|Hawkwind at the Storming of the Bastille
This article is translated from the 14/8/75 issue of Dutch music magazine PTP. The photo of Stacia
appeared on the cover...
Magma were the original headliners, but have withdrawn. Hawkwind, Gong, Henry Cow and Man have
come off a busy tour from the sunny south of France to Paris for this festival. They actually find it none
too enjoyable, because there still seems to be an aversion to everything that is French. Now I must say,
there are a few things wrong with the organisation. Backstage there are disputes between the bands to do
with the length of the sets. Simon King (Hawkwind's drummer) is very restless although there is some time
to go before Hawkwind will play. However he has been impressed by the reaction of the French to
Hawkwind and the other groups.
Paul Rudolph - Quiet Canadian
Paul Rudolph is a pleasant Canadian, whom Hawkwind have known since he arrived in the United Kingdom
in 1969, to join The Deviants. A friend of his, with whom he had played in his High School marching band,
was already a member of the Deviants, and had asked if he wanted to come over to the UK. When the offer
was made, he didn't even know if they needed a lead guitarist or a bass guitarist. He had been earning a
living playing in nightclubs, so he just grabbed his guitar and his bass and took the next flight to Britain.
Pretty soon he left for San Francisco with the other two members of the group and two roadies, and then
sat on the west coast for four months doing nothing. "It was depressing", according to Rudolph.
Hot Dogs and Coke for Christmas
Paul: "In fact we had been invited over there. We went to Montreal where we spent Christmas. Our
Christmas dinner consisted of Hot Dogs and Coke. Man, we were hungry, but I still thought we could ride
The remnants of the Deviants left for the UK in the New Year, to form the Pink Fairies. Twink, the Pretty
Things' drummer, sat in from time to time. "We had something of the same reputation as Hawkwind. The
same popularity or unpopularity, however how you want to put it."
While Hawkwind were going from strength to strength, the Pink Fairies were seeing diminishing returns.
With the way things were going for the Fairies, Rudolph could no longer see the band making a go of it, and
himself became steadily less active. Troubles abounded, and some members planned to start a new band
with the lads from May Blitz. "We auditioned as many as a hundred drummers, but none of them had the
right feel, and they could see anyway that our current financial position was not strong."
Brian Eno Discovers Paul Rudolph
Paul: "It was in a club in the Portobello Road, where Brian Eno came in with John Punter, a friend of mine.
He saw me play and after talking to me, offered me the contract for his LP Here Come The Warm Jets. He
has a great musical ear and in the studio sometimes the engineers couldn't hear what he could hear. But I
have learned a lot from him in the studio. I now feel really completely differently about the studio."
While sitting here in the dressing room with Paul Rudolph, I hear an enormous detonation. Man are on stage
and have just started their second number. I run out of the room to find all is chaos, and then I see Stacia,
just emerged as I have, in tears. Things start to get a bit risky now, because a couple of French yobs or
nutters start throwing missiles and the trouble seems to be escalating. The French police, or at any rate, the
security guards, pour into the hall and seem to be prepared because they're armed with wooden clubs and
start laying about with them. It was all a bit anxious and actually pretty dangerous, but with such guests
that's how it must be, it seems. Several rioters now lie prostrate on the ground and matters seem to be
The rest of the evening labours under a definite atmosphere because of this, being anxious and tense.
Consequently, Hawkwind's performance could hardly be expected to be good, but despite everything they
are better than ever: cleaner and more efficient. Rudolph has adapted brilliantly to the rhythm of King and
Powell and Dave Brock (guitar) can now play more quietly: his amplified Sterling Morrison stylings no
longer dominate so much. Simon House finds greater space for his exploratory violin work. Hawkwind
leave the stage with a closing number which seems somehow to be an action replay of what went down in
the twenty minutes before their set.
Magma's Christian Vander
Before Hawkwind are even off the stage, the house lights go on and then an impressive character comes
onto the stage: it proves to be Christian Vander of Magma, here to explain Magma's absence. But he does
not get very far, because the audience are furious about it. "I wish I had been there", said Paul Rudolph the
following day (he had already disappeared when Christian Vander came on stage). "I would have dragged
him off with a bit of theatrical violence..."
In France rock music no longer seems to be the in
thing. In Paris itself there are large rock concerts just
as in London or New York, not to forget Amsterdam.
But nevertheless Paris seems somewhat left behind,
which is probably because the rock groups, in eight
out of ten cases, are still of English or American
origin. But in 'La Gare de la Bastille' in Paris, 8,000
people sat for seven hours to enjoy music by the
bands Hawkwind, Gong, Henry Cow, Man and one
Robert Wood. We cut over now to Allan Jones of the
Melody Maker, who was there to meet with
Hawkwind's new bass player.