The Big Takeover - November 2020

Joe Banks

Hawkwind: Days Of The Underground: Radical Escapism In The Age Of Paranoia (Book) (Strange Attractor Press)

Does the world need a nearly 500-page tome on somewhat obscure ’70s rock relic? When said band is the hugely influential Hawkwind, the answer is an unqualified yes. Put on the band’s 1973 live album, Space Ritual, with the ferocious openers of “Earth Calling” and “Born to Go,” and try and imagine the sounds, a few years on, of Wire, PiL, My Bloody Valentine, et al. without Hawkwind’s singular attack—impossible. This engrossing work not only recounts the band’s cast, which included Nik Turner and for a while, future Motörhead legend Lemmy, but the world they created around them, including sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. More than just a band bio, this book truly captures the zeitgeist of the times, where freedom ran head on into paranoia, and Hawkwind rode the wave. Essential. (strangeattractor.co.uk)

Days Of The Underground is an in-depth primer to the music of Hawkwind in the 1970s. It also explores the ideas and concepts that fuelled the band during this period, and speaks to the crew that manned the ship.