[CHRONOLOGY] 1972: The Other Side Of The Sky
Ref: p78 – The title of this chapter obviously comes from the ‘Silver Machine’ lyric. However, The Other Side Of The Sky is also the name of a 1958 collection of short stories by Arthur C. Clarke, possibly an inspiration for Robert Calvert.
Ref: p78 – There’s more national media coverage of a prurient nature in 1972, with the Sunday People getting over-excited about Stacia’s naked dancing at the Coventry Lacarno (“Why I Danced In The Nude – By Pop Girl”, 16 April 1972). And Lemmy had already featured in the Kensington Post, having been caught in possession of Mandrax tablets following a police raid on his flat (“Musician On Drugs Charge”, 7 January 1972).
Ref: p78 – The ‘Silver Machine’ promo film was made by Tom Taylor of Caravel Film Services, who filmed a number of other promos for Top Of The Pops, including Nilsson’s ‘Without You’, R Dean Taylor’s ‘Indiana Wants Me’, George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ and Elvis Presley’s ‘American Trilogy’. Here’s Ian Abraham’s original discussion about the film and a little more info about the elusive Tom Taylor here (scroll down). The history of ‘Silver Machine’ on TOTP in 1972 is as follows: 13 July, no. 37 (promo shown); 27 July, no. 12 (promo shown); 10 August, no. 7 (promo shown); 24 August, no. 3 (played during chart countdown); 25 December (Christmas special – played over end credits).
Ref: p79 - "Hawkwind’s electronics devices are affected, and they re-start with mumbled apologies..." The unsung hero of the Greasy Truckers show is Hawkwind roadie Bruce Welch, who had to manually hold a circuit breaker switch open throughout the band's set to stop the electricity from going off. He also depped for Dave Brock later in the year during a short tour of Denmark.
Ref: p79 – CORRECTION: “…the Greasy Truckers Party album – released on 28 April…” According to a news item in Sounds (29.4.72), the official release date was actually 5 May. However, the album wasn’t reviewed in the music press until late July/early August, which suggests its release may have been further delayed.
Incidentally, if you've ever wondered who the second naked female dancer is on stage with Hawkwind in the murky picture inside the Greasy Truckers Party album gatefold, Stacia confirms that it's "Nicky The Witch", a friend of Barney Bubbles.
Ref: p81 – There can be no greater affirmation of ‘Silver Machine’’s cultural status than Sweep’s rendition of it on The Sooty Show. (Thanks Ian Abrahams!)
Ref: p82 – “More in demand now than ever…” The September issue of German music magazine Sounds reported that around 1,000 people were unable to get into a sold-out Hawkwind show in Guildford (presumably at the Civic Hall, 2.7.72): “The group had half of their PA system set up in the adjacent parking lot and played for the people in the hall and for those waiting outside at the same time, before the police arrived and asked the band to stop the performance.”
Ref: p85 – “On 23 September, Hawkwind play the Windsor Arts Festival…” Promoter Andrew Kilderry (from FB): “I think Hawkwind's agent, Paul Fenn (aka Asgard - JB), was a Chuck Berry fan, as he insisted they be paid before going on and I remember counting out their fee of £1,000 in cash with him.”
Ref: p88 - "The band return to Rockfield to complete Doremi Fasol Latido, a punningly titled
reference to the Pythagorean scale..." The connection that most people would have made however is with The Sound Of Music and the song 'Do-Re-Mi'. In 1972, The Sound Of Music had just stopped being the highest-grossing film of all time, a title it had held for the previous five years. Any resemblance between the film's story of a musical family fleeing oppression from a totalitarian state and Robert Calvert's tale of Hawkwind's escape to the fabled planet of Thorasin is no doubt coincidental ;-)
Ref: p89 - "On 24 November, and with advance sales of 80,000, Doremi Fasol Latido hits the shops." Or does it? The album's release had already been delayed by two weeks and around this time, United Artists published a jokey, but rather odd advert in the music press claiming they had underestimated demand for their bands' albums, the "record factories" couldn't keep up, and they had effectively run out of stock in the UK - but not to worry, as they were flying records in from overseas territories, including Germany.
All of which suggests that UA might not have been able to fulfil those advance orders - and maybe even that Doremi effectively missed its release date. The album wasn't reviewed in NME until 9 December, and in Melody Maker and Sounds not until the 16th, and its first appearance in the charts wasn't until 23 December, straight in at its peak position of number 14, before disappearing three weeks later - and this off the back of Hawkwind's most successful tour yet. The shortages at UA perhaps also account for why some UK fans subsequently discovered that the album they'd finally managed to buy in their local store said 'Made in Germany' on the label.
Conclusion: if UA had pressed more records, Doremi may well have charted higher than 14, and for longer. It also suggests that the great majority of fans who saw them on the Space Ritual tour hadn't heard the album, or indeed most of the songs, beforehand.
Ref: p89 – “2 …this film was shot at the Queensway Hall in Dunstable” Confusingly, the venue was formally known as the Civic Hall at the time, but informally referred to as the Queensway. It was officially re-named the Queensway Hall in 1975. The building was demolished in 2000 to make way for an Asda supermarket.
Ref: p90 – “8 - Both the unedited version of ‘Silver Machine’ and ‘WTTF’ appeared on the Glastonbury Fayre triple album released in June.” It’s only latterly that the album has become known as Glastonbury Fayre (sometime appended with The Electric Score) – at the time, it was promoted as Revelations. Like Greasy Truckers Party, it only started being reviewed in early August, which suggests a similar delay in its release.
Ref: p91 - CORRECTION: "13... NME’s Steve Peacock..." Oops, Steve Peacock wrote for Sounds.
Ref: p92 “17” – Hawkwind superfan Johan Edlundh has confirmed that the session recordings of ‘Silver Machine’ and ‘Brainstorm’ from the At The BBC-1972 album were indeed sourced from the BBC transcription disc Top Of The Pops 406, hosted by Brian Matthew “from the BBC in London” and ‘released’ 16.8.72. You can learn more about the Top Of The Pops radio show for overseas markets here.
With the original tapes for Hawkwind’s BBC sessions in the 1970s either lost or erased (excepting the mono recording of the 1972 Paris Theatre concert), it’s lucky that these recordings survived, particularly as each disc came with a letter requesting that the vinyl be destroyed at the end of the license period – in the case of Top Of The Pops 406, by 17 August 1973.
Ref: p92 – “23… dancer and mime artist Tony Crerar.” Aka Tony Marchet, Crerar had been performing since the late 60s – for instance, there’s an ad in IT for 'The Tony Crerar Mime Show' at the Birmingham Arts Lab on 11 & 12 October 1969. He had also recently performed with the Strawbs at the ‘multimedia’ premiere of their Grave New World album. He would perform with Hawkwind again in 1985, playing the role of Elric during their Chronicle Of The Black Sword tour.
Ref: p102 - "...the sleeve is printed in black and metallic silver, the front cover dominated by a gleaming heraldic shield..." Except that wasn't Barney Bubbles' original conception of the design - instead, it was meant to be a stylised "Hawkwind lady" according to notes and sketches reproduced in Paul Gorman's Reasons To Be Cheerful.
Ref: p102 – The series of adverts used to promote Doremi in the music press are attributed to “Consumer Division: Holy Galactic Imperium”, which fits with the heraldic nature of both the ISOS and Doremi sleeves. Go here to view the ads.
Ref: p103 – “No gatefold this time…” Or certainly not in the UK, Europe or US. However, Doremi was issued as a gatefold in Japan and South Africa, the two territories where Hawkwind were still being released on the Liberty label rather than UA. Gawp at its splendour here.
Ref: p103 – “The Space Ritual tour continues until the end of the year, playing to packed houses at 2,000+ capacity venues.” As an indication of Hawkwind’s rocketing popularity (and fee), here’s Andrew Kilderry again, who regularly promoted shows at Bracknell Sports Centre: “9.12.72. I think the attendance was close to 2,000. They were on a Peter Grant-style deal of 90% nett! We paid them £1,370.25. At the same venue 18.12.71, we paid them £150 and lost £12.39! Attendance then had been about 500/600.” (from FB)
Ref: p104 - "5... The show at Sunderland’s Locarno on 23 December was also recorded, but not used." Interviewed around the release of Parallel Universe, Nigel Reeve - EMI (and now Warners) Hawkwind archivist - said of the Sunderland Space Ritual tape, "there's a fault on the recording and whatever you do in the mixing you're just not going to be able to retrieve it." A desk recording of another Space Ritual show was apparently made at the Margate Dreamland Ballroom (8 December 1972), which Lemmy purloined and unsuccessfully tried to sell on the Portobello Road market - no idea where this tape is now... Two bootlegs exist online of Space Ritual shows: Brixton and Manchester.
[CHRONOLOGY] 1973: We Were Born To Blow The Human Mind
Ref: p112 - CORRECTION: "... there are plenty of allusions to the British Army as an occupying force in Northern Island." Oh dear, that should of course be "Northern Ireland".
Ref: p114 - "2 - According to Parallel Universe, the tape box for this single version of ‘Ejection’ actually names Hawkwind as the recording artist." And in Japan, 'Ejection' was apparently released under the Hawkwind name.
Ref: p116 - "Recorded live at: Liverpool Stadium (22 December 1972) and Brixton Sundown (30 December 1972)". If you fancy trying to work out which tracks came from where, here's a recording of the full Brixton set (most of the tracks used on Space Ritual were from here).
Ref: p119 - "...here we get a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Wilhelm Reich’s crypto-scientific energy device." While Reich's name is more readily associated with his more dubious inventions and ideas, such as the orgone accumulator and the 'cloudbusting' machine eulogised by Kate Bush, he began his career as a respected student of Sigmund Freud. He went on to coin the term 'sexual revolution' and wrote The Mass Psychology of Fascism in response to the rise of Nazism in 30s Germany. Read more about him here.
Ref: p119 – “Lemmy wrests control of the wheel once again…” If you listen carefully to ‘Orgone Accumulator’ at around the 7:27 mark, you can hear someone (Brock?) saying, “Ian!”, presumably to hasten the end of Lemmy’s bass solo.
Ref: p120 –Twink from the Pink Fairies played tambourine at the 30.12.72 Brixton Sundown gig and can supposedly be heard on Space Ritual – for instance, perhaps that’s him vigorously bashing away on ‘Brainstorm’.
Ref: p121: It’s possible that Moorcock’s ‘Sonic Attack’ was part-inspired by Peter Porter’s 1961 poem ‘Your Attention Please’, another parodic public information broadcast about nuclear attack, particularly lines such as, “Leave the old and bed-ridden, you can do nothing for them” And “Some of us may die. Remember, statistically it is not likely to be you.”
Porter’s obituary in The Independent included this fantastic anecdote about the poem: “Its appearance in a Third Programme New Poetry broadcast in 1961 suddenly took off into newspaper headlines and internal reprimands… (Actor) Denys Hawthorne… rendered this grim and funny poem as if it were indeed emanating from some sort of impersonal broadcasting house… An American visitor, switching on his bedside radio in a London hotel, picked up the item, took it very seriously, and ran down into the hotel lobby, shouting ‘Where are the shelters?’” (Thanks to Hawkfan Steve Fletcher for this tip)
Ref: p123 - CORRECTION: "...with the ‘Master of the Universe’ depicted as a steely-eyed Incan or Aztec god." Wrong continent - debate online about which god is depicted on the Space Ritual sleeve has concluded the image is of Asian/Buddhist origin. The most likely candidate is Aizen Myō-Ō (or ‘Lust-tainted Wisdom King’ to you and me), "a wrathful embodiment of Buddha, whose purpose is to teach through fear by warning against the depravity of earthly desires." Which does kind of fit with the general vibe of 'MOTU'... (Thanks to Hawkfans Jon Fox and Annie Smith)
Ref: p124 – “… a mottled planet that on closer inspection turns out to be a breast.” Fellow ex-Clearwater alumni Cochise had already pulled a similar trick on the Hipgnosis-designed gatefold sleeve of their debut album, the dunes and peaks of a desert landscape in fact the contours of a woman’s naked body.
Ref: p124 - "Calvert’s credit is “Poet and swazzle”. A swazzle is a small metal device placed in the mouth to produce the harsh, high-pitched voice of Mr Punch." The local Punch & Judy shows in Margate clearly made an impression on the young Calvert, as he was later moved to write a poem about them, where he references the swazzle: "...he slipped the voice in his pocket, dangled on a string."
Ref: p126 - "It certainly isn’t advocating violence in the streets”. Hawkwind might have got into the lower reaches of the charts with a (satirical) song about making bombs, but another West London-based band had already eulogised urban terrorism for real. Third World War's track 'Hammersmith Guerrilla' from April 1973's Third World War 2 is an angry, insurrectionary stomp encouraging listeners to "take up arms against the crown" - or at least it would have done if it hadn't been severely edited before release by a nervous record label (The Who's Track). Here's the tremendous uncensored full version with its opening couplet "I've got just the thing for you, a real cop beater / A sawn-off 12-gauge five-shot repeater".
Ref: p128 – It wasn’t just the music press that came up with overheated descriptions of Hawkwind’s shows from this period. This is from Barry Coleman, writing for The Guardian on the 14 July show at Liverpool Stadium (as part of the ‘Urban Guerilla’ tour): “It was an occasion heavy with revelation and portent, primarily a religious, rather than musical event… A bearded poet periodically emerged from between the speakers to recite against the atmospheric background some surprisingly doom-laden poetry. It was rather like a commercial for the end of the world.”
Ref: p128 – “It’s one of the last shows that Calvert will play with Hawkwind for the next two years…” I had assumed that the last of these shows was the Harlow Music Festival, 22 September – but Calvert was apparently also present at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens and Edmonton Sundown shows (19 & 25/26 January 1974 respectively) during the Ridiculous Roadshow tour.
Ref: p129 – Elastic band-propelled paper rockets were given away as promo items at the US shows, the Doremi shield on the underside of one wing, the words “A Space Ritual” on the other.
Another intriguing promo item associated with Hawkwind's first US tour is a double-pack of 7" singles, notable for including versions of 'Hurry On Sundown', 'Master Of The Universe', 'Silver Machine' and 'Orgone Accumulator' that have been "faded down from their original album length" according to the sleeve, with each clocking in at exactly 4:30. Presumably sent to US media and radio stations, these versions have never been made available again.
Ref: p129 – “… their next British tour… is called ‘The Ridiculous Roadshow’” There’s a couple of interesting factoids in the answer to a Melody Maker (?) reader’s enquiry (titled ‘Nik’s Tune’) from November 73 – the tour was originally to be called the ‘Hawkwind Karavan’ and ‘Silver Machine’ was no longer available in the shops. While many albums in the 70s – such as Hawkwind’s – were kept ‘on catalogue’ and re-pressed as needed, even the most popular singles were quickly deleted.
Ref: p129 – Andrew Kilderry again, promoter at Bracknell Sports Centre: “15.12.73 was the same 90% nett deal and we paid them £1,311.33, including VAT.”
Ref: p130 - "3 - An alternative design by David Hardy for the Space Ritual sleeve is reproduced in The Spirit Of Hawkwind..." And here it is...
Ref: p130 – “7… Calvert also wrote an unpublished experimental novel entitled A Day Called X.” He also later wrote a song by the same name, which featured in his 1981 ‘electronic musical’ The Kid From Silicon Gulch.
Ref: p131 – “11… It’s previously been suggested that the footage comes from the Wembley Empire Pool show, but Smith believes it was a staged performance filmed at a Wardour Street studio owned by the production company 24 Frames.” I was prompted by Hawkfan and visual archivist Pedro Bellavista to revisit this film, and having seen stills from the same gig and compared it with other contemporary performances from Wembley Empire Pool, I’ve concluded that it is indeed the venue where the ‘Urban Guerilla’ promo (and the rest of Cynthia Beatt’s film) was shot.
Ref: p132 – “16 – No thanks to John Peel.” Perhaps less surprisingly, Allen Ashley recalls in his 1991 Hawkwind memoir The Golden Void that Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn, who had helped to propel ‘Silver Machine’ into the top three, described ‘Urban Guerilla’ as “like two British Rail engines being shunted together.”
[CHRONOLOGY] 1974: World Turned Upside Down Now
Ref: p150 – “Hawkwind resume the Ridiculous Roadshow tour on New Year’s Day at Blackburn’s King George Hall, and tour solidly until mid-February.” Strangely enough, they played the same venue just a month later (and both gigs seem to have gone ahead), where they ran into trouble with the police once again, albeit for slightly odd reasons: “Hawkwind were involved in an altercation with the police at Blackburn on Sunday, the final date of their two month British tour, because they had featured a six year old girl dancer on stage during their set. And this, claimed the police, contravened the laws relating to juvenile performers. A spokesman for the band explained, ‘Hawkwind had invited mime artist Tony Carreras (sic) to appear with them at Leeds on Saturday and Blackburn on Sunday, and he took along his wife and daughter to both shows. It seems that Stacia brought the youngster a party dress, to celebrate the end of the tour. The girl was sitting at the side of the stage and apparently she wanted to show off her new dress, so she did an involuntary little dance to the group’s music. Someone reported this to the police after the Leeds show, and they were already waiting for the band at Blackburn, where the same thing happened. But Hawkwind explained to the police that the girl was not officially working with them, and that her dance was purely spontaneous. The police appeared to accept this and we gather that no action is planned.’” (news item from an unknown publication).
Given that the same thing had already happened the night before at Leeds, somebody should probably have been on childminding duties. There was an amusingly over the top report of the Leeds incident in the university’s student newspaper: “A disgusted John Bisbrowne, Chief Ents steward, commented: ‘They should be shot with shit. If they need a kid like that to enhance their performance, they must sink to a pretty low level. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that Hawkwind never play at this university again.’” (‘Prosecution After Cruelty At Concert’ – Leeds Student, 15.02.74) Hawkwind played there again the following February, so Mr Bisbrowne’s efforts clearly came to nought.
Ref: p150 – CORRECTION? “one of the Edmonton shows is notable for the first appearance with the band of ex-High Tide violinist Simon House” Hard to tell whether this is right or not. From Carol Clerk’s The Saga Of Hawkwind: “‘I never actually played a note,’ remembers Simon. ‘We were hanging around backstage getting stoned. There were the dancers, the light-show and everyone wearing funny costumes. Simon King was a lion. Nik was a frog. It was totally bizarre. Complete chaos. I got the job – I knew everybody anyway.’”
However, there’s this contemporary report from Sounds ('Baptism Of Fire', Bill Henderson, 01.06.74): "In the Hawkwind tradition, Simon’s audition for the gig was less than organised: 'It was a complete farce. They were playing at the Edmonton Sundown and I just about got round to playing a few bars, the rest of the time was spent sitting around in the dressing room.'" Either way, it seems likely that House’s contributions to the tracks recorded ‘live’ at the Edmonton Sundown – ‘You’d Better Believe It’, ‘Paradox’ and ‘It’s So Easy’ – were overdubbed in the studio.
However, House apparently did play with the band towards the end of the Ridiculous Roadshow – presumably in response to a reader enquiry, Doug Smith says the following to an unknown publication (probably Melody Maker): “The violinist at Leeds University was Simon House, late of High Tide and the Third Ear Band, who is a friend of ours.” Doug’s reply suggests that House wasn’t an official member at the time, so the gig must be the 9 February date at the University of Leeds.
Doug says something else interesting in the same piece, which was presumably published February/March 1974: “Barney Bubbles is working on some ideas about an illustrated book on Hawkwind generally, and we think it will contain lyrics, but as Barney likes to play around with several ideas before committing himself, we are waiting to see what he comes up with.” This idea evidently never left the drawing board…
Ref: p151 – “Hawkwind’s anti-establishment ethos appeals both to the Haight-Ashbury old guard and a new generation of fans, all disillusioned with the state of the nation.” One of the strangest communications I’ve had since the book was published is around the so-called ‘Hawkwind Farm’ communes that allegedly started to spring up in America, presumably around this time. I thought they might be some kind of hoax, but Hawkfan John Carpitella, who contacted me about them, is adamant about their existence. He said, “The communes/communities, Hawkwind Farms, got a Book of Hawkwind when founded. These communes were common around the wealthy parts of US cities based around LSD, peyote, etc., and specific UK bands. There were quite a few for Syd-era Floyd, but the Hawkwind farms were unique in that the band acknowledged them.”
I mostly drew a blank on Facebook, but there were a couple of comments that seemed to back up John’s claims: "I'm pretty sure I read it in a magazine in the 90s, they were doing an American tour and people were coming out from the sticks with bags of dope and stuff for them, the Hawk farms have all the song lyrics written down in leather bound books and viewed them as more of a religion than a band” and “In an 80s audio interview, Dave mentioned about a certain cult, that had all the Hawkwind lyrics hand written in a sacred book for ceremonies.” Can anybody confirm or refute these bizarre claims?
Ref: p151 - "Hawkwind... do themselves no harm playing a benefit gig at Berkeley on 10 March (1974) for acid evangelist Timothy Leary..." The band had already advocated for Leary's release from prison during their first tour of the US. At the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium show on 5 December 1973, Hawkfan Mark Licht recalls an "appeal by Timothy Leary's girlfriend, Joanna Harcourt Smith, for help on his behalf. Invited by Nik Turner, she started by telling a story about a time she and Tim were in a bar and they kept playing 'Silver Machine' on the jukebox. And when they left the bar, they found a 45rpm of it on the seat of his pickup truck." She doesn't relate whether this was meant as a gift or because the bar's customers were sick to death of hearing it...
Ref: p152 - "... 10 May sees the release of Robert Calvert’s Captain Lockheed And The Starfighters..." A promo press pack for the album recently came up for sale on eBay which, along with a press release, photographs and copies of previous articles, included a cartoon strip. Unfortunately, the accompanying image - enhanced here - was poor quality, though the speech bubbles mainly appear to consist of dialogue from the spoken word skits. Does anybody out there have a clearer image of this item??
Ref: p152 – “The Aerospaceage Inferno”. I noted later that Brian Eno sang uncredited backing/harmony vocals on Lucky Leif, but according to Calvert, he also sings on this track too.
Ref: p158 - "Edited into shape, ‘It’s So Easy’ could have caught the ear of radio programmers
and fans alike, but it isn’t even deemed strong enough for the upcoming album." Hawkfan Alan Palmer sheds some light on why this song was overlooked as a potential hit: "I met Dave Brock when they played Hanley in 1977. He told me he hated 'It's So Easy' and he thought he had destroyed the master tapes with the recording on. He couldn't believe it when it was released." So there you have it...
Ref: p158 – “On 6 September, the punningly-titled Hall Of The Mountain Grill is released.” As noted, this title takes its inspiration from Grieg’s ‘In The Hall Of The Mountain King’, and it's possible that the album was originally titled In The Hall Of The Mountain Grill, with its upcoming release announced as such in Sounds (07.09.74). An early test pressing also refers to it as In The Hall..., as does the poster that came with the 1974 A Dead Singer tour programme and the US 8-track. Certainly somebody in the Hawkwind/UA camp seems to have got it into their head that this was the title... either that, or there were a lot of Grieg fans out there!
I also wonder where the title came from in the first place, as it doesn't on the face of it seem to have much connection with Barney Bubbles' artwork/design. Does it come from the jokey verse on the inner sleeve (presumably written by Calvert), or was it taken from the title of Simon House's instrumental piece (rather than applied to it afterwards)?
Ref: p160 – CORRECTION: “9… Moon was booked for a Lockheed session, but failed to turn up.” Not so, according to Paul Rudolph, who says that one of the voices is indeed Moon’s, but that his contribution was uncredited.
Ref: p164 – CORRECTION: As previously stated, HOTMG is released 6 (not 4) September 1974!
Ref: p169 – Barney Bubbles painted the front cover of HOTMG from an actual model of a crashed spaceship (it was displayed at fan event Hawkon 85, but its current whereabouts are unknown).
Ref: p171 – CORRECTION: “And all just to announce their now traditional winter tour…” The NME front cover wasn’t just in support of this news item – there’s also an interview inside with Stacia entitled ‘Stacia: She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina’.
Ref: p171 – Long-term Hawkwind fans watching the New Year’s Eve edition of The Old Grey Whistle Test (31.12.74 - though seeing as it was broadcast just past midnight, actually 01.01.75) were probably surprised to see Huw Lloyd-Langton playing in Leo Sayer's backing band. Huw had an incredibly varied career between leaving Hawkwind and rejoining in 1979, and would appear again on the OGWT (24.02.76) as a member of underachieving ‘supergroup’ Widowmaker.
(Hawkwind, of course, never made it onto the show – speaking to Sounds (23.08.75), Simon House said, “We've heard that Bob Harris isn't that keen on Hawkwind.”)
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