stacia (dancer), Del Dettmar and DikMik (electronics).
Release of the third album Doremi Fasol Latido.
1973: Release of the classic Space Ritual album recorded live on the previous year's tour. DikMik and Robert
Calvert left. Michael Moorcock began to make regular appearances.
1974: Del Dettmar left to be replaced by Simon House. Release of Hall of the Mountain Grill.
1975: Release of Warrior On The Edge Of Time. Lemmy was sacked following an arrest on the Canadian
border with a substance. Never charged but overnight was replaced by Paul Rudolph. Stacia left to get
1976: The year of upheaval. The band signed to Charisma and split from manager Doug Smith. Release of
Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music.
1978: During an American tour Brock decided to call it a day for Hawkwind and sold his guitar to an
1979: Brock decided to re-establish Hawkwind.
1980: Signed to Bronze Records and released Live 79. Hawkwind were now firmly re-established with the
fans. Ginger Baker replaced Simon King. The release of Levitation followed. The band's most successful
album in years.
1981: Ginger Baker left. Martin Griffin rejoined on drums. Signed to RCA and released Sonic Attack.
1982: Release of Church Of Hawkwind.
Nick Turner came back, followed by the release of Choose Your Masques.
1983: Andy Anderson replaced Martin Griffin on drums.
1984: Release of the 12-inch EP Night Of The Hawks. Release of This Is Hawkwind Do Not Panic.
1986: Signed with GWR Records.
1987: Headlined two extremely successful packages under the banner Acid Daze which sold 10,000 tickets
at London's Finsbury Park and 8,000 at Leeds Queen Hall.
1988: Toured the UK and Europe extensively. Recorded their first studio album in four years, Xenon Codex,
1990: Recorded Space Bandits. UK tour followed by another successful USA jaunt.
1992: Release of the studio LP Electric Tepee by the three-piece with Dave Brock, guitar, keyboards and
vocals; Alan Davey, bass, keyboard and vocals; Richard Chadwick, drums. Set out on their first proper UK
tour in two years during April and May.
1993: October saw Hawkwind once again breaking new ground and showing the "new kids on the block"
how it's done. The release of The Future Of The Business Is To Be Dangerous is supported with a European
tour, taking in 22 UK dates and 12 in Europe.