A (Tennis) Star Is Born

It all started back in July 1979 when Bob Calvert made a one-sided flexidisc recording with Adrian Wagner
called "Cricket Star"...credited to Robert Calvert and the 1st XI.  This was one of a number of embryonic
projects that Bob never had the opportunity to develop further, as he of course died in 1988.  But the idea
lived on, in a strange sort of way.

Fast forward now to June 1994, just about 15 years later.  The All-England Lawn Tennis Championships,
more popularly known as Wimbledon, were in full swing.  Hawkwind were rehearsing nearby in an
converted church hall on Parkside Road, overlooking the Common.  A young up-and-coming tennis player
called Andre Agassi had got through to the last 16 but was then knocked out of the tournament by Todd
Martin in a 5-set thriller.  On the way back to his hotel, a chance meeting took place between Andre and
Dave Brock, which developed into a conversation.

Dave mentioned the Cricket Star flexidisc to Andre and jokingly suggested they should do a follow-up called
Tennis Star.  To his surprise, Andre was keen on the idea, and mentioned that he played a bit of guitar.  Dave
invited Andre to come back to the rehearsal studio, and what resulted was an unreleased recording called
Tennis Star.
(c) Starfarer, 1st April 2003
Andre (left) and Dave (right) at Parkside Road
The recording was a simple affair, featuring a single riff overdubbed with sound effects, and was captured
on the Parkside Road Studio's 2-inch reel-to-reel tape.  The original recording is now lost, which is why it
never saw any kind of release, but here is a brief excerpt from a cassette copy which was taken as a rough
mixdown at the time:
Tennis Star Excerpt 1.mp3
During the mixdown: this was when the cassette copy was made
Due to the age of the cassette, most of the song is now unlistenable apart from two passages, which have
been timed at 24 and 16 seconds respectively.  Here is the latter excerpt.  As with the first excerpt above, the
tennis-related sound effects are clear and some typical Hawkwind synth and guitar can be picked out if you
listen carefully:
Tennis Star Excerpt 2.mp3
The information in this article, including the photos and the two excerpts were kindly provided by a
gentleman called Joe King, who was (surprise, surprise) the sound engineer on duty at Parkside Studios
when Tennis Star was laid down.  Thanks Joe!
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