[CHRONOLOGY] 1978: Give Yourself To Gravity
Ref: p300 – “In April, his album Xitintoday, credited to Nik Turner’s Sphynx, is released on Charisma.” Judging from the press ads, its exact release date was probably 21.04.78.
Ref: p302 – “But instead of the Sonic Assassins, they’ll be the Hawklords…” Various parties – including Robert Calvert – have claimed that there was some kind of legal problem with using the ‘Hawkwind’ name at the time, but it’s unclear what this could have been. Doug Smith certainly doesn’t recall any issue. It's possible that Brock viewed the March 78 US split as a way of divesting himself of one band before forming another, but there's no indication - initially at least - that he wanted the Hawklords to play under the name of 'Hawkwind' (even if that's how promoters billed them when they toured).
Ref: p302 – Prior to hooking up with Brock again as the Hawklords, what had Calvert been up to following Hawkwind’s ‘split’? According to The Stage (30.03.78), “ROBERT CALVERT, lead singer with Hawkwind, is giving a programme of Power Poetry at the Round House Downstairs on April 2.” It’s unknown whether this actually happened or not.
Ref: p302 – “… the Bohemian Love-In, a free concert organised by Turner at the Roundhouse to promote Xitintoday.” Sphynx played other gigs in 1978, notably at an impromptu version of the Glastonbury festival that doesn’t even make it into the official history. Nevertheless, there are photographs on the BBC website of Sphynx performing there.
They also appeared the following year. Nik Turner told me, “The BBC commissioned me to do a performance of my Sphynx show at Glastonbury. Around the same time, I’d been putting Inner City Unit together, and in the evening after we’d done the Sphynx show, we got a bit bored, so we got ICU out and started blasting away with that... Jeremy Sandford, who was a writer and poet, tagged along – he thought I was something exceptional.”
Jeremy Sandford is still perhaps best known for writing 1966 BBC TV play Cathy Come Home, but by the 1970s, he had become involved in documenting the lives of Britain’s gypsy and traveller communities, which is presumably how he came into Turner’s orbit. In the 2005 book Glastonbury: An Oral History of the Music, Mud and Magic, Turner says, "(The BBC commission) came out of a series of articles that Jeremy Sandford was writing for The Sun about reincarnation. They filmed it and interviewed me and a girl called Karina (possibly Corrina from the band Androids Of Mu - JB), who was singing with us."
Hawkfan Oz Hardwick recalled that part of the Glastonbury Sphynx recording had appeared in a programme about reincarnation, in which Nik was also interviewed. Hawkfan Bill Barwick identified the programme as I Have Seen Yesterday, broadcast on BBC1 on 5 August 1980. In a disparaging review that appeared in The Guardian the next day, Nancy Banks-Smith noted that Nyk (sic) "conducted his interview dressed as a mummy" and that The Sphinx (sic) featured "assorted mummies and a lead singer wearing a yellow leotard and a bird mask".
Ref: p302 - CORRECTION: "But Calvert and Brock are impressed by the concert’s staging,
particularly the dancers from the Ballet Rambert encased in bandages and blindfolds..." According to a review of the show in Sounds, the Ballet Rambert actually pulled out at the last minute, to be replaced by a seven-piece mime troupe dubbed the Bubblettes (who were presumably in the bandages...?)
Ref: p302 – CORRECTION: “Establishing a base at Langley Farm near Barnstable…” Err, that of course should be Barnstaple.
Ref: p302 - CORRECTION? "King plays on the initial sessions... but soon leaves, disgruntled... he’s replaced by Martin Griffin..." Occasionally, something obvious stares you in the face, which you choose to ignore anyway... In one of the pictures used to promote the Hawklords album, the band leer from behind a wire fence. But hang on... there's six of them in the picture. Closer inspection reveals that the guy above Brock wearing a 'beret' (it's actually an ice hockey mask flipped up) is Simon King - yet there's Martin Griffin to the right of him. Evidently, both King and Griffin were at some of the Hawklords recording sessions at the same time - in fact, both are credited on 'The Only Ones'. However, it doesn't look like this was a conscious return to a double drummer line-up, and King soon left Griffin to it. (Thanks to Hawkfan Pedro Bellavista for clarifying this)
Ref: p303 - CORRECTION: "d - Steve Gett, Melody Maker, 10/78" This reference should be 'Hawk Lords Swoop' - Steve Gett, Record Mirror, 21/10/78.
Ref: p310 – The “tiny creep” mentioned in ‘The Age Of The Micro Man’ might perhaps be a reference to the cult 1965 novel Smallcreep's Day by Peter Currell Brown, a surreal satire on assembly line work. Mike Rutherford of Genesis would go on to make an album of the same name in 1980, the first side of which was a conceptual suite based on the book’s themes. (Thanks to Hawkfan Bill Barnett for this suggestion)
Ref: p310 – “1 - This is the only Hawkwind album that Charisma itself releases in both UK/Europe and US.” Though not at the same time – the album wasn’t released in the US or Australia until April 1979, which might perhaps explain why Charisma were still promoting it with the release of ‘25 Years’ as a single in May of that year (although this single wasn’t available in either the US or Australia, so once again, who knows?).
Ref: p312 - "'...Bob Calvert stood in his urban guerrilla costume, empty bandolier over his shoulder, and megaphone hanging at his side.'” Calvert didn't just take up his megaphone on stage during the Hawklords tour. There are pictures of him playing guitar at these shows (song(s) unknown), but more intriguingly, reports that he also played the trumpet part on 'Psi Power' (according to Hawkfan Phill Simpson, who saw the Middlesbrough Town Hall date). Calvert had played trumpet as a young Air Cadet in Margate, and there are shots of him playing the instrument during the Cardiff Castle show, 24 July 1976 (again, song(s) unknown). Whether he played trumpet on ASAM eg. 'Kerb Crawler' - as has sometimes been claimed - remains unconfirmed.
Ref: p315 - "UA re-release ‘Silver Machine’... Hawklords are performing it on tour – but this implicit rejection of the band's new aesthetic must be a little galling for someone as anti-nostalgia as Calvert." An advert re-promoting the Roadhawks album made me rethink this statement. The ad loudly proclaims "The only Hawkwind album to include Silver Machine", presumably because they were hoping to generate sales off the back of 'Silver Machine''s re-release as a single, which was in the charts at the time. Yet the ad also features tour dates for the contemporary Hawklords tour - the band were on Charisma at this point, so why would UA do this? Perhaps they thought that encouraging people to go and see the Hawklords would help push 'Silver Machine' up the charts, particularly as the band had started playing the song again. But why had they started playing it again, given that it didn't exactly fit with the whole Hawklords image/concept? Was there actually an informal agreement between Brock/Calvert and UA to promote it on the tour, given that sales from the single would generate royalties for them?
Ref: p315 – I didn’t mention in the book the abortive Kittihawks ‘reunion’ that Nik Turner tried to pull together, mainly because very little seems to have happened. However, a gig was advertised in music press, to take place at Camden’s Electric Ballroom on 2 November 1978, featuring (according to the ad): “The crew of SILVER MACHINE – Nick (sic) Turner, Lemmy, Simon King, Simon House, Hugh (sic) Lloyd-Langton, Dik Mik, Allan (sic) Powell and Andy Calquhouin (sic).” Suffice to say this didn’t happen, with an initial rehearsal falling apart after half an hour. Something was definitely afoot though: a press story reported that it was organised as Hawkwind's "farewell gig", no doubt a pointed dig from Turner that the Hawklords weren't the 'real' Hawkwind.
Ref: p316 – CORRECTION: “1… neon pink against monochrome is a Bubbles theme in 1978: see the back cover of Iggy Pop’s ‘Kill City’ single and an advert for Do It Yourself by Ian Dury and The Blockheads.” Actually, the Do It Yourself advert is from 1979. However, here’s another Bubbles design from 1978 that looks like it influenced the Hawklords sleeve.
Ref: p316 - "5 - This film was shot by Chris Gabrin, as “an experimental piece without sound..." A copy of this film (played as an intro piece during the Hawklords tour) is held by the Arts Council under the classification of "mixed media and video installation". When I asked the Arts Council about this (with a view to hiring it), they replied, "In addition to the video, the work consists of an installation of four chipboard panels showing four photographs. A milk bottle containing earth, rags, air and water is centred on the floor in front of each panel on top of the record covers. The size of the panels are each 1'6'' x 4' 0''." Here are some stills from the film, courtesy of Hawkfan Richard Blandford:
Ref: p316 - CORRECTION: "6 - Many of the cartoons come from Christopher Grey’s Leaving The 20th Century: The Incomplete Work Of The Situationist International." Oops, that should be Christopher Gray.
[ESSAY] New Worlds And Dangerous Visions: Hawkwind As The Ultimate Science Fiction Band
Ref: p323 – Another possible early sci-fi influence on band members as they grew up – particularly given its name ;-) – was Jeff Hawke, a comic strip which ran in the Daily Express from 1955 to 1974, and is regarded as one of the first SF comic strips for adults.
Ref: p324 – “If Moorcock was the New Wave’s prophet, J.G. Ballard was the word made flesh.” Ballard also exerted some influence on the more intellectual end of the British counterculture. This amusing anecdote is from The Inner Man, John Baxter’s J.G. Ballard biography: “In July 1970, Ballard had gone to Phun City, a chaotic two-day rock concert taking place outside the seaside town of Worthing. Jim didn't attend for the music, but because William Burroughs had been invited. When Jim arrived at the gate, the Hells Angels retained as security told him, 'Dad, you're in the wrong place'. According to Maxim Jakubowski, 'all the writers present were utterly bewildered as to why they should be there, and never made it to the stage, although the DJ kept on saying through the sound system that all these fab groovy people were there'. (Some took this amiss. Paul Ableman, reviewing Hello America a few years later, recalled how 'an amplified voice kept bawling aggressively that we would shortly be addressed by "the greatest writer in the whole world, Jimmy Ballard'''.)”
Ref: p326 – “And in Ballard’s The Crystal World (1966), time itself has begun to solidify into a dazzling canopy of fractal shapes, a description of reality through the perceptual lens of LSD.” While still an accurate description, I should note that The Crystal World was written before Ballard’s one and only experience of LSD in 1967. There are plenty of other references in SF literature to drugs that alter or enhance perceptions: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (soma), with Huxley going on to become an advocate of mescaline in The Doors Of Perception; Frank Herbert’s Dune (melange/spice); Christopher Priest’s Indoctrinaire (hallucinogens); Thomas Disch’s Camp Concentration (Pallidine (syphilis)). LOTS of references in Philip K Dick’s novels eg. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (Can-D/Chew-Z) and A Scanner Darkly (Substance D). And of course, much of William Burroughs’ writing was inspired by and about his drug use.
Ref: p326 - "The most on-the-nose effort was The Byrds’ ‘Space Odyssey’, a musical version of Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘The Sentinel’ (1951)..." Actually, there's a song from 1969 that has an even closer connection to its SF source material: 'Cool Green Hills Of Earth' by the US country rock group Southwind (!). This is actually credited to Robert Heinlein, as the words are taken directly from his well-known short story 'The Green Hills Of Earth', about a blind, space-faring songwriter. And according to Wikipedia, "The song 'The Green Hills of Earth' which appears in the story was also used in the 11th episode of the third series of the British radio series, Journey into Space."
Another Heinlein reference is made in the Frank Zappa song, 'Absolutely Free' (1968), a mocking attack on the counterculture that features the word "Discorporate" a number of times. Heinlein popularised this word/concept in his novel Stranger In A Strange Land, meaning either to die or move to a higher plane of existence. Stranger... was an essential text of the 60s hippie movement. (And as noted in DOTU, Heinlein was also a big influence on Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner.)
Ref: p329 – “On ‘Born To Go’, the Hawkship achieves escape velocity…” Robert Calvert took inspiration from William Burroughs a number of times – see The Hawkwind Log, ‘Orgone Accumulator’, ‘Hassan I Sahba’ and ‘Flying Doctor’ – and ‘Born To Go’ appears to be another example, apparently referring to the Burroughs quote, “Why are we here? We're here to go!” Except that quote is attributed as coming after Calvert’s lyric. However, Burroughs was actually paraphrasing his friend and collaborator Brion Gysin. This is from Gysin's 1969 novel The Process:
"Of course the sands of Present Time are running out from under our feet. And why not? The Great Conundrum: 'What are we here for?' is all that ever held us here in the first place. Fear. The answer to the Riddle of the Ages has actually been out in the street since the First Step in Space. Who runs may read but few people run fast enough. What are we here for? Does the great metaphysical nut revolve around that? Well, I'll crack it for you, right now. What are we here for? We are here to go!"
So perhaps this is where Calvert got ‘Born To Go’ from, particularly given the quote’s context? (And maybe "the shell" that Calvert sang about breaking out from was a nutshell rather than an egg??)
Ref: p334 - CORRECTION: "an interpretation of Herman Hesse’s 1927 novel..." Oops, that's Hermann with two 'n's (ditto the reference on p443).
Ref: p335 - "the title of the final dramatic instrumental, ‘The Iron Dream’, comes from a 1972
parallel reality novel by Norman Spinrad..." Here's an interesting quote I came across from Michael Moorcock on an old Hawkwind fan site: "I learned that a young woman had been raped by a young man calling himself Elric and saying that Elric compelled him... This made me once again consider the aggressive anti-intellectual elements in Sword and Sorcery fiction which some describe as fascist. I had discussed the idea of Hitler being a Sword and Sorcery writer with Norman Spinrad and out of that had come Norman's wonderful The Iron Dream."
Ref: p336 – “Star Wars showed that movie SF didn’t have to be entirely pessimistic…” While Damnation Alley might have been the last of the overtly apocalyptic movies being churned out by Hollywood in the 70s, it didn’t completely give up on stranger, more leftfield SF – see Nic Roeg’s The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976), Donald Cammell’s Demon Seed (1977) and Philip Kaufman’s remake of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978), all excellent films.
Ref: p344 – 3… “Jerry reached into his pocket. He turned on his miniature stereo taper. Hawkwind was halfway through ‘Captain Justice’; a VC3’s (sic) synthetic sounds shuddered, roared and decayed” (The English Assassin, 1972).” Moorcock named this fictitious song after a Boys Own-style character from the 1930s.
The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction says that Captain Justice was: “The hero of a long-running series of boys' stories published in Modern Boy, a weekly magazine published by Amalgamated Press through the 1930s. Very British, Captain Justice wore white ducks, smoked cigars and worked out of Titanic Tower in the mid-Atlantic. In the course of battling for good, he survived robots, giant insects, runaway planets and an Earth plunged into darkness. His exploits deeply affected the impressionable mind of a young Brian W. Aldiss, among others of that generation.”
Indeed, in John Baxter’s J.G. Ballard biography The Inner Man, Moorcock says, “He'd read quite a lot of the same boys' fiction as me. Maybe the secret [of his skill] can be found in Captain Justice in Boys Friend Library, a serious rival to Biggles.”
Ref: p345 – “6 - The way in which Hawkwind become unmoored in time in The Hawkwind Log recalls Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).” Hawkwind would later release a song actually based on this novel, ‘The War I Survived’ from 1988’s The Xenon Codex.
Ref: p348 - "23... After writing the Hawklords books, Michael Butterworth’s next job was novelising Space: 1999’s second series." But it looks like Hawkwind/Michael Moorcock was still on his mind, as evidenced by this page from Space: 1999 novel The Space-Jackers (Thanks Hawkfan Richard Farrell for this spot!)
Ref: p348 – CORRECTION: “24… ‘Uncle Sam’s On Mars’ had evolved from Calvert reading his poem ‘Vikings On Mars’ over ‘Opa-Loka’.” This isn’t entirely accurate. The words that Calvert actually started reciting over ‘Opa-Loka’ were from ‘The Making Of Midgard’ off Lucky Leif And The Longships. This combination of music and words became known as ‘Vikings On Mars’ – probably inspired by the Viking 1 space probe that was on its way to Mars at the time – before the lyrics changed, and the song turned into ‘Uncle Sam’s On Mars’. However, I don’t think there was ever an actual standalone poem entitled ‘Vikings On Mars’.
Ref: p349 - "29... Centigrade 232 was also the title of Calvert’s first poetry collection (published by Quasar Books in 1977)". Reviews (mainly positive) of Centigrade 232 didn't start appearing until the following year, but the book launch took place in 1977 at the Battersea Arts Centre. To read a first-hand account of the event, including a classic piece of Calvert 'spontaneous theatre', go here.
[CHRONOLOGY] 1979: I Hope You've Brought Your Credit Card With You
Ref : p353 - "There are also less-formed recordings..." One recording from the early '79 Rockfield sessions that didn't emerge until recently was the peculiarly titled jam 'Oh My Fingers, They Must Ache', part krautrock, part plain odd. The Brock / Bainbridge / Swindells / King line-up also recorded an early, work-in-progress version of 'Motorway City', released in 2000 on the Hawkwind Family Tree album (listen from 52:45). And listen here to the rough demos of 'Shot Down In The Night' and 'Turn It On, Turn It Off' from the same sessions.
Ref: p353 – “April sees the re-emergence of Del Dettmar, who plays EMS Synthi and ‘electric axe’ on Stranger In Mystery, the debut album from Melodic Energy Commission…" Hawkwind archivist Keith Kniveton sheds some light on Dettmar’s electric axe: “I met him at the Hawkestra and he delighted in showing me his rig, which was basically a modified EMS Synthi through a collection of effects like harmonisers. There was no keyboard, and instead he played the axe which had a bass string and one pickup, which was adjustable in position. This fed an EMS Pitch-To-Voltage Converter which in turn controlled the Synthi.”
Ref: p354 – “Charisma has mysteriously decided to give the Hawklords album one last plug, and also on 18 May releases ‘25 Years’ as a 7” single and 12” EP…” Why did Charisma release ‘25 Years’ in May 1979, nearly eight months after the album was out? Was it a contractual obligation or, as previously noted, does it somehow tie in with the April 1979 release of Hawklords in the US and Australia (despite the single not being released in those territories)? Calvert and Steve Swindells had left by now and the Hawklords as a band had effectively ceased to exist – yet it seems likely that the release of ’25 Years’ as a single must have been mooted at some point, because it’s a substantially re-recorded version which includes a different Calvert vocal.
The release of ’25 Years’ also makes Hawklords the only Hawkwind album to have two singles taken from it.
Ref: p354 – "On the back, the workers have risen up to strike a revolutionary pose, a crashed bomber behind them." This image looks like it was inspired by a combination of Delacroix’s Liberty Leading The People and Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin.
Ref: p354 – "The designers put their own spin on the title, with ‘1979’ printed front top-right corner, and ‘2004’ on the reverse.” Actually, the inner sleeve of Hawklords does similar, though rather than projecting into the future, it’s labelled ‘1953’ and ‘1978’.
Ref: p355 – “7 – Clearly fonder of this incarnation of the band, John Peel also spins ‘25 Years’ on his 24 May show.” He wasn’t the only DJ at Radio One who played it. Amusingly, Hawkfan Marc Gascoigne recalls: “I remember Simon Bates playing it and going off on a rant about ‘how there weren't enough job opportunities for young punks like these Hawklords kids, such a shame they feel like they’re on the scrapheap.’ He was past it even then.”
Ref: p357 – “Dating from 1977, but released too late to be heard as first-wave punk, there’s nothing tokenistic about ‘Death Trap’…” On a recording of Hawkwind’s Dunstable Queensway Hall gig from 19 June 1977, Calvert can already be heard singing the chorus to ‘Death Trap’ at the end of ‘Brainstorm’, while the band had supposedly demoed a track entitled ‘Death Car’ a couple of months previously. (For reference, Never Mind The Bollocks wasn’t released until 28 October 1977)
Ref: p357 – CORRECTION: “Originally an evolution of ‘Opa-Loka’ (plus Calvert’s ‘Vikings On Mars’ poem)…” See previous reference to ‘Vikings On Mars’, p348.
Ref: p362 - "... later copies come with a red sticker over the offending image which reads “Warning: This Sticker Must Not Be Removed” When PXR5 was reissued in 1982 on a twofer cassette with Quark, the sleeve image was actually changed to a correctly wired plug.
Ref: p363 - CORRECTION: "Re-titled ‘Cricket Star’... this tweaked and partially re-recorded version of the
original is released in July..." Actually, the master tape of 'Crikit Lovely Reggea' had long since been lost, and 'Cricket Star' was a completely re-recorded version featuring just Calvert and Adrian Wagner. You can hear it here.
Ref: p363 – “‘The Greenfly And The Rose’ is a deceptively pretty ballad about the world, and ultimately the universe, being consumed by “aphids”…” Hawkfan Jane Bonney points out, “As a professional gardener, I admire the way Calvert managed to fit the names of no less than nine varieties of rose into his lyrics.” They are: Love Affair, Pink Sensation, Sterling Silver, Virgo, Blue Moon, Baccarat, Super Star, Forever Yours, and Peace.
Ref: p364 - "Brock hints at a signing with Automatic, a new subsidiary of Warner Bros set up by Nick Mobbs, ex-boss of EMI’s progressive label Harvest." Mobbs had also been the man responsible for signing the Sex Pistols to EMI.
Ref: p365 – CORRECTION: "10... Both songs were re-recorded for 1981’s Hype..." Hype was actually released February 1982 – see ref: p248.
[ESSAY] Countdown To Year Zero: Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's Hawkwind
Ref: p368 – “One such presence was occasional acid dealer and future Pistols frontman John Lydon…” This is from an interview with Do Not Panic filmmaker Tim Cumming: “I used to follow Hawkwind, when I was young. Whenever I knew they were gigging, and festivals in particular, I’d always zoom off, and bunk on the train and go off up there, usually alone. They had a family-type of affair wrapped around them, at the same time they had a biker crew [laughter]. We all had similar interests. I was very young for them, I suppose. I wasn’t one for back-stage hanging out, so don’t get me wrong, saying that. I was out front, me. I came for the music, not the social scene.” (‘Q&A: John Lydon’ – Tim Cumming, The Arts Desk, 22.10.16)
Ref: p368 – “Other Hawkwind heads among punk’s prime movers include Pete Shelley, Jean-Jacques Burnel, Tony James, T.V. Smith and Gaye Advert.” Three other important post-punk figures who had Hawkwind in their back histories were The Fall’s Mark E Smith (here he is expressing his admiration to Tim Cumming), Gang Of Four’s Jon King (listen here from 42.28), and The Slits' Viv Albertine ("Hawkwind got to recognise me and Zaza and often gave us a lift back into central London in the back of their van. They never made a move on us or said anything sexual, they were very gentlemanly." Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. Viv Albertine).
And here's a great passage from Sex Pistol Steve Jones' autobiography Lonely Boy, from the chapter entitled 'Silver Machine':
"One of the best things about life at Banstead Hall was being able to watch Top of the Pops on a Thursday night. I was sitting in front of that approved school TV when two of the biggest events in my musical education took place. The first, in June 1972 (that’s definitely right, cos I looked it up on YouTube), was Hawkwind’s ‘Silver Machine’. Obviously I didn’t know then that I’d end up buying speed off Lemmy in Notting Hill a few years after, or that we’d be friends for years in LA later on. What I did know was that I fucking loved that song. If there was a soundtrack for my car and bulldozer and moped stealing exploits, ‘Silver Machine’ was it."
In 2022, a 6-part series based on Lonely Boy, entitled Pistol, and directed by Danny Boyle, was released on Disney+ (!) In episode 1, there's a scene where the young Jones attempts to steal Hawkwind's gear from the deserted stage of the Hammersmith Odeon - however, he is apprehended by the police, given a good kicking, and imprisoned. Jones had earlier been shown stealing some of David Bowie's equipment - this actually happened in real life, but the Hawkwind episode appears to be fictional...
There’s also this intriguing comment from Craig Leon, producer of the Ramones debut LP: “And there was a band called Hawkwind, which was very, very reminiscent of the controlled chaos of the Ramones. It doesn’t mean they sound exactly like that—it means that style was applied, or the Kraftwerk style was applied.” (‘The Ramones’ Debut Album Is Still the Best Punk Record of All Time’ – Tim Sommer, Observer, 27.04.16)
Ref: p374 – “Which makes their impact on a number of the punk and new wave acts that came out of America in the late 70s all the more surprising.” More obscure than Dead Kennedys and Pere Ubu, but most certainly influenced by Hawkwind, was the Florida-based electropunk band Futurisk. Founder Jeremy Kolosine had grown up in London before moving to the US, taking his love of Hawkwind with him. Here’s the band in 1980 doing a version of Calvert’s ‘The Aerospaceage Inferno’.
Ref: p375 - "Jon Savage identifies other US disciples: “If ever there was a group that was
influenced by Hawkwind, it’s Pere Ubu..." Well, maybe, and maybe not. In a review for Ohio Scene (28 March 1974) entitled 'Hawkwind - Sci-Fi Banality', future Pere Ubu singer David Thomas (under the pseudonym Crocus Behemoth) describes the band's music as "just unbearably pretentious and stupid" (though seems impressed by their light show). And yet here he is in 2018 doing a version of 'Master Of The Universe'...
Ref: p377 - What better illustration of Hawkwind's influence on the punk world than this cover from 1979 of 'Urban Guerilla' by Finnish punks Kollaa Kestää (featuring X-Ray Spex's Lora Logic on sax)?
Ref: p379 – “10 – Crispy Ambulance, one of Joy Division’s contemporaries, first formed to play Hawkwind and Magazine covers…” The band’s Alan Hempsall confirms this: “It is true. ‘Brainstorm’ and ‘MOTU’ were the first two songs (we did). The opening number at our debut was ‘The Right Stuff’ off Capt Lockheed.” Another Hawkwind fan was Graham Massey, who played with Crispy Ambulance at the time, before going on to form Biting Tongues, and then 808 State.
Ref: p379 - "11... Hawkwind were sometimes accused of ripping off art-punk pranksters Devo from nearby Akron... Mike Davies notes that Hawkwind had played Akron back in 1973-74, and wonders did the influence flow in the other direction?" Yes indeed, according to Dave Brock. In an interview with Brian Tawn's Hawkfan, he says, "There are a lot of bands all over Europe and America that have been influenced by us - Devo are one... they come from Akron and they saw us play there. They said, "This is the sort of music we want to play." So we said, "Get a band together - do it." ('Free Fall' - Jonathan Hope, Hawkfan 4, March 1980)
[CHRONOLOGY] 1980: No Cause For A Deviation
Ref: p386 – “First off the blocks is Nik Turner’s Inner City Unit, with their debut album Pass Out.” The album’s official release date was 20 February. However, reviews of it were still appearing in June, so it’s likely that it may have come out later than that. Or possibly it was available directly from Riddle Records in February, but wasn’t picked up for nationwide distribution until later.
Ref: p387 - CORRECTION: "Produced in limited qualities..." Now there's a Freudian slip - it should of course be "limited quantities".
Ref: p387 - CORRECTION: "Dettmar’s track ‘Escargot’ is a nice piece of quirky, jazzy psych..." Not sure where I got the idea that Del had sole writing credit on this, as he shares it with other members of the band. Still a nice track though ;-)
Ref: p388 – CORRECTION: “1 – ICU on this album include Trev Thoms on guitar, who will play on Calvert’s Hype album (1981), and Phillip ‘Dead Fred’ Reeves on keyboards, who will later play with both Hawkwind and Krankschaft, Calvert’s live band from 1986.” Reeves appeared with Calvert, alongside Steve Pond (also ex-ICU) and Mary Cason, as Krankschaft just once, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, 1 October 1986. On the subsequent tour, featuring Calvert, Reeves and Pond, the band were known as The Maximum Effect (after the second ICU album). And again, Hype was actually released in 1982.
Ref: p388 - "4... ‘Assassination’ (aka ‘Some People Never Die’)" Of all of Dave Brock's 'borrowings' over the years, this has to be one of the more overt. Both the newsreel recordings and the driving riff underneath them are 'sampled' directly from the track 'They Call Me Gun' from the 1970 album Number One by On The Seventh Day - listen from 4:16 and 6:28.
Ref: p389 – “7… Swindells’ album Fresh Blood, featuring both this and ‘Turn It On, Turn It Off’, is released later in the year.” Steve Swindells was another member of the Hawkwind diaspora who managed to get on The Old Grey Whistle Test. He appeared on the 6 December 1980 programme playing ‘Don't Wait On The Stairs’ and ‘Fresh Blood’.
Ref: p396 – “And in October comes the second and third of the Weird Tapes… the latter consisting of live tracks from Watchfield 75 and Stonehenge 77…” The consensus of opinion is that the tracks labelled as being from Stonehenge are actually from other dates on the June 77 Quark tour.
Ref: p396 – “Calvert… and his ever-evolving activities crop up in Pye’s article, with their ex-singer noted to be writing a novel about the vagaries of the music business called Hype.” Calvert also recorded the album of the book in 1980, although it wasn't released until 1982.
Another oddball project that Calvert was involved in around this time was helping Barney Bubbles and Nik Turner to record Ersatz, an album released in 1982 credited to The Imperial Pompadours. Calvert sings on manic versions of ‘Brand New Cadillac’ and 'I'm A King Bee', and contributes German-accented readings parodying Hitler's Mein Kampf on the side-long sound collage ‘Insolence Across The Nation’, back once again in Captain Lockheed territory.
Ref: p404 - "On 7 November, Bronze issues an edited version of ‘Who’s Gonna Win The War?’ as a single." This wasn't Hawkwind's choice. According to an interview with Dave Brock in Hawkfan 6, "Hawkwind had already recorded a specially shortened version of 'Motorway City' as their choice for the next single. They even had a cover drawn up for it." ('The Hawkwind Experience' - Simon Veness, Hawkfan 6, September 1981)
[APPENDIX 1] Hawkwind And Related UK Discography 1970-1980
Ref: p413 – CORRECTION:
‘Hurry On Sundown’/‘Mirror Of Illusion' 7" 7 August 1970
“Greasy Truckers Party 5 May 1972”
“Hall Of The Mountain Grill 6 September 1974”
"Lucky Leif And The Longships” 12 September 1975”
Ref: p414 – CORRECTION:
“Xitintoday 21 April 1978”
"Pass Out 20 February 1980"
"Hawkwind (Rock File reissue) 23 February 1980"
"Repeat Performance (compilation) 6 September 1980"
[APPENDIX 2] BBC Sessions In The 1970s
You can listen to Hawkwind's 1970s radio sessions for the BBC by clicking on the programme titles here, albeit the first three are off-air recordings of varying quality...
John Peel’s Top Gear - first broadcast 19 September 1970 (although this recording is from the repeat of the session on 12 December 1970, with a different running order)
‘Some Of That Stuff’ / ‘Hurry On Sundown’ / ‘Seeing It As You Really Are’
John Peel’s Sunday Concert - first broadcast 15 November 1970
‘Paranoia’ / ‘Seeing It As You Really Are’ / ‘Untitled’
John Peel’s Top Gear - first broadcast 24 April 1971 (note that nearly all the dates on this YouTube upload are incorrect - though I love the comment from current Hawkwind bassist Doug MacKinnon underneath it!)
‘Inwards Out’ (aka ‘Master Of The Universe’) / ‘(You Know You’re Only) Dreaming’ / ‘You Shouldn’t Do That’
Johnnie Walker - first broadcast 14 August 1972
In Concert - first broadcast 14 October 1972
‘Countdown’ / ‘Born To Go’ / ‘The Black Corridor’ / ‘Seven By Seven’ / ‘Brainstorm’ / ‘Electronic No. 1’ / ‘Master Of The Universe’ / ‘Paranoia’ / ‘Earth Calling’ / ‘Silver Machine’ / ‘Welcome To The Future’
[APPENDIX 3] A Miscellany Of 70s Songs Released Post-1980
Ref: p419 – To listen to a playlist of these songs, go here for YouTube, and here for Spotify.
Ref: p425 - CORRECTION: "'Time For Sale'... Presumably no studio version exists..." It turns out a rough demo of 'Time For Sale' does exist, albeit possibly live in the studio, recorded September 1976.
Ref: p426 – CORRECTION: “‘Robot’ (alternative live version) – Recorded: Hammersmith Odeon, London – 5 October 1977” This version of ‘Robot’ was actually recorded at Croydon’s Fairfield Hall, 25 September 1977. More of the Croydon set is now available on the Days Of The Underground boxset.
Ref: p426 – CORRECTION: “‘Over The Top’ (Sonic Assassins live improvisation) Recorded: Queens Hall, Barnstaple…” The Sonic Assassins show is now available (almost) in its entirety on the Days Of The Underground boxset.
Ref: p427 – CORRECTION: "...Calvert’s 1981 Hype album." 1982...
[APPENDIX 4] A 70s Filmography
Ref: p431 – CORRECTION: “Dave Brock has said that the BBC film crew ‘recorded about half an hour of the show’” The ‘Silver Machine’ promo was made by Caravel Films, not the BBC.
Ref: p433 – CORRECTION: The silent 8mm films from Newcastle City Hall were taken by Hawkfan Dave Sutherland. The raw footage is no longer on YouTube, but it can be viewed here.
Ref: p433 - CORRECTION: "Marc - ‘Quark, Strangeness And Charm’ Recorded: Granada Studios, Manchester – early September 1977?" Mid-August seems more likely.
Ref: p434 - Hawklords tour/Heavy Street-Punk Show. Two film promos from this show were finally released in 2023 on the Days Of The Underground boxset - 'Automoton/25 Years' and 'Psi Power', cut to edited versions of these tracks from the Live '78 album. It remains unknown whether a film of the whole show exists. See the teaser video here.
Ref: p435 – “Hawkwind played various festivals that were professionally filmed, including the Isle Of Wight (1970), Glastonbury (1971) and Bickershaw (1972), so it’s possible that footage exists from at least one of their performances.” Ian Abrahams says this in Sonic Assassins (p30): “Captured fleetingly on celluloid, for Murray Lerner’s documentary Message to Love – Isle of Wight 1970 was Terry Ollis, stripped to the waist and trashing his drum kit for all it was worth.” However, subsequent re-viewings of Message To Love by various Hawkfans have drawn a blank, suggesting that Ian either saw a different version of the film or that the clip is from another documentary.
One strong possibility is ‘Sink The Island’, broadcast on BBC2 on 18 November 2000, the first part of a three-part series entitled Days In The Life (inspired by Jonathon Green’s book of the same name), “which focuses on three key days that reveal how the significance of the sixties extends far beyond sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.” ‘Sink The Island’ was described thus in the Radio Times: “In August 1970, the Isle of Wight hosted the biggest rock concert ever, with Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Who, Free, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez on the bill. But what should have been a celebration of peace and the music of an era ended in bitter conflict between organisers, locals, stars, police and Hells Angels.” Mick Farren featured heavily, though unfortunately the whole thing isn’t available online.
(Confusingly, a picture that does exist of Terry Ollis taken from an IOW film clip shows him fully clothed… STOP PRESS: I've recently discovered the clip this image is taken from - see Hawkwind On Film. I think this footage comes from 'Sink The Island'. Maybe Ian was mistaken about Terry being bare-chested and it was actually this film he saw?)
This clip confirms that Hawkwind/Pinkwind were filmed, however briefly, at the IOW. Wikipedia says of Message To Love, "The filming used eight cameras and took 175 hours of 16mm and 35mm Ektachrome footage..." It also says, "In recent years, Lerner's copious 16mm concert footage has been repurposed to create a wealth of complete-performance DVD releases", which also suggests that most of that footage still exists somewhere...
(There's also the briefest of glimpses of Nik Turner on the main stage, about to perform with Tropicália stars Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, which presumably is from Message To Love. See Addendum Infinitum 1969-1971, Ref: p20 - "3...")
Re Glastonbury, various members of Hawkwind – including Robert Calvert and Nik Turner – and the Pink Fairies can be seen at the start of the Glastonbury Fayre film (from 1.34) as part of an impromptu marching band roaming the festival site. But unfortunately, there’s no sign of Hawkwind’s performance in this film. (Thanks to Rich Deakin for this)
However, in Carol Clerk's The Saga Of Hawkwind, Dave Brock says, when talking about Pink Fairies associate Peter Pracownik, that "Peter actually gave me some of his old 8mm film. There's some footage from the first Glastonbury - and we are all there." (p67, The Saga Of Hawkwind)
Ref: p435 – “Brian Tawn recalls seeing a late night documentary about monks and beekeeping on Anglia TV in the late 70s which featured ‘Goat Willow’ as background music.” In The Golden Void, Allen Ashley also recalls ‘Goat Willow’ being used on the BBC’s popular science show Tomorrow’s World.
Here are a few more references to/rumours about Hawkwind on film in the 1970s:
Hawkfan Oz Hardwick: “Extremes, a poorly-made exploitation documentary from 1971 on then contemporary subcultures, has a clip of Nik at the Isle Of Wight festival, walking along the beach playing flute (no sound).”
Hawkfan Richard Standrin recalls: "There's footage of Brock, Nik and one other playing under the (Westway) arches in a film/documentary that was shown on Paul Merton's Room 101, with his guest Michael Gambon... It was the Portobello market that was the item Gambon wanted to put in the bin (actually all of Notting Hill - JB). They showed a film of the market in the sixties (presumably the seventies? JB), and it finished with a few seconds of Brock, Nik and one other busking under the archway." The programme - series nine, episode eight - was broadcast 1 November 2004. Does anybody else recall this?
Hawkfan Intone Ehrfurcht: “I am almost loathe to bring this up again, as I seem to get shot down whenever I do, but a guy I used to buy music clips from on video in the pre-YouTube days was adamant that there was a pro shot of a Space Ritual gig broadcast on German TV.”
Hawkfan Aaron Water maintains that Granada TV filmed one of the Space Ritual gigs (and Granada did have form in this regard, having filmed The Doors and Deep Purple among others) - I am still following this up...
Mike Dixon says there is video from the Wembley Pool performance as well as Cynthia Beatt's film: "Unedited film rushes exist from Wembley Pool in 1973. They were shot by two different early video cameramen. One on a Pal 525 porta pack in black and white and one on a colour NTSC pack. I've only seen the b/w material and the rushes feature mainly Stacia with a distorted and inconsistent audio track... I never saw the colour material, but according to (the organiser of the shoot), it was better filmed by a more professional cameraman." Said organiser is now dead, but all of these materials are apparently being held in a library... Hopefully more information to follow.
Weird Tapes artist Les Cox: “Windsor Free Festival 1973 – there is 22 seconds of cine film, featuring Stacia and the audience, but the band are almost entirely obscured. Another appearance in 1973 – Dave and Nik were interviewed on Irish TV, with regard to the ‘Urban Guerilla’/bombings episode.”
STOP PRESS: Incredible footage of Hawkwind at the Windsor Free Festival in 1973 was posted on YouTube in July 2021. Shooter Reg Millsom explains: "The film has been sitting in my loft all this time. I mentioned it to someone who was there and they suggested I digitise it. I never realised how rare this footage was and I am so glad in the way it has been received." View it (and other footage of Hawkwind from the 1970s) here.
Hawkfan Bill Barwick "saw some brief pro footage a few years ago of Nik and Stacia making an onstage apology for the band's non-appearance due to line-up delay. Possibly from a Scandinavian festival?" He thinks he saw it on a foreign TV archive site.
Hawkfan David Paul Howarth: “Hawkwind were filmed in Blackburn on the 74 tour and 78 Hawklords tour. They are full shows recorded by someone who worked at the venue (King George's Hall). He filmed lots of concerts there in the 70s from Bowie to the Police, none of which have ever seen the light of day. I have tried for over 30 years to get copies but to no avail.”
Brian Tawn: “Somewhere out there, there is four minutes of Hawklords at Cambridge, 1978, filmed by me on standard 8 film. I had to film for two minutes, then open up the camera, while in the mosh pit (holding the camera low to keep the light away from it) and reverse the film for the second two minutes. Silent and poor quality. Mostly clips of Dave and Bob. I had it copied to VHS for someone, but at the time I couldn't afford to do a copy for myself.”
See ref: p302 re the BBC filming of Nik Turner's Sphynx at the 1979 Glastonbury festival.
And for curiosity value, if nothing else, let's not forget Simon King's role as 'Neil', member of fictional band Sweaty Betty, in the 1970 exploitation movie Groupie Girl. Acting's loss was most definitely drumming's gain... (Simon's band Opal Butterfly recorded the film's title song)
Finally, here’s Simon House pondering the band's lack of invites to appear on TV: “Asked why so little of Hawkwind has been seen on television, House said: ‘We probably pose problems in that we've got so much of a light show. Last time we were on TV was three years ago when 'Silver Machine' got us onto Top Of The Pops. The Whistle Test? We've heard that Bob Harris isn't that keen on Hawkwind.’” ('Bob Doesn't Go A Bomb On Hawkwind' - John Anderson, Sounds, 23.08.75)