Kent - extacts from
'Gone with the Wind',
an article from FRIENDS,
[ 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.
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. <