Robert Calvert

Steve Pond

> Well, I owe Bob a lot...
from the first time I met him in '79 he treated me like he'd known me for years, (I never understood why) ..inviting me to his flat in Soho to play unreleased (and never heard again by me...) stuff he'd recorded with a cello group and seeing him in his one man shows, so when he started working regularly with ICU in the mid 80s he was already a friend.

ICU Watching Bob and Nik work together for the first time since Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music was great! They really had fun together, those rehersals remain some of my fondest memories, they would trade Rock'n'Roll standards, delivering them tongues firmly in cheeks, almost camp.. they are of course both absolutely mad, (in the clinical sense...)

They became other people on stage, you could talk to them during shows and not a word got through, their eyes complete glazed over, giving 100% of themeselves.. I've never seen that in any other people I've played with.

Calvert was mainly a writer, he lived in a small rented flat in Margate with his wife and kid ("Iggy"!) and there in his shed he would smoke his pipe, drink coffee and write... it was this lifestyle that killed him, the body needs food every once and a while.

As you probably know, he was ripped off totally by Hawkwind for royalties and was in court right up to his death... I think he perversley enjoyed the legal too and fro' ..but didn't enjoy being poor.

Bob was hyperactive, whenever I roomed with him on tour he would keep me up all night talking about everything... I didn't mind as after all he had been my hero!
He would skit from one topic to another, always interesting and always original in approach to whatever subject, (I loved to pump him for ancient Hawk history). But, even this after a while became annoying... (I was tired!)

At shows he needed looking after like a kid, he had to have constant stimulation or he would get bad tempered and be even more of a pain... after the last tour we did with him I will admit I really had gone off being around him, I still recognised him as a genius the like of which I could never hope to meet again, and respected him more than any other for his talent, but he was totaly erratic and hyper... too much to deal with and remain sane oneself.

When he died I was invited to his funeral but didn't go as I'd spent the previous six months slagging him off and felt it would be hypocritical to turn up. ..In hindsight I should have gone.. Dead Fred told some really funny stories about things that happened that day..

Nik Turner & Steve Pond In summary, comparing Nik & Bob the two Hawk people I have had involvement with, I'd say that Nik is a great (GREAT) entertainer, an ok sax player and a bit of a writer.
He also has the ability to inspire and give confidence, I really admire the way he lives his life and gives of himself so readily.. (I wish I could do that..)
The man is a Star.

Bob was a total 100% genius, he could also entertain, with a different stage personae than Nik's, but equally valid, and he had a great singing voice, (Often overlooked) he was also a VERY funny man, always making jokes & puns about everything... I really miss him. <

more infos on Steve Pond / Inner City Unit

the official Inner City Unit site

the official Fred Reeves / Dead Fred site
- incl. all ICU songs for free download...

back to front