|Hawkwind Profiles, 1981
These two profiles were each part of some sort of "Rock A to Z" exercise and both date from 1981.
They're not bad summaries of the band's nature and appeal, and the second one ends on a prescient
note. The photo is from around the time of publication
Dave Brock - vocals, guitar
Huw Lloyd Langton - guitar
Terry Ollis - drums
Nik Turner - saxophone
Dave Anderson - bass
Dikmik - electronics
That's about as near to the original line-up of Hawkwind as anyone's likely to get. The band has probably
gone through more personnel changes than any equivalent organization.
Formed in 1970, in London's Ladbroke Grove, the band was originally known as Group X, then Hawkwind
Zoo and finally Hawkwind. Later, they were to change yet again (to The Hawklords) before reverting to
Their first album, simply called Hawkwind was released in their first year. They gained something of a
reputation in the press notional and music as a bunch of spaced-out loonies. Nonetheless, they were
gathering an effective following of fans. In Search of Space was released and charted in 1971. The next
year, they had their biggest hit single with the archetypal Silver Machine.
Round about this time, Robert Calvert joined the band as singer and writer, and he certainly helped them to
mature a great deal in style. The statuesque Stacia was with them as dancer and an impressive sight she
was, too. Previously, Langton, Ollis and Anderson left to be replaced by Lemmy, Simon King (drums) and
Del Dettmar (electronics). Dikmik quit in 1973, Calvert and Dettmar in 1974 and Lemmy was fired the
following year. Subsequently, Calvert has rejoined and quit, so has Langton. Paul Rudolph has also been in
and out; Alan Powell joined as second drummer in 1974 and left two years later. Nik Turner quit in 1977. So
on it goes...
Ginger Baker was the latest to join and quit and that was in 1981. The only person who appears to have any
longevity with the band at all is Dave Brock who, to all intents and purposes, is Hawkwind. Their music has
tended to reflect their personnel situation - fluid, flexible, often shambolic. Nevertheless, they've carved out
their own little niche in the music industry and seem happy to stay there.
Hawkwind - Sunset (50374)
Space Ritual - United Artists - (UAD 60037)
In Search Of Space - United Artists (UAG 29202)
Doremi Fasol Latido - United Artists (UAG 29364)
In The Hall Of The Mountain Grill - United Artists (UAG 29672)
Warrior On The Edge Of Time - United Artists (UAG 29766)
Masters Of The Universe - United Artists (UAG 30025)
Roadhawks - United Artists (UAK 29919)
Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music - Charisma (CDS 4004)
Quark, Strangeness And Charm - Charisma (CDS 4008)
The Hawklords - Charisma (CDS 4014)
Dave Brock - guitar, vocals, synthesizer
Martin Grin [sic] - drums
Harvey Bainbridge - bass
Huw Lloyd Langton - guitar
Keith Hale - keyboards
Founded by Dave Brock and Nik Turner, Hawkwind began life as a loose collection of freaks from the
Netting Hill area of London who specialised in acid-oriented improvisations around a basic riff. For a time
they were known as Group X, having close associations with the loosely-termed alternative society.
By the time of their first album Hawkwind in 1970, they had attracted a small but fanatical following most of
it in London and south as Britain's premier stoned freak band. In that year they appeared at the star-studded,
Bob Dylan-topped Isle Of Wight Festival. Not that Hawkwind were on the bill: they just turned-up and
played for free outside the festival fence, Nik Turner painting himself silver much to the amusement of the
national press who'd gone along to watch the freaks at play and snap some nipples.
Basically however, Hawkwind's early reputation was centred around their willingness to play anywhere
anytime for free for any charity or cause with which they felt sympathy. A couple of drug busts, which
again made the Fleet Street papers, helped cement the mini-legend; the band's early following being attracted
as much by their philosophy/life-style as their music, which has never been adventurous.
Thus it was that they accrued the tags "people's band" and "the last of the true underground bands," while
the archetypal In Search Of Space second album managed to make the British 1971 album charts.
In 1972 Hawkwind played what was to be one of their most significant gigs at the London Roundhouse for
an "alternative music" organization, The Greasy Truckers. A live album was recorded, Greasy Truckers'
Party (Hawkwind on one side only), and from the out-takes came the band's million-selling Silver Machine
Their interest in science fiction developing rapidly (SF writer Michael Moorcock was an early aficionado -
Hawkwind were the subjects of his 1976 novel "The Time Of The Hawklords"), they used the money from
Silver Machine to fund their most ambitious project to date, The Space Ritual Road Show. By now they
were playing much larger venues, and the album Space Ritual Live was recorded at the Brixton Sundown
and Liverpool Stadium. Dancer Stacia and poet/writer Robert Calvert augmented the band during this period.
Subsequent months, however, brought a series of baffling personnel changes; they had remained a
loosely-organised outfit since inception, with people constantly leaving, returning, then leaving again various
other musicians often standing in for sick or missing members.
In early 1973 the long-serving Dik Mik (kybds) left the band, and in 1974 the aforementioned Calvert quit to
work solo (he later rejoined after two albums). Two other long-time Hawkwind(er)s, synthesiser player Del
Dettmar and bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilminster subsequently left the group, the latter being fired during 1975
U.S. tour. He has since formed Motorhead.
Simon House, previously with Third Ear Band, replaced Dettmar after "jamming" with the band on their
spring 1974 U.S. tour, and Paul Rudolph, formerly of the Pink Fairies, came in to replace Lemmy.
Hawkwind then took on Alan Powell as second drummer (he stayed on after depping for injured Simon
King), but left in October 1976 shortly after release of Astounding Sounds. This signalled another round of
changes: founder member Nik Turner went in December, and Paul Rudolph a few months later. Only
Rudolph was replaced and the group cut Quark, their 1977 freelance album.
In recent years Hawkwind have become virtually an institution in U.K. rock, though their status has shown
scarcely any growth since the heady days of Silver Machine.
South African-born Robert Calvert has made two solo concept albums. Captain Lockheed And The
Starfighters in 1974 and Lucky Lief And The Longships in 1975.
The 1976-released Roadhawks includes Silver Machine and chronicles the group's history from 1970-75. In
1977, Hawkwind released a compilation album on United Artists, titled Masters of the Universe, while
Charisma put out Quark, Strangeness and Charm. That year also saw their second book, Queens of Deliria.
In 1979, Simon House was replaced by Paul Hayles. The group toured the USA and then promptly
disbanded, and Dave Brock formed the Hawklords but by 1979 this band, having failed to win strong
support, folded up and a new Hawkwind emerged with the above line-up, except for Simon King on drums
(later replaced by Ginger Baker and then Martin Griffin).
In 1980 they switched to Bronze Records and Charisma released the compilation album Repeat Performance.
Alter much switching and a flurry of singles, the summer of 1981 saw the band with RCA and their latest
album. Sonic Attack.
Hawkwind are an enduring band if bewildering to keep track of, but in one form or another they seem set to
last another decade at least.
Hawkwind (United Artists)
In Search Of Space (United Artists)
Greasy Truckers' Party (Greasy Truckers)
Doremi Fasol Latido (United Artists)
Space Ritual Live (United Artists )
Hall Of The Mountain Grill (United Artists)
Warrior On The Edge Of Time (Atco / United Artists)
Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music (Charisma)
Quark, Strangeness And Charm (Charisma)
Live '79 (Bronze)
Sonic Attack (RCA)
Roadhawks (Atco / United Artists)
Masters Of The Universe (United Artists)
Repeat Performance (Charisma)