It was in the
summer of 1973...
in Bath, UK, when the author had the pleasure to have first communion
with HAWKWIND. Fresh
from searching for hidden entrances into a supposedly existing underground
maze under Glastonbury Tor, we were all much into Peace and Love, the
weird and strange music of The Incredible String Band or Quintessence
and other nutters permanently out to lunch...
much rougher on the things musical (whoever called this BLANGA?),
at this stage provided the lunatic fringe with much needed authenticity
that was far out and relentlessly psychedelic. A lot of people's
aims at this time was to get at all times as blotto as possible,
musicnauts and audiences alike.
Before the gig
a number of dressed up members of the thought police, all clad in
white coats, was checking the sanity of the audience - good fun
for some, feafully uncomfortable for the more paranoia-inclined...
Sadly that July night, Robert
Calvert had decided to stay out there for a while - so, Mr.
Moorcock did his parts, an impressive Renaissance figure out
of Shakespeare with a commanding voice and sporting a feathered
What a gig it
was! All the classic trade-mark
Hawkwind stuff was there: The Guerilla War-fare rhythm section
of King, Lemmy and Brock hammering
the physical senses relentlessly and above this thunder from hell
you could perceive some strange analog and Sax noises screaming
for their lives in never ending torture, this time in a hell of
The liquid lights were tremendous and bodies did come to orgasm
Later that year
in Zürich and again in 1975 HAWKWIND played in Suisse, but
again no Mr. Calvert. In 1978 I came to London to attend Nik
Turner's Bohemian Love-Inn, the last gathering of the hippies,
where Bob was scheduled to appear...but again, we know the story.
In autumn of that
year I had the first and only visual encounter with Bob now fronting
at the Hammersmith Odeon. They played mostly numbers from their
album and a few old numbers. It was miles away from what they
were capable of doing in the early days. The Lemmy - King thunder
devas were missing, and so was Nik
Turner. Bob was doing fine that night and as an eye-wittness
I can assure you all that there was, of course due to the intensity
of the rage in the spirit, enough spit showering the punters at
the front to not only bulldoze them over with sound, but drown them,
Bob was a great
performer and even better writer. His lyrics
and poems have
been around my brain for a long time now.
This is the time
to say 'Thanks', Bob.
You might have been a
pain in the ass to some people sometimes, but then poetic justice
is unknown to many, so why bother? <