|Hawk-Lords' Psychedelic Warfare
Thanks to Soundchaser for this live review and photo from the regular "Caught In The Act" column
of the 23/12/74 issue of the Melody Maker. It refers to the Birmingham Odeon gig that took place on
15th December 1974, as part of the "A Dead Singer" tour - named after a Michael Moorcock story
that provided the bulk of the tour programme contents. Some aspects of that programme, referred to
in the text below, can be seen on the 1974 Tour Programme Excerpts page
"We are soldiers in the army of everlasting light, warriors from the burning heart of space, and we are at
the edge of time...¦ WE ARE AT THE EDGE OF TIME...¦ THE EDGE OF TIME...¦"
Actually, we're nowhere near the edge of time. We're at the Odeon, Birmingham. Hawkwind are four light
years into their current sell-out assault of this Sceptered Isle and we're having our brains reduced to raw
It's possible that "The People's Friend - The Enemy's Foe" (as this exciting team is described in the official
tour programme) have inflicted more damage to the brains of the nation than all the bad acid at Woodstock.
This is the psychedelic warlords' first full tour with new recruit Simon House (keyboards, synthesizer and
violin - a particularly effective instrument on "You'd Better Believe It") and second drummer Alan Powell.
It might not be totally accurate to say that the band, since the departure of Del Dettmar, have gone from
strength to strength musically, but they've retained a sense of impressive ferocity.
Nik Turner - in a luminous green leotard and frog's head mask- spends less time playing sax now,
preferring to indulge in mind fantasies with Stacia, all heaving cleavage and spaced out stares.
With Simon King and Alan Powell creating enough percussive force to bring down the walls of some
cosmic Jericho, and the rest of the band continually exploding into black holes of interstellar oblivion, one's
critical sense is all but obliterated, and all one can do is ride out into the darkness of the Hawk-lords'
As the demented strains of such gems as "Solar Attack" [sic] and "Master Of The Universe" echoed in a
holocaust of sound and flames, courtesy of Liquid Len's Light Show - one had to agree that the end was
well and truly nigh.
Well this page is just far too short...sticking with the year of 1974, here are some other newspaper excerpts
from earlier that year, relating to Hawkwind's second tour of the USA:
Hawkwind Caught in Tornado Drama
Hawkwind, currently on tour in America, were caught up in the tornado which swept the midwest last
week. Their equipment sustained damage estimated at nearly £1,000 when the roof was ripped from the
Nashville hotel in which they were staying. The band had to be evacuated from the hotel, but Nik Turner
commented "It was a terrifying experience, though fortunately we were warned in time and nobody was
The Hawks complete their U.S. tour on April 15, then return to Britain to complete their new album. Their
concerts in Chicago and Detroit were recorded, but no decision has yet been made regarding a possible live
album. The band are set for a European tour in May and June visiting Germany, Holland and Italy.
In the Wake of Hawkwind
A tornado hit Hawkwind the night after their concert in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday. A 120 mph
wind ripped off the roof of their hotel and severely damaged the group's equipment trucks. Said Nik Turner
"It was a terrifying experience. Lemmy and I were ice skating at the time and the glass roof of the rink
blew in. Fortunately no-one was injured." The band had to transfer to another hotel while the damage was
Hawkwind go on to play ten more dates in Canada and the USA before returning to Britain on April 15 to
complete the album they commenced recording in March. A European tour was scheduled for May
covering Germany, Italy and Holland.
That was what happened to them in the spring of 1974. They went back to the USA in September 1974
and...it got worse....
Wind Arrested In States
All eighteen members of Hawkwind, including Stacia, road crew and manager Doug Smith, were arrested in
Hammond, Indiana USA at 1.00am last Sunday morning. The group were on their third US tour when
agents of the American Inland Revenue seized the group at the end of the show in Hammond where they
played in front of 4,000 people. The Revenue Service claimed that the band had not paid an 8,000 dollar
revenue bill dating from February this year.
The group were taken to their hotel and told to remain there until all of their equipment had been packed up
and impounded by the Revenue service agents, then told they could go but that they wouldn't get their
equipment back till they paid the revenue.
"We're absolutely staggered by the whole thing," said manager Doug Smith. "Our legal advisers have been
consulting with the Inland Revenue Service for the last four weeks and we were assured we were not
eligible on the last tour as we broke even on it. Apparently these agents were from Chicago so we assume
they did not know. They have given us 48 hours to come up with the money otherwise they will sell the
equipment. Apparently they sat through the show before arresting us - perhaps they didn't like the music."