[CHRONOLOGY] 1975: We're Tired Of Making Love
Ref: p180 – “Amid a flurry of music press front covers, Hawkwind get back on the road again.” Here’s promoter Andrew Kilderry once more: “25.1.75. A busy night promoting Hawkwind here (Bracknell Sports Centre). They were probably at their peak of popularity and drew one of our biggest crowds: 2,387. Their canny managers, Doug Smith and Wayne Bardell, had agreed a 90% nett deal. We paid them £1,870.96 which included VAT of £133.87 and after £100 had been deducted for damage to the venue! Drinks bill for the band was £14.36. Luckily our 10% nett was enough to pay a few bills!”
Ref: 180 – “Unlike Pink Floyd’s middle class audience, who ‘sit there comfortably’, Brock says, ‘ours is a predominantly working class audience…’” You get the sense there was a somewhat prickly relationship between Hawkwind and Pink Floyd during the first half of the 70s, despite, or perhaps because of, the clear influence that PF had asserted on the nascent Hawkwind. Doug Smith has claimed that Floyd ‘blanked’ Hawkwind during Le Festival Musique Evolution festival in France, March 1970 (though they probably did that to all of the bands). And when Melody Maker asked Dave Gilmour his opinion of Hawkwind, his response was recorded as: "'I don't ever listen to them, but they seem to be having jolly good fun,' said Dave without the trace of a smile." (‘Floyd Joy’ – Chris Welch, MM, 19.05.73). Floyd’s audience probably was a good deal less ‘working class’ than Hawkwind’s, but not exclusively so, and it certainly wasn’t all students and the idle rich buying TDSOTM. And of course, Gilmour did end up working with Hawkwind on Astounding Sounds.
Ref: p181 - CORRECTION: "A spokesman explains that after two UK and three US tours in 12 months..."Actually, doing the arithmetic, 16 months would be more accurate.
Ref: p182 – CORRECTION: “Warrior On The Edge Of Time is released on 9 May, just nine months after its predecessor.” Err, that of course should be eight months…
Ref: p188 - "‘Magnu’ starts in classic Hammer horror style, Brock’s stun-guitar riff scything through the sound effects..." Warrior was recorded under significant time pressure and with little material prepared beforehand, so it's perhaps not surprising that Brock took inspiration wherever he could find it. I've noted his various lyrical borrowings in the relevant endnotes (p190), and also that 'Assault And Battery' bears more than a passing resemblance to Roxy Music's 'Out Of The Blue' from the previous year (p210). But perhaps the most blatant musical lift is the riff to 'Magnu', which appears to have been taken wholesale from 'Stand Beside My Fire', a track from the self-titled 1974 album by the band Phantom's Divine Comedy. A deeply obscure recording now, it was nevertheless briefly infamous at the time due to rumours that it featured Jim Morrison on vocals, presumably from beyond the grave. Hawkfan Melissa Joseph is responsible for this spot, and also claims that Nik Turner once mentioned he had bought the album during one of Hawkwind's US tours.
The track 'Trieulogy' from the 1969 album Kak-Ola by Kak is also of interest, as its riff sounds not unlike 'The Golden Void', and its lyric also makes reference to a "knoll" (though "grassy" instead of "rocky"). (Thanks Hawkfan Bertö Om Leaver for the tip)
STOP PRESS: In response to the above, this is what Mike Moorcock had to say about the recording of Warrior: "It wasn't that hectic. Dave had a bunch of lyrics and could have got more from me or Bob. I didn't like The Wizard much and would rather have done something a little less 'fantasy' but Dave liked it. I had a deal with Bob - he had priority. Maybe he was in the bin at that point."
Ref: p191 - "Not only does it confirm Hawkwind’s ongoing popularity..." Another indication of how big the band still were in 1975 was contained in this message I received from Hawkfan Robert Jones: "I saw the Hawks at Hammersmith Odeon, on Sunday February 9th 1975 with my closest friend David. The tickets cost a pound (!), and they were selling for £10 outside of the venue."
Ref: p192 - "Moorcock had been a Woodie Guthrie-style folk-blues singer/guitarist on Soho’s coffee bar circuit in the late 50s..." And here's evidence of that activity, a HMV demo disc cut in 1956 of the somewhat implausibly titled 'Ache In My Toe Rock'. Moorcock says, "It was so bad I never played it after hearing it once. Guitar out of tune and banal lyrics worse than Wee Willie Harris!" He also says he recorded it just before working for Tarzan Adventures. Plus, here's another fabulous piece of Moorcock/Deep Fix memorabilia, a pin badge designed by Rodney Matthews' studio (though not Rodney himself).
Ref: p194 – “…and Lemmy has decided to form his own band instead.” According to Lucas Fox, Motörhead’s original drummer, it was at his suggestion that Lemmy put a band together: “When he got kicked out, it was an amazing shock to him… He was a car crash… possibly depressed. It hadn't really crossed his mind to form his own band.” This certainly wasn’t the line being promoted at the time: “’He’s got a mission,’ said Larry Wallis, the band’s guitarist. ‘He wants to topple Hawkwind. He wants to eclipse them is the way he put it. Lemmy’s got this burning desire.’” (‘Lemmy Aims To Fix Hawkwind’ – Circus Raves, Nov 75)
Ref: p194 – CORRECTION: “…as part of a package with Gong, Man and Henry Cow…” Magma were also part of this package, though perhaps not on the best of terms with Hawkwind. As Benjamin Piekut writes in his book Henry Cow: The World Is A Problem, re their appearance at the Gare de la Bastille, Paris show (22 June): “Magma’s formidable singer, Klaus Basquiz, took the stage with the rest of his group, grabbed a microphone, and declared, ‘We are Magma. We hate Hawkwind. We will destroy Hawkwind!’”
Ref: p194 - "a headline slot at the Reading Festival on 22 August... features a guest appearance from Robert Calvert..." Brian Harrigan's description of Calvert in Melody Maker's review of the festival is superb: "He looked like an alien being's idea of a Parisian Left-Bank beat with his blue beret and manic staring eyes." (Melody Maker, 30 August 1975)
Ref: p195 – Sounds ran the following report in its 23.08.75 edition, which includes some interesting assertions: “Hawkwind have a lot of ground to cover between now and the end of the year. Their globetrotting begins again on August 30 with a trip to Norway, then Sweden, France, Germany and Holland before the States in October for a month. They fly from there to Australia for two weeks. Keyboardist/violinist Simon House told John Anderson in Edinburgh: ‘We'll be taking five days off from all the travelling to go into the studio on September 10. We've no idea what we'll be doing this album, but since some of us haven't played together before in a studio it might well take a new shape.’” ('Bob Doesn't Go A Bomb On Hawkwind', John Anderson, Sounds)
While they did indeed tour the European countries mentioned, they didn’t visit the US or Australia. According to Hawkwind archivist and ex-synth player Keith Kniveton, there’s “a reel tape labelled Farmhouse Sessions which seems to date from mid/late 1975 and was recorded in Wales…” It’s where ‘Dawn’, one of the extra tracks on the Atomhenge reissue of Warrior, comes from and also includes “run throughs of an early version of ‘Reefer Madness’, ‘Shaft Meets Steppenwolf’, ‘Ragna Rock’ and a couple of instrumentals based around Paul's bass lines.” Could this be the September session that House mentions? But Calvert only officially rejoined the band in November?
Ref: p195 – “Along with the tape collage ‘Phase Locked Loop’, it’s one of the few times where Eno’s interest in voice and sound manipulation is evident.” I failed to mention Lucky Leif’s spoken word track ‘The Making Of Midgard’, though the delay and triple-tracking of Calvert’s voice renders it pretty much incomprehensible. However, this piece would have a second life as ‘Vikings On Mars’ (see Ref: p348)
STOP PRESS: Hawkfan Mik Crosby comments: "Regarding Robert Calvert’s 'The Making of Midgard'. The original issue is very clear, there seems to have been a mastering error, or an alternative version was used on all later reissues , starting with the vinyl reissue on BGO in 1987. At the time I was managing a record shop and played it on arrival and was horrified by the mess they’d made of the track."
[ESSAY] Existing In A Genre Of One: Hawkwind In Context Of The Pre-Punk British Rock Scene
Ref: p203 – “Key bands were King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Van
Der Graaf Generator…” I’ve been accused of being a little harsh on ‘prog’ in the book, so I’d just like to say that I’m also a huge fan of both King Crimson and VDGG ;-) Hawkwind played with VDGG numerous times in the 70s, and as Peter Hammill says in this fascinating interview about Robert Calvert, the bands may have sounded different, but “the anarchic element and the sonic quality and rawness of punk was there, both in the performances and sounds of HW and VDGG.” The interview also reveals that VDGG’s ‘Killer’ was an influential track on Calvert.
Ref: p207 – “…his entire persona during much of the decade is that of an androgynous alien far from home.” As epitomised of course by Bowie’s starring role in Nic Roeg’s 1976 cerebral SF movie The Man Who Fell To Earth.
Ref: p210 - "A number of Roxy tracks occupy the same zone of driving intensity as Hawkwind at full pelt, drummer Paul Thompson doing a fine version of the King Beat on tracks such as ‘Editions Of You’ and ‘The Thrill Of It All’. I neglected to mention the most renowned of these Roxy/King Beat mash-ups - 'Do The Strand'.
Ref: p211 – Another parallel between Hawkwind and Black Sabbath is their shared fondness for songs about drugs, although Sabbath’s most famous trio – ‘Hand Of Doom’, ‘Sweet Leaf’ and ‘Snowblind’ – predate Hawkwind’s – ‘Reefer Madness’, ‘Hassan I Sahba’ and ‘Flying Doctor’.
Ref: p212 - "4 - For example, Neil Young’s hippie homily ‘After The Goldrush'" Other songs from the same period promising salvation from the stars include Jefferson Airplane's 'Have You Seen The Saucers?' and Judee Sill's 'Enchanted Sky Machines'.
[CHRONOLOGY] 1976: Maybe It Was Only An Hallucination
Ref: p217 – "...the tracks segued into each other to create a unique spin on the best-of concept." I had wondered if there was another 'best of' album before Roadhawks that edited the tracks together into a seamless whole, and it turns out there was - This Is The Moody Blues, released October 1974. Tony Clarke, the Moody Blues' producer, had applied crossfades to the band's studio albums and decided to do the same for this compilation. Dave Brock was a big fan of the Moodies, so it's possible he took inspiration here.
Ref: p218 – “…this is a savage, headlong rush into oblivion that climaxes with a snarling (and uncredited) snippet of ‘Seeing It As You Really Are’.” In the interview with Nik Turner (p67), he quotes the lyrics he would sing during live versions of this song (“’Our saucers have landed, we’ve come to take your mind away / You know what we are after, we’ve come back for our property / You know exactly who we are, you knew us ten million years ago / When time was light… We’re going to take it now!’ Then it builds up with this climatic screaming, ‘Now, now, now!!’”). And if you listen carefully to that snippet of ‘SIAYRA’ on Roadhawks, that’s exactly what you can hear! (Thanks to Hawkfan Guy Thomas for this excellent spot)
Ref: p228 – Other pulp SF-inspired record covers from around the same time include The Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s Tomorrow Belongs To Me, Neil Merryweather’s Kryptonite, and Queen’s News Of The World.
Ref: p230 – “And so at the end of October, the only other remaining member of the original line-up is ejected into space.” According to the January 1977 issue of the revived International Times, the departure of Nik Turner in October 76 was “kept quiet” and only officially announced after the December tour, although his departure is addressed in Dick Tracy’s ‘Hawkwind Survive 1976!’ in the Christmas Day edition of NME – this article also confirms that a visiting Del Dettmar made a guest appearance with the band at the 5 October Hammersmith Odeon show.
Ref: p230 - "Hawkwind enter AIR Studios to record ‘Back On The Streets’ for release as a
standalone single." Just a small point, but why is this song titled 'Back On The Streets' plural when Calvert clearly sings, "Back on the street" singular throughout?
Ref: p231 - CORRECTION: "c - ‘The Glow Of The Futuristic Druids’ – Geoff Barton, Sounds, 2/10/76" The date of this article was actually 4/12/76.
Ref: p231 - "4... the 'Amazing' side of the album sleeve – ultimately rejected – was to have featured an illustration of a wolf-man’s head with laser beam eyes looming over a city of skyscrapers." And here it is...
[INTERVIEW] Paul Rudolph
Ref: p238 – “1 - According to Rudolph, demos of what became Quark were recorded while Powell and Turner were still in the band. But if they exist, they have yet to come to light.” It’s possible that some Quark material was worked on by the seven-piece band prior to the ASAM tour. In Hawkwind: Sonic Assassins, Ian Abrahams writes, “…rehearsals started in Wales producing demos of what became the next album, Quark Strangeness And Charm. ‘Some of it was quite nice music, actually,’ recalls Brock. ‘Del Dettmar was playing with us, doing synthesisers. [This is disputed by Dettmar – JB] Paul Rudolph was doing a funky sort of thing. Nik was playing flute as well as sax, some of it nice stuff…’” The fact that Brock mentions Turner suggests that the full ASAM band must have been present at these sessions, but it remains unclear exactly when they took place, and still no recordings have emerged from them.
[INTERVIEW] Alan Powell
Ref: p243 – “So me getting fired was fine. If I was in charge of the band, I would have fired me, so I was perfectly OK with it. I wasn’t upset, there were no harsh feelings on my part.” Alan may have been a little economical with the truth here – according to Hawkwind: Sonic Assassins (p83), Powell had attempted to sue the band “for stupid amounts of money” after he was fired.
[CHRONOLOGY] 1977: Your Android Replica Is Playing Up Again
Ref: p248 – CORRECTION: "4 - A version of ‘We Like To Be Frightened’ ended up on Calvert’s 1981 solo album Hype..." While the novel of Hype came out in October 1981, the album wasn't released until February 1982 (despite having been recorded in 1980, presumably towards the end of the year).
Ref: p250 – “‘Spirit Of The Age’ begins with the insect babble of mission control…” Followed by a Morse code transmission which, according to Hawkfan Mark Oliff, is spelling out “S.O.S.”
Ref: p250 - "Gradually fading up, Brock’s chugging guitar is ultra-minimal." For an interesting comparison, take a listen to this track from Ashra's New Age Of Earth, released the year before...
Ref: p251 - "After a lovely cross-faded segue, ‘Fable Of A Failed Race’ could be read as a sequel to ‘Damnation Alley’: a thousand years hence, when aliens colonise the earth, they
find only a desert of radioactive sand." 'Spirit Of The Age' into 'Damnation Alley' is also cross-faded, and in a German press release from 1977, Calvert says, "Quark, Strangeness And Charm, like some of our others, is at least partially a concept album. One side contains
songs which are concerned with life in a nuclear world, and the other side has some concept-less new songs..."
Ref: p252 – “‘Hassan I Sahba’” According to the letter that came with initial copies of the Weird Tapes, the original title of this track was ‘Assassins Of Allah’ – and that’s the name which was used when the band started playing the track again in the late 80s.
Ref: p256 – CORRECTION: “… presumably at Tony Howard’s behest, the brief goes to Hipgnosis, design house of choice for Pink Floyd.” According to Aubrey Powell, it was in fact Robert Calvert’s idea to use Hipgnosis: “I first met singer and lyricist Robert Calvert by chance at a friend’s house. During the course of the evening, he asked if I would design the cover for the next Hawkwind album, entitled Quark, Strangeness And Charm. Robert was both charming and strange and I could hardly refuse.” (Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art. – The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue – Aubrey Powell, 2017).
Hipgnosis were clearly keen on Battersea Power Station as a location – as well as using it for Pink Floyd’s Animals and Hawkwind’s Quark, its interior was also used on the cover of UFO’s Lights Out (all albums 1977).
Ref: p257 - "Charisma belatedly releases ‘Quark, Strangeness And Charm’ as a single on 29 July..." According to uber Hawkfan and ex-Lensman Mick Ouen, the image of the man with elastic skin that was used in the ad to promote this single - and had already featured in the album and related tour advertising - was disliked by Robert Calvert "because he thought the guy in the picture could have been mistaken for him."
Ref: p259 - "... the UK tour that follows in September..." There's an interesting quirk in the Quark tour programme. One page advertises the various posters for sale at the gigs - except one of them was never made available (see bottom left). The illustration is by SF artist Bob Layzell (thanks to Hawkfan Paul Forby for this info).
I contacted Bob to see what his memories were of this poster, and this is what he said: "The poster is by me. I did it many years ago. I have often wondered if it was still around somewhere! (I never got paid for it!) Logo was by me also. I met Hawkwind at a very unsuitable recording studio, a converted barn with mattresses on the walls. The problem was it was very near to an airport, and airliners were thundering overhead every few minutes! Any recording was impossible. We ended up playing with a frisbee. It was nice to meet them on a nice summer day. It was many years ago and I forget how I ever got there or how I came to do this piece of artwork for them!"
A crop of Bob's illustration was eventually used for the cover of Dave Brock's 1995 solo album Strange Trips & Pipe Dreams.
Ref: p262 - CORRECTION: "a - ‘Strange But Charming’ – Geoff Barton, Sounds, 9/7/77" This review actually appeared in June, possibly the 25/6 issue.
Ref: p262 - "2... Though compare the electrical circuit logo he [Barney Bubbles] designs for Clover’s 1977 Unavailable album, with Quark’s Hawkwind logo…" Compare away...
[ESSAY] Cosmic Dada Nihilismus! The Hawkwind Mythos And The Space Age Re-Enchanted
Ref: p277 – “… the Soviet space art produced in the wake of Gagarin’s historic flight is imbued with a cosmic utopianism…” For instance, take a look at this amazing selection of propaganda posters.
And for further evidence of the avant futurist mindset of the Soviet bloc, take a look at this catalogue of gigantic ‘spomenik’ sculptures from the former Yugoslavia.
Ref: p277 – “… a set of 21 ‘Galactic Tarot’ cards published in IT…” Want to cast your tarot using Hawkwind’s cards? Go here and keep refreshing the page…
Ref: p280 - "Alongside Kent’s article is a piece by Calvert, generally referred to as ‘Fly
As A Kite’..." This was printed in the July 72 issue of Frendz, but a shorter version of it had actually already appeared in a UA promo press booklet - reprinted and included with Nik Turner & Dave Thompson's book The Spirit Of Hawkwind - produced at the end of 1971. The Frendz version adds in the arrival of Lemmy, Calvert and King.
Ref: p284 – CORRECTION? “Pitched somewhere between the mock-heroism of ‘The Sonic Assassins’ and the irreverent fantasy of ‘Fly As A Kite’, [the Space Ritual programme] is another insight into group dynamics from Calvert’s perspective.” According to a piece in Melody Maker, it’s actually Barney Bubbles who writes ‘An extract from the Saga of Doremi Fasol Latido’: “A souvenir booklet… is planned for distribution at the concerts. This will contain a fantasy, written by Barney who is also responsible for some of the design and painting…” (‘Watch This Space’ – Andrew Means, Melody Maker, 28.10.72). While Bubbles wrote the Space Ritual ‘manual’ that was sent to the press and explained the stage show in terms of the “Pythagorean concept of sound”, the programme reads more like Calvert’s work. Perhaps Means was under a misapprehension?
Ref: p292 – “… Calvert chooses to cite Le Poer Trench and Goodavage rather than similar claims by UFO populist Erich von Däniken, whose bestselling Chariots Of The Gods? (1968) kick-started a popular fascination with all kinds of unexplained phenomena…” Ironically, IT’s review of Space Ritual is juxtaposed with its review of von Däniken’s third book Gold Of The Gods (IT 155, p23), suggesting that both items exist in the same universe...
Go to 1978-1980 & appendices