Starfarer's Hawkwind Page
|An idea that I more or less lifted from Knut Gerwer's Spirit of the (P)age site - quotations by other parties about Hawkwind. Thanks to Frank Weil, who sent me much of this material, and to those who originally posted it to the BOC-L/Hawkwind mailing list. Thanks also to Dave Law for many pieces.|
|Quotation from Nigel Ayers of the band Nocturnal Emissions
(This is a fairly brief snatch of an interview with Nigel which can be found in full here.)
"If you look at the whole of that so-called 'Industrial' scene from Cabaret Voltaire to Marilyn Manson, the band with the most far-reaching influence wouldn't be Throbbing Gristle, but...Hawkwind!
This is something that they rarely mention in the press, as Hawkwind have this reputation as a British 'hippie band' who do 'science fiction' and theatrics, and therefore must be naff. Whereas if they were a German hippie band... Zoviet France have told me they were very keen on Hawkwind. SPK were well into Hawkwind back in Australia. And what are Graeme Revell (SPK) and Brian Williams (SPK, Lustmord) doing nowadays? Making soundtracks for science fiction films - I rest my case! I think it's about time Hawkwind were reassessed. I have long been tired of those outfits who cite influences no-one has heard of, or can stand listening to. Back in the early 70s, Hawkwind were the first band I was aware of to popularise the idea of sonic attack: infra- and ultra- sound as a weapon. Listen to 'Sonic Attack' on Space Ritual. That of course has long since been taken up by that whole noise scene, but Hawkwind were rarely acknowledged.
If you look at the 'information war' thing, you'll notice that Hawkwind had the post-modern writers, Michael Moorcock and Bob Calvert working with them. Though Moorcock is best known for his very popular science fiction and fantasy genre work, it's more accurate to call him a postmodernist, or at least a modernist. Moorcock pointed many in the direction of William Burroughs and J.G. Ballard - and stone me, he even wrote for Re/Search. When Hawkwind's In Search of Space came out in the early 70s, it came with a booklet of very similar material to what the London Psychogeographical Society, The Association of Autonomous Astronauts, Ian Sinclair, and Tom Vague have been doing more recently. Whenever I used to see Psychic TV, I thought 'Hawkwind'. Whenever I saw Throbbing Gristle I thought 'Hawkwind without the lights...and without the tunes'. That combat clothing thing - Hawkwind!
Which brings me to the point that I would definitely question: the history of punk rock and weird music that overlaps it, that media hacks have tended to spout. I remember that, apart from media darlings the Sex Pistols, the DIY punk scene in early 70s Britain seemed to be much inspired by the efforts of Hawkwind, the Edgar Broughton Band, the Pink Fairies and even Gong - and the context of the free festivals - a self-organising proletarian cultural gathering often involving a bit of a knees up and maybe a punch up with the coppers. See also 'rave'. Brian Eno, for example used to hang out with the Pink Fairies. The whole set-up and costuming of Roxy Music was a direct crib off Hawkwind. AMM - my arse! Eno's a populist, otherwise why's he working with U2? In 1972 Hawkwind followed up 'Silver Machine' - a million selling hit about a time travel machine built by the pataphysicist Alfred Jarry - with the single 'Urban Guerrilla'. It was pulled by the record company because of fears about an IRA bombing campaign in London at the time. They later re-recorded it with Johnny Rotten. Joe Strummer's 101'ers and The Stranglers used to play on the same bill as Hawkwind in the free festival days, pre 1976. In interviews at the time, Strummer cited Hawkwind as an influence on The Clash's first album. Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks admitted he spent a lot of his youth listening to Space Ritual and derived a lot of his musical direction from it. And of course Lemmy of Motorhead used to play bass in Hawkwind. I went to see Sun Ra and his Arkestra once, and I got bored after 20 minutes of that jazz shite and went home. I've seen Hawkwind loads of times and they rock!"
|Paul Hayles on the subject of the 23/12/77 Sonic Assassins gig
As far as the Sonic Assassins gig was concerned - it's a memory stretcher but I think it was on the 23rd Dec - I remember it as a Christmas gig. We were supported by a band called Osmosis or something like that who were led by a couple of guys who had been in Ark (the band that myself, Harvey and Martin had played in previously). They also had our old dancer, Lois, who went on to work with the Rocky Horror Show. Harry Williamson, their guitarist, was the son of the well known English writer, Henry Williamson (Tarka the Otter etc) and he went on to design stages for the Rolling Stones and now lives in Australia. Alistair Merry who played percussion and sang lives quite near me in France although I haven't seen him for a few years - he went a bit mad and tried to kill himself by crashing his car.
We played for about an hour - the tape I have is just a 1 and a half sides of a C90 and corresponds pretty much to the one you sent me although yours is definitely s different mix from mine. The line up of the band was Bob Calvert on vocals - totally in a state - he had also recently had a car crash whilst trying out a car he was thinking of buying, breaking the neck of a girl we all knew (origin of the song Death Trap). He was very much in two minds about the future of Hawkwind and was concerned about whether Sonic Assassins were rehearsed enough - it was true we had not rehearsed very much except for the new songs - two I think, Death Trap and Free Fall plus the one hundred percent improvised Over the Top which came out of Dave and myself getting a synth pattern going and Bob thinking it was going into Master of the Universe. When it didn't and the others joined in, he then started his very good vocal ad lib (someone told me he used a poem he had already written), in any case it was all totally unrehearsed or even planned.
Dave Brock - guitars and oscillators - he had lots of fun as usual in his white doctor's coat and had lots of confidence in us new boys,
Martin Griffin - drums, he had been Ark's last drummer and had a share in a studio down in Cornwall. We all went down there shortly after Xmas to record a few overdubs onto the live tape. It was this overdubbed version that was used for the Sonic Assassins EP.
Harvey Bainbridge, bass. Harvey was a good mate although we've rather lost touch over the years. He's now living with his parents somewhere in the north of England and occasionally putting out some keyboard stuff.
And myself on keyboards. I was using my Wurlitzer electric piano through echo wah-wah and distortion pedals, a string machine and a Roland SH100 synth and a second synth whose name escapes me, both of course were mono.
The concert in the Queens Hall Barnstable was a sell out (700 fire regulation capacity) and was a good party. This hall had been Ark's home ground and we could fill the place almost by ourselves so the added Hawks was a big bonus. Over the next couple of years I got lots of correspondence and face to face comments suggesting that Sonic Assassins was the direction Hawkwind should have gone in but..........
When I joined the Hawks regular line up for the US tour, it was apparent to me why Dave wanted to change - the vibes were really bad between all the different members. In fact I think I was the only one who was on talking terms with all the others - I hadn't been around long enough to fall out with anyone. And Dave tried to get me into a lot of the radio interviews and made sure we talked about Sonic Assassins every time. But then, the tour came to an end and things were obviously falling apart quite seriously.
We didn't play Quark as, although I think it was part written, it wasn't a complete item at that time.
|Peter Hammill, vocalist of Van Der Graaf Generator, on Bob Calvert & Hawkwind
He was a good man. And like a lot of good men he was troubled. BUT he made a lot of good work out of his troubles... He told me once that it was actually 'Killers", one of my earliest songs, that brought him into music.
The thing I remember, the images that are most vivid are the goggles and the megaphone - and the flying scarf. The Hawkwind of the mid-seventies shows were very theatrical, but they weren't slick. And I don't think they were after putting up a slick show - or after perfection. To me it was more a theatre in an Agit-Prop way. VDGG played with Hawkwind numerous times throughout the 70s - from the early days on, when Calvert wasn't a member - or only a loose one up until the mid/late 70's when he became the band's lead-singer & frontman. Van der Graaf and Hawkwind were obviously very different bands in style - where Hawkwind had this one riff that went on and on and on - eventually evolving into a kind of soundscape, VDGG had one riff, and another and another - this complex musical structure (and we didn't have a Stacia either....) But in terms of the noise, the rawness and energy level during their live performances they weren't that far away. The anarchic element and the sonic quality and rawness of punk was there, both in the performances and sounds of HW and VDGG.
|Quote from Melody Maker's "Any Questions" page, 5th February 1972
Q: How did Hawkwind get their name and how do they define their music?
A: Well, it all started as a joke, because Nik Turner has a prominent proboscis and suffers from indigestion! But really it goes a lot deeper than that, because we're all deeply involved in ancient mythology and numerology. The hawk represents a winged god in Egyptian mythology and is a symbol of strength and power in Pagan mythology. It is a dominating bird of prey, with a strong spirit, travelling on the wind. The title is also connected with Hawkmoon, a character devised by famous science-fantasy writer Michael Moorcock, in his story of the runestaff, an ancient staff with great powers of good. All our names and the title Hawkwind have powerful influences when worked out in numerology. We play extra-terrestrial music, in which we try to get the audience involved. Participation creates energy and through the energy it is possible to make experiments. We are working on all kinds of sound developments, because sound has different points which can either make you feel good or bad. It's a matter of getting them sorted out. - DAVE BROCK, Hawkwind
|Quote from the two presenters (Mark Russell and Robert Sandall) of BBC Radio 3 show "Mixing It", 22nd June, 1992
MR: Well, what was that second mystery item? Well we're continuing the "where are they now?" theme, and I'm sure you will be stunned when I reveal that it was the title track from the new Hawkwind album. Yes, they're still going! It's called "Electric Teepee" and it's on their own Castle label...I was amazed that Hawkwind were still going.
RS: It's lovely to hear the old folks enjoying themselves, isn't it? Yes, I think that anyone who has a soft spot for the old space boogie team really ought to go and listen to this new Hawkwind album. There's only one of the original members left -Dave Brock- all the others have either died or left, and it's astonishing really to me that they can still sound as convincing on this album as they did back in the 1970's. There are really only two sorts of songs on this album, I think it has to be said, the more cosmic synthesisery track, that we just heard, and the driving rockers, and the album basically falls into those two parts. But I must say that they really do pull the whole thing off.
MR: I suppose, as on that track we've just heard, they're in a way in vogue with all this Ambient House music that's going around. Because, I mean The Orb, which was fronted by Steve Hillage, was just that sort of music with breakbeat drums.
RS: Exactly, and these people have obviously been messing around with electronic sounds for a lot longer than a lot of the younger kind of techno freaks.
MR: Shame about the title and the artwork. It's real Roger Dean artwork from the 70's, isn't it?
RS: Red Indians in outer space, yeah...
Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet, on their interactive CD 'I Talk To Planets':
You're talking about one of the greatest bands ever - in their early period. 20 minute songs, sounds like fucking Black Sabbath at 45 with strobe lights pointed at the audience. Nothing like frying people's brains. Naked dancing people... They were just making up their own dogma - it was great. When you're 13 years old and pick up an album like that. It was fucking great. Ever see the Space Ritual? It folds out to the biggest fucking package ever. We have it. This is what I saw when I was 12 years old. I went into a record store and bought this thing. Just ambiguous enough for me to read anything into it that I wanted to.
Quote From RAM (Rock Australia Magazine) November 18, 1977:
At a HAWKWIND concert in London this week, bouncers felt compelled to use excessive violence when restraining the sci-fi rock group's fans. In turn, vocalist Bob Calvert threatened the bemuscled morons with a microphone stand to save his followers from serious injury. (See, the hippie dream still lives!)
Quote from Music Street Journal interview with Albert Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult:
MSJ: There have always been some connections between BOC to Hawkwind (the collaborations with Michael Moorcock, etc.), and that has carried through to Brain Surgeons. Were you friends with that band, or fans? How did that connection come about?
AB: We played a few gigs with HW but they were typical reserved Englishmen - except for Lemmy. We played a lot more gigs with Motorhead. The Brain Surgeons came to do the HW songs at the request of our fans who were fans of both groups.
MSJ: Is working with Dave Brock or any of the other Hawkwind members something you would like to do in the future?
AB: The biggest problem with even considering that would be logistics. Great music often needs time to stew. It's hard to collaborate with musicians who live in NYC much less Merrie Old England!
Quote from Dave Brock, in an email to the BOC-L/Hawkwind email list, on 25th September 2000, concerning the then forthcoming Hawkestra 30th anniversary reunion:
At the moment I have spent the last few weeks trying to get an interesting mixture of old and new material together with various members participating in it.
We cannot please everyone connected with this band, but I am trying to do the best for the fans. The object of this whole conception is to put on a exciting show, both visually and sound wise, having a jolly good time in the process and hopefully to keep the starship flying into the 21st century. Unfortunately there seems to be objections about recording and videoing the show, which is a shame, as I am sure that from everyone's point of view (both collectors and band members) this would be to mutual advantage.
So come on everyone (band members, management, etc.) no grumping!!!
Another quote from Dave Brock, in an email to the BOC-L/Hawkwind email list, on 16th October 2000, re: the Hawkestra:
Finished rehearsing in Devon now. All this has been quite a task, dealing with phone calls, lightshow etc. We are off to London now to rehearse the next step, with the dancers and other ex-members, some of whom I have not played or spoken with, for 20-odd years or more.
Perhaps certain members of the band will be spotted in disguise by sharp eyed Hawkfans at the Beehive!
Rod Goodway, relating an anecdote about Bob Calvert on stage:
As for the greatest Hawkwind 'Spinal Tap' moment, (and sorry if you've heard it before) it's hard to top the ATOM HENGE stage props, where (at Adrian Shaw's first gig with Hawkwind) Bob Calvert dragged me onstage, at the Roundhouse, to be his 'Man', in "Waiting For My Man", and there's me "...all dressed in black / cocaine in his shoes and a big straw hat...." etc, selling the Bobster this white powder which, in desperation for 'stage props' I'd grabbed up a scoop of dry shampoo from the make-up table. So, in front of this thrashing heap of hippiedom, Ade looks across at me (his old mate, onstage at HIS first gig with the band) mock-'dealing' Calvert this heap of dry shampoo... and looks on *in horror* as Calvert leers at the audience with a true pantomime Dame expression of "Mmmm, nice" ... and snarfs the bloody lot up his nose!!! Arf arf - what a true STAR Calvert was...
Quote from Simon King in (indirect) answer to a couple of queries on the BOC-L/Hawkwind email list:
Q: One of the items he had for sale once was a 7" single called "Oh my Fingers They Do Ache", which apparently was a version of "British Tribal Music" but with vocals. Anybody know anything about this?
A: Yes, there was once a copy of British Tribal Music with vocals made while we were all stewed to the gills, but I didn't know anyone still had a copy of it...interesting...
Q: Also regarding HW film footage, remember the BBC Michael Moorcock program which featured a clip of HW playing Silver Machine? Can someone tell me if that was the TOTP clip, or am I right in thinking the clip was a different one featuring two drummers?
A: It was a Top Of The Pops video clip and had only one drummer – me! (hee hee)
Quote from Gerry Bron, founder of Bronze Records:
"We did quite well with Hawkwind, but they were a bit lazy," Bron maintains. "They constantly wanted to do live albums, so they wouldn't have to write songs. Ginger Baker joined them in 1980 for Levitation, but somebody else had played the drums and the album was just about ready to go. Ginger insisted on re-dubbing his own drum parts and I told him with the greatest respect that it was almost impossible, but he did them one after another and it took no time at all."
|From a Dave Brock interview in February 1975:
Moorcock will be working with Brock on a new Hawkwind concept called "Warriors On The Edge Of Time." It's based, apparently, on a Moorcock series of novels, The Eternal Champion (Brock wants Arthur Brown for the title role).
"Nik's really gullible, you know. He knows so many people, and they always used to take him for a ride. It's so easy because he's not very sussed out. People always used to ask Nik if we'd do a free gig somewhere."
|Nik Turner, from a June 1975 interview:
Q: Do you think now you're going to be a working band for a long time, or is there still room to make money and get out fairly young?
A: Yeah. I think there is still room. I would hope that one isn't forced into work on the road and doing one night stands 'til one's 50, because if I felt that was the case I don't think I would want to continue really, 'cause it's too much like hard work. I mean the music itself isn't hard work, it's the travelling that's tiring. It makes it very much like just a regular job, travelling to work, that same old boring trip.
|Bob Calvert in a 1975 NME interview:
Q: One track in particular seems to have aroused a lot of criticism for precisely this attitude; "The Lay Of The Surfers". To say that it's derivative of surf music would be an understatement. One chorus runs thusly: "I guess you could call us, Barbarians, Bar Bar Barbarians, Bar Bar Barbarians..." Strike a chord? It's meant to! What about it, Bob?
A: Just seemed to me that a song about the Vikings' attitude to piracy was suited to a cross between heavy rock and surf music. I don't think it sounds like The Beach Boys, but, then it's not meant to. I don't set out to mimic Jan and Dean, although I love them. I'm not the Dick Emery of pop . . .
|From a full band interview in Live, 1977:
"…lending credence to the theory that old Hawkwind fans never grow old, they just go deaf or OD."
Back in the dressing room, the lads are pleased by their rapturous reception. Simon King, mildly upset that Liverpool were held by Everton that afternoon, enthuses about his freebie Nipponese drum kit (superbly miked for the show), while Dave Brock, tired but relatively unemotional, settles down to finish Frank Herbert's The Heaven Makers.
"And I was in a band called Hawkwind which was one the quintessential fucking hippie bands"
|Source Unknown (review of Rock At The Oval gig on 16/9/72):
Then the lights darkened, the boggies leapt to their feet as they heard Del and Dikmik's oscillators speeding up, and we all faced our private crises on Spaceship Earth, while the giant words 'Life Supply' and 'Functional' winked on and off in the heavens. These boys are no longer Ladbroke Grove aristocracy but genuine wasted Sergio Leone-type pop-stars and the act has tightened up enough to keep this together. There was a strong feeling of deja vu about the Wind's set, a strong echo of the early Floyd, not musically but in the incredible vibes built up between an audience and the sounds they identify strongly with. It was a shame Mr Brock and the boy's piece de resistance, the firework display, had to be cancelled due to lack of time and increasing charyness by the genteel cricket club officials already narked by the bonfires blazing away the sacred turf. A shame 'cos a bonfire and fireworks scene would have been a good lift at the end of a good Oval.
|Steve Peregrin Took, in a 1974 interview:
"Then I started working with Bob Calvert, and he's quite mad…"
Q : Hawkwind are about the only underground band left, aren't they?
A: Yeah, they're pretty bizarre actually. I think Hawkwind are a goodly contribution to the underground. I'm doing this Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters tour with Bob Calvert. He's not too keen on forming a regular band 'cos err, he's been through that one too, I suppose. He's a good writer, I'm quite impressed actually and he's got the kind of splendid infamous reputation as I have, he's quite a good business man. We've just recorded a single calling ourselves the first eleven, and it's a wonderful cricket song which is playing to such programmes as "Top of the Pops" and "Crackerjack". It features such denizens of the underground as Paul Rudolph and Bob Calvert and assorted nutters, I believe Russell Hunter. Dressed up in cricket gear, which I think is a deeply commercial idea. Someone suggested to me last year that I should go on the pubs doing a cricket song, playing a cricket bat with a couple of machine heads and strings on it. Dressed up in my cap and my white outfit on, I thought that was moody, and then it strikes me as being highly disgustingly moody. That's quite nice actually, 'cos the BBC would sort of go "Oh yes, Great Britain and cricket, keep the public's morale up". Instead of the Wombles, these sort of nutters, yes, a definite plan that should work, I'm going to take it upon myself.
|Olympic Studios engineer George Chkiantz, on the recording of In Search of Space:
Hawkwind were the only band I've worked with where individual members of the band approached me asking to be turned DOWN in the mix. They were that unconfident in their own musical ability!
Space Ritual DJ Andy Dunkley recalls the Space Ritual tour:
The Floyd had been a little into that area [Space Rock] but the thing about Hawkwind was, they were more raw, they were more rough'n'ready, and you could dance to them. I drove to the first gig of the Space Ritual tour [Corn Exchange, King's Lynn on 8/11/72] with Barney Bubbles. We got to the gig, everything's set up, the light show's set up, the band's soundchecking on stage, and lo and behold, here comes the East Anglia Drugs Squad. At the time everybody used to stash their drugs in their equipment, and here come the sniffer dogs, up onto the stage and towards the gear. Suddenly everybody left the stage apart from DikMik and Del who were still noodling away on their synthesizers. The dogs come on stage and both DikMik and Del let loose with the subsonics. The dogs freaked, totally. They didn't have a fucking clue what was happening and were unable to find a thing even if they'd wanted to.
Adrian Shaw, in a 2003 interview:
Q: Would you like to play with Hawkwind again?
A: No I wouldn't like to play with them again. I couldn't work with Dave Brock and I know he feels the same about me.
|Mick Farren, in his book 'Give The Anarchist A Cigarette':
The biggest surprise was the sudden rise to fame of Hawkwind. After labouring long and hard, they had scored a completely unforeseen top-ten hit with the uncharacteristically short and radio-friendly 'Silver Machine'. Mercifully the band appeared little affected, whether in lifestyle or attitude, by having their pictures in the papers or being on Top Of The Pops. The Hawk Lords continued to dine on the grease and flypaper at the Mountain Grill, and their only concession to pop stardom was going to gigs in a Mercedes bus.
|Mike Kemp, the founder of Spaceward Studios on the recording of Text of Festival:
(Mike recorded the Hawkwind gig at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on 21st February 1971. This recording subsequently ended up as being disc 2 of the Text of Festival album)
"I met Gary Lucas because he had been spotted by the promoter of the Hawkwind concert unloading his Revox as he arrived for the [Cambridge University] term. (Pembroke being close to the Corn Exchange). He was asked to come and tape the concert but he had no mics etc so he sought out me as the secretary of the Cambridge University Tape Recording Society. Being shy and retiring I muscled in on it and we spent a very noisy evening on the roof of a small booth (used as a cloakroom I think) adjacent to the stage and overlooking it and the crowd. We sat in about an inch of dust (the old Corn Exchange was filthy) and mixed some mics we slung over the stage and a feed from the PA - the best we could manage. The mixer was a C.U.T.R.S. built contraption designed by David Robinson (now chief engineer of Dolby) but which had its faders wired up wrong so all the control was in about 1/8th inch of travel. It had to be adjusted by light taps with a sheet of paper to avoid 20dB changes in level if the move was even visible. I recall a valuable STC 4038 microphone was destroyed when a fight broke out and cost (the university) about £100 to repair!"
|John Savage in his book "England's Dreaming - S*x Pistols & Punk Rock":
"Notting Hill's radical pretensions and realities highlighted and masked the real hardship that existed at its' outer fringes... Freston Road and Elgin Avenue/Chippenham Road were the sites of mass squats...In July 1975, it was estimated that of the country's 50,000 squatters, at least 60% were in London. Squatting was then an ideological choice... as well as a practical solution to the most basic need of housing. This was the harsher version of the hippie dream, with a soundtrack by the group Hawkwind."
|John Lydon, in his autobiography "Rotten - No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs":
"Musically I was into Alice Cooper and Hawkwind... Mum used to love the music I used to buy. Just before leaving home, she would always come upstairs to my room and ask in her heavy Irish brogue 'what have you bought lately son? I heard some noise earlier on I liked'. No, Mum, you wouldn't like this. It's Hawkwind's first album..."
|Chats & Interviews <|> Gig/Tour/Festival Reviews <|> CD/DVD/Book Reviews <|> Photo Galleries
Free Hawkwind Downloads <|> Resources <|> Other Features
News <|> Links <|> Search <|> Site Map <|> Home
|Michael Moorcock in an interview with Crescent Blues:
People are always asking me how I "broke in" to publishing and music. The simple answer is that I didn't. I was invited in...It was the same with rock and roll. ...I went out with Hawkwind when [Robert] Calvert was in the loony bin and there's nothing sweeter than going in front of an audience of several thousand people who are really, really glad to see you!
I like doing rock and roll songs but there are limitations... Dave Brock wants me to go over for the [Hawkwind] revival get-together for the millennium at the end of December, but my old rule was that I would only do a gig if I could walk to it. It used to be handy when I lived near the Hammersmith Odeon, but now the gig would have to be in Lost Pines [Texas, Moorcock's current home]!
|Dave Brock in a January 1971 NME interview
"If we had a little more money, I would like to turn the whole act into a kind of circus with a complete light show where we could give things away, papers and food etc. Originally we just wanted to freak people out - now we're just interested in sound. For instance, if a monotonous sound like a chanting goes on long enough, it can really alter people's minds. Very few people seem to realize what can be done.
We try to create an environment where people can lose their inhibitions. We also want to keep clear of the music business as much as possible - just play for the people. It's like a ship that has to steer around rocks, we have to steer round the industry. But I'd like us to go on Top Of The Pops. It's so ridiculous - we could simply turn it into a party, get everybody to join in and just never stop. They'd never be able to get us off."
|Fan Quote found on http://www.classicrockpage.com
:You know what it's like, you look forward to seeing some artist or other and then when you get there - it's rubbish... Hawkwind were at Goldsmith College, London (supported by Sweet - don't laugh, Sweet could be quite good on the night but not tonight). It started off badly, the Hawkwind fans didn't take kindly to Sweet who in turn ended up mooning the audience. Not exactly high art. Eventually Hawkwind took to the stage, by which time in the absence of "certain substances" I had had a drop of whisky, a very L-A-R-G-E drop. So Hawkwind, who I had seen many a time before, started (this was around their "In Search Of Space" period) and the strobe lights were pointed at the audience. I think I lasted 5 minutes before my head was pounding louder than the bass drum. At which point, I had to get up and leave. So remember whisky and Hawkwind do not mix!" - Keith
|Quote from Lee Saunders
"Playing truant from school, we would go to Portobello Road and hang around cafes and bars. We would scrounge cups of tea from Pop stars like David Bowie, Mark Bolan or harass Lemmy playing space invaders. Bowie and Bolan I knew were pop stars, they were on TV but Lemmy was with Hawkwind at the time, so not a well known act yet. I think seeing Hawkwind for the first time was my first step without knowing it. This was just before Punk, nothing really stood out for me, I didn't think there was much of a choice. Bowie, The Stones, Bay City Rollers, or shit like 'Middle of the Road' with Chirpy, Chirpy Cheep Cheep.
We were so young, you had to rely on your best friend's older brother to buy the records and you listened to the band you liked. In my case that was Hawkwind. Everyone has a favourite album, you know changes your life, so to speak. Mine was Quark, Strangeness and Charm by Hawkwind. This was the album that decided for me to get a band together and be a musician. I must have played that album so much, it wore out all the grooves."
(Lee is a solo artist and former member of Crystal Void, who in 1987 supported Hawkwind in the Brighton Centre at the World Sci-Fi convention. Lee's website is here)
|Quote from Michael Moorcock interview at the CorporateMoFo website
"I've written for Hawkwind. . . We were in the happy position of being the only band the Pistols had any time for! That is the only 'long hair' band-that is, the Hawkwind, Motorhead axis in general. If you look at lyrics like "Kings of Speed," "Sonic Attack" and "Needle Gun" (all mine), you see more in common with punk than peace and love. Our lyrics weren't that dissimilar. And Hawkwind, don't forget, refused to play the media game very much as the Pistols refused. We didn't have the pleasure of telling Bill Grundy he was a miserable old hack, but we might have done, more reasonably... I think if you look at Spinal Tap and substitute smarter people for the main characters, you have a fair picture of Hawkwind at their weirdest. There are lots of stories - the time Nik Turner suddenly rose into the air beside me when we were performing - the time we arrived late for a gig and an outside, slippery stage. I managed to stop at the edge of the stage as I ran out. Nicky didn't. Dressed in a complete frog suit he flew out over the audience, saxophone in hand-and was caught by an amiable bunch of fans who thought it was all part of the act. They simply passed him back to the stage and he started playing..."
|Hawkwind at Reading 1975 - from http://www.drfeelgood.de/gigold1e.htm
"Midnight on Friday. Hawkwind shambled offstage amid amplified exhortations to "smoke plenty of good dope" having blasted the wax out of every ear for miles around.
As they strolled backstage - Nik Turner wreathed in orange hair and smiles, Simon House deadly serious and toting a small child - the audience at the first night of the Reading Festival turned their collars against the sudden cold, shivering. The temperature, never particularly high during the whole day, seemed to have taken a sudden plunge as the last rumbling notes of "Silver Machine" died away. Camp-fires were being stoked into life here and there. Post-mortems on the the now deceased body of the days music were being held.
"Whatcha fink of the 'Awklords then?" demanded one guy of his pinch-faced girlfriend. "Grayt," she replied ... "
|Huw Lloyd Langton Q&A session at http://homepages.which.net/~simon.arnold1/cdrev5.htm
Q: It's a long time since I saw you with Hawkwind on tours like "Chronicles of the Black Sword", what have you and the band been up to recently?
A: Well recently we held a Hawkwind re-union where we played with all the current and ex-members, it was a great night which completely sold out. I also have a CD out with the Lloyd-Langton group and regular jam sessions in Kensington on Sunday nights.
Q: I'm impressed... I would have thought that their re-union would have ended as a pitched battle on the stage!
A: No, it was a seriously good night and everyone seemed genuinely pleased to be there and I think it showed with everyone really getting into it
|Letter published in early 70's edition of unknown music paper
I heard Hawkwind on John Peel's Sunday show recently - and I am convinced that here at long last there is a group that creates a sound equal to PinkFloyd. Hawkwind's use of electronics, through the sheer musical genius of Dik Mik, created a new concept in music. Watch out, Floyd - Hawkwind are going places.
|John Lydon, from a 1986 interview
Contrary to popular opinion, the teenage Lydon was never a skinhead. "Nah, I always had long hair then. I was always much more into Hawkwind than reggae. I liked some of the clothes, but I could never have a crop, because I've got big ears, and I look stupid. I'd look like a jug!"
Caroline Coon, from her book '1988: The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion'
We discover The Clash's first brush with reggae, 'Police & Thieves', was supposed to sound like
Julian Cope, from his book 'Krautrocksampler'
Define Krautrock. Ask Julian Cope: "Krautrock is what Punk would have been if Johnny Rotten alone
had been in charge - a kind of Pagan Freakout LSD Explore-the-god-in-you-by-working-the-animal-in-
you Gnostic Odyssey. A sort of very fit Hawkwind without the Doomsday Science-Fiction."
Richard Mason, from an article entitled 'The Shock Of Neu!'
I confess, the reason I bought the first Neu! LP was because it had a sleevenote by Dave Brock of
Hawkwind, for me at the time the very zenith of cool and wonder. (The degree of influence that
Hawkwind's patronage had on the U.K.'s reaction to several of the German groups in the 1970s got
is another story altogether; another time, perhaps.)
|Ian Christe, in "Sound of the Beast: the Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal"
Hawkwind get a couple of mentions in this new book, which basically credits Black Sabbath with invention of the genre.... But "dozens of early contemporaries of Black Sabbath contributed to the development of what would later be considered heavy metal." Included in the roll of honour (which is titled 'Freakography') is "Hawkwind, Hall Of The Mountain Grill (1974)" (p.16)
On p.29: "Lemmy.was... a popular member of the LSD-fueled space rock roustabouts Hawkwind."
|Ian Rankin, in "The Falls"
Hawkwind get a couple of mentions in this book, too. Thanks to Wilfried for spotting these in the German translation ("Puppenspiel") from which they've been approximately rendered back into English as follows:
On p.118: "The students in the flat next door were playing a CD which sounded like bad Hawkwind from twenty years before, which probably meant it was by some fashionable new band."
On p.29: "Hawkwind's "In Search of Space" thudded out of the car speakers."
|Jim Bessman, in his book "Ramones: An American Band":
"The guitar sound [first Ramones album producer] Leon [Schacht] wanted to get was similar to that on Hawkwind's British hit "Silver Machine".
David Gilmour, quoted in "Pink Floyd: Through the Eyes of the Band, its Fans, its Friends and Foes":
...what did he think of Hawkwind, the newest prophets of the UFO tradition? "I don't ever listen to them, but they seem to be having jolly good fun", said Dave without the trace of a smile.
Joe Harrington, in his book "Sonic Cool: The Life and Death of Rock'N'Roll":
"On the wilder side of Space Rock there was the British band Hawkwind: they wowed 'em at all the festivals, so I guess they were good hippies after all, but persona-wise they were strictly badass, which was a twist on the whole celibate image of most immaculately buttressed progsters. One of the more futuristic -as well as horrific- bands, Hawkwind basically grew out of psychedelia, which meant they had a built-in propensity for taking drugs. In a way they were kind of a Brit version of the Dead, who also wowed 'em at festivals, only Hawkwind was less organic and more krypton-fed. Despite the insanity of some of their farther-reaching space probes, they never let their prog ambitions overshadow their distinct Rock drive - which was among the most violent of the time. Then again, what would you expect from a band that once incorporated Lemmy?"
Hugh Gregory, author of "1000 Great Guitarists":
"Brock has been at the helm of Hawkwind ever since their inception in the late 1960s around the Ladbroke Grove area of West London. Since then the group's lineup has undergone myriad changes, but Brock's tenuous grasp of reality has been strong enough to ensure the band's survival. While their albums have been erratic over the years, they have pursued their own rather eccentric path, espousing a view of the world influenced by science fiction and pulp novels. Brock's guitar work has remained as effective and unselfconscious as it was when the group began."
George Tremlett, in "David Bowie: Living On The Brink":
...Simon House, electric violin, who had been playing with Hawkwind and was astonished to receive a phone call from Bowie. They were at school together 15 years earlier and had not seen or spoken to each other since.
|Hawkwinded! – Letter in unknown publication
Please print this. Dave Brock of Hawkwind should be told what went on at the final concert of their tour, at Bournemouth on December 9, 1986.
Nearly 500 fans were trying to get in through one door a foot wide! Then the manager refused entry to at least a quarter of the crowd even though they had £5 advance tickets! (my mate and I included). We couldn’t believe it. There were no refunds either, and it seems to me the place was overbooked. When we asked about refunds we were told to contact the promoters, “Kimberley promotions”. Fat chance!
There were also several policemen being their usual blunt, and unhelpful selves. Printed on the tickets was “R.O.A.R.” (refusal of admission reserved), but in that case advance tickets should not have been sold.
We’ve waited two years for Hawkwind to return to Bournemouth, and when they do they play a crappy disco called The Academy. Then we paid £8 for a taxi home! The end of a cosmic night.
-Disgusted Steve, Wimborne
Fly The Hawk! – response to previous letter:
In your issue of January 10 there is a letter from "disgusted Steve" and titled "Hawkwinded", about the fans that were turned away at Hawkwind's Bournemouth gig.
I can well understand that these people felt ripped off...but by no means were the band to blame. Dave Brock and the boys were just as disgusted with the gig. I was there and I could not believe what was happening.
Firstly the gig was booked at the last minute: the organisers had no experience of rock concerts and, as usual, underestimated Hawkwind's popularity. And that is why the promoters, as well as the local police, were surprised by the turn out. When the band arrived for the soundcheck, there was an under-18 disco going!!! You can imagine how we felt. The whole experience was very upsetting for everyone involved with the band.
Hawkwind play more benefits and free gigs than anyone else in England, so do not blame them for one bad gig for which they are not responsible. They knew about all the hassle going on and were concerned but what can they do?
Anyone who did not get in who sends their ticket with a stamped addressed envelope (a large envelope) to us will get a little consolation present of some sort. I know it is not much but it is the only thing we can do now.
Steve, keep flying the Hawk...please.
Yours cosmicly - Frenchy Gloder, MD Flicknife, London W3
Michael Moorcock, in the Introduction to "Corum: The Prince With The Silver Hand:
"This heroic fantasy...is dedicated to all those old hippies with whom I shared an honest track or two in a kind of golden Celtic afternoon some years ago - Nik Turner, Dave Brock, Terry Ollis, Huw Lloyd Langton, Harvey Bainbridge, Simon House, Simon King, Pete Pavli, Graham Charnock, Bob Calvert, Adrian Shaw, Steve Gilmore, Lang Jones, Martin Griffin, Barnie Bubbles, Martin Stone and many others - when gods and heroes still knew how to have a damned good time."
|Michael Moorcock, on Bob Calvert:
"Bob was crazy. I mean he was actually certifiably crazy, whatever that means. I actually talked to the doctors and stuff because I've bailed him out of bins. One bin. I'm exaggerating. I bailed him out of one bin, where very clearly he was just being drugged up and being kept there sedated, with no treatment or anything. I was quite heavily involved in trying to get him out of that, and get him healthy, I took him up to Yorkshire and stuff, and got him sort of set back up again. But he was incapable of staying on track. Although he had the talent for it, and I admire his talent considerably and I mean I really do admire his talent a lot. It showed more in his individual work than in his work with Hawkwind, although his work with Hawkwind was good. I think he was a very good rock and roll person, but he was a snob and he didn't believe that that was what he should be doing. He thought he should be recognised as a poet and a novelist. Unfortunately he hadn't written much poetry or written a novel, which was part of the problem. Also when he started to go up, he would get extraordinarily arrogant and unpleasant to roadies and people who he thought below him. He was just awful. I mean people really did hate him because it was not simply craziness it was really nasty craziness. He would get vicious with people, almost anyone he worked with. I've seen roadies sabotage Bob just out of sheer fucking tiredness of his behaviour. Just cut off his sound system."
(This quotation, and the one following, are from the Illustrated Collector's Guide to Hawkwind)
Michael Moorcock, on Dave Brock:
"I like Dave, you know, I mean I really do like him. I think what he does is very good. I've got a huge admiration for how he's kept the band together. He has kept it together, and he keeps it together every fucking night on stage. He's brilliant at doing it. It may appear anarchic, but Dave's got a superb sense of timing. You know when it is free-wheeling he can always bring it back in, you know assuming the band's up to it, and the equipment's working, those things aside, Dave can just get the dramatic tensions going again, and he's very very good at it.
You know Dave is Hawkwind, you have to accept that that's the case. That without Dave, the band would simply not be the band. It just wouldn't be. It wouldn't exist. However I'm much more in sync with Nik Turner than I am with Dave temperamentally."
Arthur Kane (New York Dolls bass player) on Stacia:
"You know Stacia? She's kinda crazy, right? The last crazy girl I was with tied me up and tried to cut my thumb off." He shows off a slashed thumb. "I'm worried she might try to kill me" he says.
(This is from an NME interview with the 'Dolls, dated 26 January 1974)
Lemmy, on the occasion of his 50th birthday:
"I'd never have left Hawkwind if I hadn't been fired. In some ways, I had more musical freedom then than I do now."
|Ian McLagan in his autobiography "All the Rage - a riotous romp through rock & roll history"
"I really took to art school life, & thought of myself as a bit of a beatnik, which of course I wasn't, being straight out of grammer school, all short haired & wide eyed. But I hung around with the coolest people I could find, hoping they wouldn't let on. Colin Fulcher was one of them. A very talented artist, he was interested in the blues as well, and though he was two years ahead of me at art school, we became good friends. Not only was he aware of Muddy Waters, he was a huge fan of Big Bill Broonzy too, and could play a pretty good gut-string guitar in that folk blues style. He had a ready grin, and when he laughed from his long nose to his toes, as if Gerald Scarfe had drawn him. He was like a cartoon character.
We lost touch after college, but years later I bumped into him doing Grateful Dead-style, trippy lights at a party, calling himself Barney Bubbles, and again in 1976. By that time he'd become art director for Stiff Records, where he excelled, giving a very individualistic style to the advertisements, labels, and covers that he worked on. After some coaxing on my part, he designed the Small Faces logo for our reunion album Playmates on condition he didn't get any credit, as he thought we were too uncool for him. It was good to see him anyway. I just wanted him to get paid but he did a nice job for us anyway.
Sadly, years later I heard that he had hanged himself. I realise it's impossible to know what anybody else is suffering... he was such bright and talented person."
|From the Mark Radcliffe Show broadcast on Thursday 4 November 2004 on BBC Radio 2:
(The theme was 'Who was the “Rock Glamour” in the early Seventies?')
Mark Radcliffe: Well yeah, er Paul of Hull is inevitably straight in with Stacia of Hawkwind! Now then, for those people who don’t know who Stacia of Hawkwind was or indeed who Hawkwind were...no, everybody knows who Hawkwind were...
David Hepworth: Oh, we know who Hawkwind are
MR: Stacia was, you know, eminently well qualified for the job, she used to take all her clothes off and sort of do an interpreted dance to Hawkwind
DH: Did she take them all off?
DH: Was it?!
MR: I’ve got a picture upstairs in my book the History of Hawkwind. I think normally just the top half, but all...
DH: ...for special occasions
MR: Yep (laughs) for special occasions, yeah and I’ve got an email that follows on from what we were talking about before, John Heany’s been on saying “I once drank a generous quantity of gin and bought the entire back catalogue of Hawkwind on the internet, even the live albums (laughs). I wish to apologise to everyone I know” (both laugh) but I‘ve got a great soft spot for Hawkwind...
|Lemmy, from a 1987 NME interview:
"I was taking loads of acid when I was with Hendrix and Hawkwind. I don't remember most of my time with Hawkwind, in fact. I used to take acid every single day. Fantastic, it was. I only ever had one bad trip in all the years I was doing it. The news around the hippy communes at the time was that if you took acid two days on the run, it didn't work. Well, we found out that if you doubled the dose, it worked fine..."
John Chase, regarding the Dojo CD reissue of Warrior On The Edge Of Time:
"I was reading your entries for core albums. Interestingly, where you mention that the Dojo Release of Warrior was re-mastered from vinyl, it was actually *my* 2 copies of the album that it was mastered from, plus my mate Guy Thomas's copy of Motorhead. You can just hear the faint ticks on the start of
Motorhead, I was amazed at the audacity of this approach, and that Doug Smith (who did the mastering ) couldn't find a mint copy of Motorhead. If you look at the sleeve it has our names on it. This was the start of my association with Hawkwind, and how I got to do the Business Trip sleeve. I took the opportunity when taking the albums over to Doug, to show him some photos..."
Dave Thompson, in his book "Beautiful Chaos - the Pyschedelic Furs":
"Four days after Christmas 1979**, the Pyschedelic Furs were scheduled to open for sub-sixties warlords Hawkwind at the Electric Ballroom, Camden Town. It would have been an uncompromising coupling - six or seven years previously, the Hawks had been in much the same position as the Psychedelic Furs, bubbling beneath the mainstream with a sound which was as densely packed as it was oddly melodic, a heavyweight swamp out of which instruments hauled themselves, heavy and oozing, to slash light through the bass-driven blackness around.
By the end of the 1970's, however, the Hawks' very existence strained the credibility and it was the Pyschedelic Furs who were grasping those same sonic accolades, out-Hawking the Hawks with a set which bristled with musical confidence - not to mention a light show which they had, in fact rented
from Hawkwind themselves.
The gig never happened. 'Somebody got sick', (John) Ashton sighs. 'I think it was Duncan' (Kilburn)."
** Friday 28th & Saturday 29th December 1979. Tickets were £3.00 - thanks to Mark N for this one
|Lars Malthe, explaining Hawkwind's profile in Swedish Academia:
"Your website has been an invaluable help to me in providing information whilst writing an academic paper concerning the album covers of Hawkwind. I wrote the paper as the greater part of a third term course in Art History at Gotland University in Sweden. It was finished last spring and hopefully it sparked some local interest (amongst the very few who have read it) in the Hawkwind universe.
The original title of the paper is 'Hawkwinds skivomslag. En studie av en rockgrupps visuella profil.' In English that translates into something like 'The album covers of Hawkwind. A study of the visual
profile of a rock group.' The study focuses on questions like the possible presence of a visual profile, how it was established and what the meaning of it may be.
It may be of some interest to you also to be informed about the presence of another academic paper involving our favourite band and produced within the walls of a Swedish university. It was written by
Thomas Bossius and the original title is 'Inför återmystifieringen av världen, På jakt efter mening, hopp och styrka. Om musikens och religionens funktion i två ungdomskulturer.' In English that should be
approximately; 'At the Prospect of the Remystification of the World. In Search of Meaning, Hope and Strength. About the Function of Music and Religion in Two Different Youth Culture Groups.' It’s a very well written and interesting study concerning the connections between music and religion in the world of Black metal and the psychedelic, hippie, space rock universe of our very own Hawkwind. The paper was submitted to the Department of Musicology, Gothenburg University in 1998."
Jollyhawker said it first: Sweden Rocks!!
Kay Carrol, original manager of The Fall, in "Hip Priest: The story of Mark E Smith & The Fall" by Simon Ford:
"The Punk & New Wave thing hadn't filtered down to me yet. I was still into Pink Floyd, Can & Hawkwind, but Una (Baines) & Mark (E Smith) turned me on to Lou Reed, The Doors & Iggy"
|Review of a gig in Lille, France, on 25th June 1996:
This is from http://www.ifrance.com/crystal/db-artistes/hawkw.html and I've translated it from the original French to English :-
"Salle l'Aéronef (The Aircraft Hangar), Lille, June 25, 1996
On this June day, my first sight of Hawkwind was actually of their coach, with its black-and-silver Hawk graphics (obviously), an unidentified star and the inscription "Captain Rizz"; splendid and very findable here in the capital of Flanders. The verdict of the fans was that they played an absolutely fabulous, powerful show, which lasted two hours with an encore. Two hours of frantic drubbing and electronics in which no time seemed to pass...
Dave Brock also provided us with some of those pointed riffs, the secret of which he has mastered, and the return of Brock to the guitar was notable on this occasion. There was the Gilmour sound, the Oldfield sound, but also the Brock sound...and this one has been around for twenty-six years.
We were treated to a superb modified version of the famous "Steppenwolf" with Ron Tree disguised as a wolf, as well as a very long and infernal version of the equally famous "Hassan-i-Sahba". Not to mention a hyper-speed rendition of the eternal "Silver Machine", the band’s anthem.
Regrettably, there were no Alien masks worn by Ron Tree, who is a showman of the first order. He brings youth and vigour to these space veterans and does not hesitate to paint his face and body. He also bears an extreme likeness to and sometimes recalls Robert Calvert...
Alan Davey himself also very accessible and available. To tell the truth, I never saw a bass player like him; he and his instrument are a single unit and he knows it inside out. As for Richard Chadwick, he seems untiring and I still wonder what is the secret which enables him to deliver, without weakening, two hours of hammering power in the great Hawkwind tradition.
The entire performance was illuminated by a magnificent lightshow of spacey or psychedelic slides, not to mention the strobes. A fire eater raised the temperature of the hall and then the two superb dancers ignited it. The effect was striking and astonishing.
It was with a head full of musical memories that I reluctantly returned to my hotel. Now I know that dinosaurs don’t die, they just come back, rejuvenated. Like Hawkwind..."
|Author Ian Rankin, on his funeral plans:
"I would make them all sit through Silver Machine by Hawkwind," he said. "It’s one of my favourites - and everybody I know hates Hawkwind."
Ed Mundell (Atomic Bitchwax, Monster Magnet) in his Cosmic Travel Guide:
"There're several Hawkwind-albums that I like very much - "Space Ritual", "Doremi..." and "In Search Of Space". Monster Magnet is heavily influenced by Hawkwind, but those influences don't really come out in The Atomic Bitchwax. Listen to Monster Magnet's "Dinosaur Vacuum"and you'll hear our Hawkwind influences - we even covered "Brainstorm". I love the bassplaying mostly on those Hawkwind records. Just listen to Lemmy...The guitar riffs are so simple, but...SO COOL. And the drums are spaced out too. It's the overall sound that I like the most - the rhythms, the audio generators etc etc... the songs they played live weren't the same every night…"
Anacronym, on the subject of “work music”:
"Many of us here put headphones on and crank the tunes. I don't find myself actually listening to it except in those small cracks between mental routines. Rather, it blocks the conversations and intrusive noises that disrupt my thinking… However, classical, and particularly my beloved Mozart, with its considerable dynamic range (the difference between the loud and soft passages) doesn't do a good job of masking the outside world… Rock n' roll is much better. The Stones, not exactly a wall o' sound sort of band, are quite nice, although they don't keep everything out.
I have realized the ultimate, however: Hawkwind. Long, repetitious songs with oddball lyrics in strong British accents over three guitars and a droning bass (on older stuff, it's Lemmy Kilminster, who later founded Motorhead.) NOTHING gets through the Hawkwind. Particularly live Hawkwind."
Two quotes from Brian Eno:
"Imagine trying to get Robert Fripp together with Simon King, the drummer of Hawkwind! The concept is ludicrous, neither would agree to it." (-speaking of recruiting personnel for his album 'Here Come The Warm Jets'. Simon King and Robert Fripp both play on the album, of course!)
"Apart from being a unique musician, Paul Rudolph is an exceptionally nice person. This is a strong reason for working with him."
|Lemmy talks Hawkwind - from an interview on Playlouder.com
On being in Hawkwind: "They fitted exactly into my philosophy at the time. They were THE underground band. They were weird, and that suited me because I was always the one that people wouldn't let their kids play with. I really dug it, the ideas they were into. I had a connection and sort of blagged my way into the band."
On singing Hawkwind's only number 1 hit: "When 'Silver Machine' got to number one the NME put me on the cover...I had only been with them for 8 months then. It was really traumatic for the band, ha ha. They never forgave me for that I think. We used to row all the time anyway. Any band that says they don't want to be famous is a bunch of fucking cunts - it's lies, if you play music you want to get it to as many people as possible, that's obvious - they all loved being rock stars…it's just that they weren't very good at it. Ha ha. Everybody else tried to sing 'Silver Machine', but I was the only one that got it and when it went to number 1 that really pissed them off... They were looking for an excuse to fire me because I was the last speed freak…they were supposed to be the most cosmic band in history and they fired me for getting busted for drugs! Ha ha!""
On Hawkwind now: "They are their own worst enemies you know. When we played that 25th anniversary gig it was fucking atrocious! You know what he did with 'Master Of The Universe', which was Nik Turner's big number? So you know who Dave Brock brought on to sing 'Master Of The Universe'? Sam Fox! Ha ha! Can you believe it! You would never have thought of that, would you? Ha ha! She is a great girl and everything but it's not her song - it's his song and he was onstage and this was all over some petty disagreement. The rest of the time they go out and play medleys of their old hits which is fucking daft as far as I'm concerned. It's ridiculous… 'Here's a number that has been good to me over the years'… fucking pathetic!"
|Russell Senior, quoted in "Truth & Beauty: the Story of Pulp" by Mark Sturdy:
"On 'Top Of The Pops' once, the announcer said 'We don't have Hawkwind in the studio, but here's some live footage from one of their gigs.' So there they were, with Liquid Len's lights flowing all around them, long-haired Lemmy, semi-naked Stacia flailing her arms in some bizarre space ritual and the audience freaking out to this soaring wall of sound. And I thought 'That's what I want to do when I grow up!' "
From "Off The Planet: Music Sound and Science Fiction Cinema":
"A similar SF focus was prominent in the work of alternative circuit orientated British band Hawkwind, founded in 1969, who toured their 'Space Ritual' stage show extensively in the early 1970's and secured a UK chart hit with their single Silver Machine in 1972. The band's sound relied on mystic lyrics, driving riffs, a hard 'wall-of-sound', synthesizer swoops and a dramatic stage show featuring costumes, dancers and visual effects."
From The Guardian, 31/01/2006:
"Like those oddballs you sometimes hear singing in public toilets, Paolo Di Canio just can't go quietly. The 37-year-old fascist-saluting striker has been led by current employers Lazio to believe he'll not play for the club again because he gives it a bad name - which is a feat as impressive as the great Lemmy being expelled from splifftastic space rockers Hawkwind for being too fond of drugs."
From "Venus As A Boy", an autobiographical novel by Luke Sutherland:
“Her folks bought her a pink Datsun for her seventeenth. I helped fit the stereo and leopardskin seat covers. She passed her test first time and from then on we drove everywhere. All over our end of Orkney to Hawkwind, AC/DC, The Stranglers, Sister Sledge, Abba, Blondie, Chic. We were like something out of a Face photoshoot: bomber jackets, tight jeans, Snake belts, Wranglers and mullets.”
Sleeve notes from the first album by Neu!, supposedly penned by Dave Brock in 1972:
"Klaus Dinger and Micheal Rother are both former members of Kraftwerk who broke away from this very successful German group in 1971 (on live appearences Eberhard Krahnemann, also late of Kraftwerk, joins the group).
They chose the name 'Neu!' (new) deliberately to attract attention, as with any make of detergent or household product, although of course they would admit that there is nothing completely "new" in music.
Klaus and Micheal borrowed money from various people in order to finance this first record themselves and altogether it took 4 nights in Hamburg's Windrose studio to complete, with the help of Conny Plank who also engineered 2 Kraftwerk albums.
Luckily, and deservedly, the album turned out to be a critical and financial success in Germany and made 'Neu!' one of the top 3 bands alongside Amon Duul 2 and Can. On this 1st album 'Neu!' decided to stick to a multi-instrumental format using voices as an extra instrument. As for the future, the group says 'We make no premature fixing of style, as we are very dependent on situations and circumstances', so we must just wait and see."
|"My Top British Rock Albums" by Steven Wilson (from Classic Rock, April 2006):
#2 - Hawkwind / In Search Of Space
"It's an extraordinary whirlpool of cosmic sound, the definitive space-rock statement. I love the album's repetitive, almost pagan feel. It dispensed with the idea of soloists and has a real sense of 'otherness'. Hawkwind were the first band I saw live -on the Levitation tour (1980)- and In Search Of Space just left me wondering how those amazing sounds had been created."
"My Top British Rock Albums" by Lemmy (from Classic Rock April 2006):
#3 - Hawkwind / Hall Of The Mountain Grill
"For me, this was when the band were at their height. Oh, and I was in the band at the time."
"Purple Art" (news clipping of unknown date and publication):
"Deep Purple's chart-storming 'The House Of Blue Light' -their first album since 'Perfect Stranger' in 1984- is their 18th chart album. And not only is that a fine achievement in itself but it means they're now running neck and neck with Hawkwind for the title of Most Hit Albums By A Hard Rock Act. But Hawkwind have the edge, because between 1970 and 1985 they managed to chart at least one album every year."
"Hawkwind: so far gone..." (news clipping of unknown date and publication):
"So far gone, they ain't never coming back! I know this guy who works in a mental hospital near Hereford and one of the original members is in there. When Hawkwind were playing a festival at the Malvern Winter Gardens last year they all went down to visit him..."
|Dave Brock (from a BBC Radio 1 interview broadcast on 23rd March 1984):
You're not as young as you were, I mean, rebels at 18 or whatever you were back in the late 60's...
DB: "Oh no, true revolutionaries go right the way through till they're 60, you know. I mean, that's the way it always is."
I bet a lot of people say 'Hawkwind, OK, back in '69 they had a lot to rebel against, but right now I bet they've all got mortgages and nice little semi-detached homes.'
DB: "No, we haven't got nice little semi-detached homes, no, and we haven't got mortgages. Ha ha ha ha!"
Tell me a bit about the tour and the last few gigs you've had. Because you've had some exciting times on stage, one way or another.
DB: "Birmingham Odeon was when Nik got his clothes torn off of him. Well he just got too near the edge of the stage and someone grabbed his trousers, and sort of one person pulled one way, pulled the other and Nik sort of fell into the audience and sort of got his trousers torn, and then his coat got torn off. Last night we had some guys who'd been to a hundred gigs, and we've got this huge great cream cake and I got him in the face with it. Got him up on stage and he thought it was going to be presented to him!"
You said there were a lot of people up on stage with you last night, which makes me think that actually there have been a great number of people in Hawkwind itself over the years.
Any idea how many?
DB: "It's about thirty, thirty-nine, or seven-and-a-half!" (laughs)
Can you get them all together for a big reunion?
DB: "Oh no no, there's too much squabbling going on, ha ha ha ha!"
From "Redemption Song: the Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer" by Chris Salewicz:
"The Isle of Wight festival marked Johnny Mellor's first long term immersion in an alternative existence. He found he liked it...the musical extravaganza ended in a state of near anarchy as Ladbroke Grove agit-prop hippie group Hawkwind established an alternative festival on a hill overlooking the site. Johnny Mellor liked that even more: Hawkwind became for a long time one of his favorite groups."
|From Observer Music Monthly, 15th March 2009, by Simon Armitage:
But there will always be a place in my heart for... Hawkwind as well, or perhaps my mind. Space Ritual, not so much a double album as a dossier, seems to be the kind of thing that happens when grown men sit down with a big bowl of non-supermarket mushrooms, a Spirograph set, a book from the Mind, Body and Soul section of the kind of bookshop which also sells perfumed candles, and a few instruments turned up to 11. They're probably banned in Dubai on all sorts of levels. But should you ever visit that unreal place, smuggle a bit of Hawkwind through customs and walk through its city of mirrors and chrome with Space Ritual mainlining straight into your ears. It'll do your box in.
A three- and a six-year old, playing in anticipation of going to Hawkfest:
“All the things are in the tent – it’s time to be Hawkwind, come on, get the instruments”
“Can I be Hawkwind as well?”
“Yes, but you will have to be good at guitar”
“Hawkwind have got ladies’ hair”
“Stupid! They are men!”
“I can’t be Hawkwind cos I'm a girl”
“Then you will have to dance then”
Jules and Tilde:
“…there’s some fugly men. It’s like they had an ugly man contest and made a band out of them.”
Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama:
"My first proper boyfriend...took me to see Hawkwind at the Roundhouse, which was amazing, a sound and vision spectacular. I knew the single Silver Machine, which I loved. It was 1976 and here was a
prog band that fitted with the punkier things that I was discovering. They were angry, they were krautrock, they were trippy. Even today I would see them again. I hear they have the Angels of Death dancing with them, so I'm there, ha ha!"
Henry Rollins (in the Lemmy DVD):
"I *worship* Hawkwind...that's some genius music!"
Peter Hook (in the Lemmy DVD, extended Hawkwind scene):
"Like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple...Hawkwind was there, right with them. Same level. I've always been a fan of Hawkwind, from very early on.
Hawkwind, I think, were really ahead of their time. It's quite odd, as New Order...the driving sound that Hawkwind had, the very pulsey, percussive keyboard sounds...we would actually listen to that and try and emulate it. You know, on songs like Temptation and Everything's Gone Green, we did try and actually rip off Hawkwind! "
Captain Sensible (in the Lemmy DVD, extended Hawkwind scene):
"(They were) a bit dangerous...experimental. I wanted to see stuff like that in punk, you know. I didn't want to hear two minute songs over and over again. I wanted to see everyone stretch themselves, like Hawkwind did, you know? It was dangerous, kind of rock'n'roll. It's not choreographed, it's not safe, it's not cliched. You never know what you're going to see, to be quite honest. And that's got to be good, hasn't it?! God bless Hawkwind...and Stacia! Fantastic!"
Forum on planet-rugby.com:
sonic_attack: I'd always wondered how Hawkwind had avoided exposure and remained under the radar.
Gort: Mostly because they were fucked up, weird, hippy, nutters
Ian Rankin (in Prog, November 2011):
"One of my first singles was Silver Machine. I still follow Hawkwind -I've just seen Hawklords on the tour- but I only saw them once at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. It wasn't great. There was Brock, Calvert and someone on keyboards, lots of technical problems and a very strange affair. I'd love somebody to find footage of them in their heyday and put out a proper concert film on DVD. Space Ritual is the great album. I must have it on at least four different formats."