When Dave Brock Sacked Bilko Johnson

It's a little known fact that Bilko Johnson, legendary guitarist with Dr. Feelgood, was briefly a member
of Hawkwind.  You may scoff, but Brock's blues background is well known, with Bring It On Home
and Dealing With The Devil available on various compilations, his links with Eric Clapton and former
outfit Dharma Blues Band all testifying to the Captain's blues credentials.  So what could be natural than
the recruitment of the Canvey Island legend after he left Dr Feelgood in 1977?
Left: Bilko Johnson, rhythm 'n'
blues axeman for Dr. Feelgood,
and all too briefly, Hawkwind
Many other people have been through the ranks of Hawkwind, but few for such a short duration as
Bilko.  Apparently he only lasted 23 minutes, not as long as some mid-70's Hawkwind numbers.  
Looking at the photo of Bilko above, there are any number of reasons why he might have been fired -
wearing a tie, having short hair, etc.. Bizarrely, it appears that he was sacked from the band for saying
"um..." and generally talking too slowly.  How do we know this?  From a recently rediscovered
rehearsal tape, that's how - and Starfarer's Hawkwind Page has an MP3 excerpt of the sacking: click on
the link below to hear this torrid episode in the history of Hawkwind...
Sacking.mp3
Of course this is merely a stitch in the fabric of space-time, but I am sure Hawkwind fans will be
interested to gain such a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the band.  A band of which
Bilko, sadly, is no longer a part...
(c) Starfarer, 1st April 2002
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