|Hawklords Radio Interview, October 1978
sort of high period with the band?
RC: "Well, rather than go blundering ahead into all sorts of libellous statements, you know, and get phone
messages from various other people's lawyers tomorrow morning, all I can really say with impunity -that's
a good one isn't it, that's a legal word- is that, er, this agreement has been reached between certain
members of the band who are now no longer members of the band, which resulted in the changes before
Quark, Strangeness and Charm, and the residue of persons, the rest of the boys left over...¦ You could put
it this way: the reverberations of the effects of people being forced to leave the band under circumstances
of disagreement on musical policy and actual, you know, venues and performance styles resulted in yet
more confrontation left over. So the final split has been made now, leaving myself and Dave Brock at the
helm and in control of the situation which is in my opinion and in Dave's and I think in the audience's
reception or perception, the result is that we've gone back to an earlier point in Hawkwind's development
in terms of actual presentation of ideals, but a bigger step ahead in musical terms."
"So what we've got now is a band that's very musically flexible and sophisticated even, you know, in some
ways - but is also willing to play free festivals still, and to even play under the motorway on the green in
Notting Hill, go anywhere, play anywhere, Northern Ireland, southern Ireland, do everything that
Hawkwind is supposed to do, and hasn't done for a long time, mainly because being almost a worker's co-
operative for a while, which I'm afraid it isn't now...¦it's more a sort of 'management and workers'
situation, or a leader and back-up team."
Do you mean that at the moment you and Dave Brock are very much the nucleus of the band?
RC: "Yeah, but the people who are now playing which is our new bass player called Harvey Bainbridge,
who's an excellent bass player, very positive; Martin Griffin on drums, again very positive, and a very
variable drummer, he can play lots of different styles of music, not just one; Steve Swindells on the
keyboards, also with a grasp of many different forms of music...¦ So you have a band now which is keen
to do the sort of things that may not be becoming of rock stars."
But surely these changes must have taken some time to evolve because after the last album, you did go and
record another album, which hasn't been released, and you used more or less the same people as youâ€™d
been using for Quark Strangeness and Charm, so there must have been some feeling that what you were
doing at the time of the last album was worth continuing with at that time.
RC: "Yeah. We found ourselves...¦you see, these things are always very complicated, but I can't really
sort of put it in a nutshell very easily actually because changes...¦when you change something it alters the
perspective of what is left behind, if you understand what I mean. It's like when you are mixing music
and you alter a sound or you take something out, so you take the keyboards out, it leaves you with
something which you've again got to change in relation to what you've taken out, you know. All change
affects what is left and that has to be changed in accordance. The situation of being in a band is one
where the momentum of the responsibilities that you have as a working unit carries you forward into
things that you may not have that much time to think about. We were committed to making an album last
year, at the end of last year, which we went into the studio and made and we found we'd made an album
that we hadn't really wanted to make."
"Quark Strangeness and Charm is an album that we wanted to make. Dave and I both wanted to make
that album and it was pretty much, the end result was pretty much, what we intended it to sound like and
be like. After that we found ourselves making an album which was not at all as good as Quark
Strangeness and Charm. It wasn't in the same direction, it was back in another direction again, which we
didn't want to go in. We made the album...¦ During the time before the end, or before the making of
PXR5, which is the album we're talking about, and the making of Quark Strangeness and Charm, we
formed a splinter group called the Sonic Assassins, which was Harvey Bainbridge on bass, Martin Griffin
on drums, to do festivals, do the things that the other members of the band...¦"
How did you come to know these musicians in the first place, what are their backgrounds?
RC: "Their backgrounds are mainly that they played in a band called Ark, which is a North Devon-based
band, where...¦ Dave lives in North Devon, I've got an house there as well, although I spend quite a lot of
time in London, but we go down to Devon, we work together writing songs. They're friends of ours,
they're good boys, good musicians. As I explained we formed this splinter group, the Sonic Assassins.
We had worked together a lot, it was very easy for us to continue...¦"
I know very little about this interview, other than
that it was done for a radio broadcast that took place
in October 1978. Thanks to Dave Law for
supplying the cassette tape copy from which I
transcribed it. Unfortunately the beginning and end
of the interview were missing from the tape so what
we have here is really just a fragment...but starring
Left: Bob in action at Oxford New Theatre, 6th
...¦inner change and even turmoil for Bob Calvert as
Hawkwind broke up and opportunity for new
musical experiment arose. So I spoke to him in the
studio a few weeks ago. I first asked what, if
anything, disturbed him most.
RC: "Well for a start you've got a bigger cup of tea
than I have. I'm sorry and it's probably real tea as
So after Quark, Strangeness & Charm were you
happy with what was happening with Hawkwind at
that time? Because presumably at some stage
between then and now you were quite unhappy with
what the band were doing. But were you in, er, a