in all, it works up to a nice piece of theatre,
spontaneous theatre that is. lt's great to be able to improvise something
like that at the drop of a hat.
Rock is a very theatrical thing, what with body language, gesture, movement, mime and the like. Although we're steadily getting into more theatre we're very wary about it becoming too contrived.
In some way, it must grow out of the music. By the time the tour finishes we should have got all this down to a fine art - and we shall use it as a springboard for something really good. Rock theatre is at the moment doing little more than being attractive or sensational - it would be good to go a step further and produce something really valid."
Robert Calvert - from an interview w. Geoff Barton; SOUNDS, Oct. 1976
Calvert was the focal point, rather than the
lightshow. As well as providing Hawkwind
with a full-time vocalist he turned the shows away from psychedelia and
towards rock theatre by assuming the identities of characters or ideas
within the songs and illustrating the themes with mime and by his appearance.
For Steppenwolf it was the top hat and long black overcoat,
| for Hassan
I Sahba it was the pair of swords. At other times it was his black
leather jodphurs, boots and gloves, his flying helmet, goggles, pistol
camouflage suit and various other props. He wrote the songs, created the
images and absorbed himself into them onstage to the point that by the
end of a tour he was sometimes unable
to leave the characters behind when the show was over.
Brian Tawn, July 1992
back to: Calvert's biography | | Calvert & Hawkwind