Robert Calvert

Nick Kent
- extacts from 'Gone with the Wind',
an article from FRIENDS, July '72
[ Kent accompanied Hawkwind on a short
gig-trip through West-Germany

> The band began and finished with extracts from Bob Calvert's Space Opera, which hopefully will comprise their next album.

The Opera itself is constructed around a Calvert story and except for a song each from Nik and Dave Brock, is written solely by him. The plot is one of those Lost in Space affairs but with a difference. Starting off with Calvert's "This is Your Captain Speaking - Your Captain is Dead" line, the work is based around the premise that one can have dreams when in space. There is no message or attempt at a philosophical conclusion. The work appears to consist of a series of portraits which are the dreams of those who are adrift in the spaceship. Influences can be traced from 2001 to much of the New Worlds sci-fi output.


For some months, Robert Calvert was the lead vocalist but problems centring around the destabling effect on both the mind and the ego that transcension from writer to being both writer and pop star entailed forced him into a mental hospital.
Calvert is, to put it mildly, an overwhelming person possessing a seemingly inexhaustible supply of natural adrenalin and as such he seemed to take over Hawkwind's direction for a time fixing on himself the role of Space Captain.

His ideas were getting further and further out: he was working on the idea of taking a machine on stage to duplicate poems he would write spontaneously there and then to be handed out to the audience. Calvert is capable of flashes of brilliance and it his temporary inability to control them that is causing the hang-ups.

Though it is unlikely he will perform onstage with them again, his presence as lyricist and general creative force will continue to add a vital extra dimension to the band. His immediate plans include a solo album Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters, all profits from which will ideally be donated to the widows of fighter-pilots, plus a couple of possible film roles, one as Jerry Cornelius in the film taken from Moorcock's comic strip, and the other as Aubrey Beardsley in a film scripted by Johnny "Groupie" Byrne. Talking to him just before I left with the band, he seemed bitter about the situation claiming that the rift had occurred because he was too individually creative a force for the band to take. Since then he has spent another period in a mental hospital, and is reported to be getting himself well and truly together. <

read the complete article
and more on Calvert's (hi)story with Hawkwind

(much) more infos on FRIENDS / FRENDZ -
the famous British underground magazine

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