Tommy Vance Interview, 1980

This interview features Dave Brock and Simon King talking to Tommy Vance on the Friday Rock
Show back in 1980.  Thanks to Manfred Scholido for unearthing it.
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TV: ...'Silver Machine Requiem' and it's a track on an album that was released yesterday and it's called
'Hawkwind Live '79'.  We've got two of the members, who go back quite long time, with us in the studio:
Dave Brock, you go back to 1969; one of the founder members.

DB: Yes, correct.

TV: And Mr King, Simon King that is, plays the drums: '72.

SK: Yeah, '72.

TV: Who else is in the band now and is now Hawkwind?  It's not the Hawklords, or the Hawk-this or

SK: Hawkwind is Huw Lloyd-Langton on guitar, Tim Blake, keyboards and synthesizers, and Harvey
Bainbridge on bass.

TV: What made you put it back together again?

DB: Well, it's like being married: Hawkwind, it's like having a wife, isn't it?  It really is.  Strange sort of
thing.  I mean, we just weren't doing anything at all. Things have been bad right through you know, and we
just go through many bad patches.

SK: We were getting thousands of letters: you know, why didn't we do it? Why didn't we tour?

DB: You see, we actually got missed by the media, you know what I mean?  We really have, you know.  
We got involved in the Underground side and all that, and then everything sort of passed us by.  All the
music we've been playing has been really up-to-date, and we've never actually been credited with it.

SK: We've never been fashionable with the press or radio...

TV: Yes, but I think it's fair to say that you've gone out of your way *not* to be over the years.

DB: We haven't been good boys, have we?  We've been very naughty boys.

SK: We refused to be dictated to, which probably cost us, you know, money and things like that, but at
least we've been fairly in control.

TV: One thing you have done, though is build up a very sincere following of fans: a real hard core of
Hawkwind fanatics.

SK: That was really evident on that last tour, because when the tour came in and we said yes, we'd do
another tour, it really was a case of Dave and I saying well, we'll see how this goes, and if it's there, and
there's a demand for it, then all right, we'll really keep it together.  And the tour was.  Out of all the gigs
we've done, I think two or three of them were completely sold out, which was amazing, because we had no

DB: No publicity, either. The whole thing was going very low-key.

SK: We didn't do any sort of interviews. Like, most tours come out and you've got full-page interviews,
things like that...

DB: We didn't have a record company...

SK: ...We did none of those.  We had a record company to help finance it, as it happens, and we had no
album out, and it's very unusual for a band to go and do a major tour without an album. It's just like word of
mouth went round and it happened.

TV: What would you say to the accusation that's bound to be levelled at you one of these days, if it hasn't
already, that you are just a couple of boring old hippies, who are trying to get it on yet again?

SK: Boring old hippies, eh?

TV: But sooner or later, somebody's going to say it.

DB: They've said it already.  That we only play three chords, isn't it?  We're just boring three chord
merchants.  Couldn't care less.

TV: When you go on stage tonight in Folkestone, what sort of an audience are you going to get?

SK: Well, the only way it can be described, I suppose, is to call it the Hawkwind audience.  I mean, we do
gigs in these places, and promoters come up and say: the only time I see these people is when you come to
town. I don't know where they go the rest of the year.

DB: Hide, waiting for us.

SK: But the thing that we noticed on that last tour was, I mean, people expect..."Oh, Hawkwind. You're
going to get a lot of ageing hippies", so they say.  But in actual fact, that last tour, the first dozen rows were
fifteen, sixteen-year-olds.

DB: Yeah, we've got a real wide variety of ages now, you know, and this is a good thing. It goes from
twelve to thirties.  It's really good.

TV: I see the name 'R Calvert' associated with two of the songs, but they are both of course old songs;
'Spirit of the Age' and 'Silver Machine', that little fifty-three-second we played earlier on. What's Mr. Calvert
doing these days?

DB: Well, he's at the moment living in a ... (laughs)  Shall I tell you where he's living?  He's in Soho. (All
laugh)  And he's just written a hook called 'Hype' as well.  In fact he's recording an album called 'Hype'. It's
sort of a complete run-down of the music business.  He's trying to get a deal at the moment.

TV: Well, of all the stuff that you've recorded, which do you think is the definitive Hawkwind track?...(a
long pause)...

DB: The first one is the best one, you know. The first album you do is always the best one.  That's the one
I always like - the first one.  Because it's always fresh, you see.  All the ideas are really fresh then, and then
once you start getting involved with things, it changes.

SK: And there's a couple that I really dislike, you know.

DB: Problem is, record companies are always putting out compilation albums, and a lot of the things they
put out are real rubbish.

TV: Are there any of those albums that you would disown?

DB: Yeah. (all laugh)

TV: I mean any of those compilation albums?

DB: Yeah, I'd disown 'Masters of the Universe'. That's terrible, that is; absolute rubbish.

SK: It's on the 'Not Recommended' list. Although the 'Roadhawks' album was good...

DB: I done that, you see, I was sleeping on the floor, man, I tell you, d'you know, I actually did that, I used
to doss on the studio floor in my sleeping bag.  No one ever believes this.

TV: Did you compile it?

DB: Yeah. I spent hours going through the tapes and all that. I nearly got in a hotel at one point, but I had to
doss on the floor, you know.

TV: One thing that I've always noticed about you two, is that you've both got a great sense of humour.

SK: Well I think you've got to have when you've been in Hawkwind for ten years...
Grainy, I know.  L-R Huw, Simon, Harvey, Tim, Dave.  Spring 1980