would of ever dared believe that when
Dave Brock and his merry band of Hippies,
Buskers, Street musicians, Poets, and
Hangers on got together in 1969, that
they could ever have gone on and made
such an impact on the world of Rock 'n'
Roll. They influenced generations of musicians,
creating their own genre of Rock inventing
what was to become known as Space/Rock
or Stoner/Rock, still practiced these
days by mainstream bands such as "Monster
Magnet" or "Foo Man Choo".
They had a profound influence on Ambient
Music, became one of the most sampled
bands in Rock History, or most unbelievable
of all, they are still strong going over
thirty three years later. Albeit - only
Dave Brock remains from the founder members,
and even he left once, although only for
one European Tour.
Over the years countless musicians have
come and gone (many returning to the ranks
three or four times), some making little
impact and some leaving a lasting impression.
Not least their Dancer Stacia, who, although
always having difficulty dancing to the
pulsating rhythms from the music, had
no such problem in getting her kit off,
much to the delight of the audience. Hawkwind
were very popular on the European College
Gig Circuit, making Stacia the first totally
naked girl that many young spotty male
students ever saw. Although Stacia had
no musical input, she still left a lasting
impression on many a young minds.
Their influence on today's Nu-Heavy Metal
Scene should not be underestimated either.
After their bass player was sacked mid
tour of the United States of America in
1975, he came home to the United Kingdom
to immediately form the Heaviest Metal
Band of all time, a certain "Motorhead".
That bass player was, of course, the one
and only Lemmy. Others to have made big
impressions have been poet and lead singer
Bob Calvert, who sadly died in the Eighties.
However, he had completely transformed
the band when it imploded in the late
Seventies. Nik Turner put Saxophone, Flute,
and most importantly a sense of fun back
into Rock music, just as everybody was
actually starting to take themselves too
seriously. The Drummer from Cream, and
arguably the finest drummer of his time,
Ginger Baker also found himself warming
the drum stool for a while in the Eighties.
In 1972 they even had a hit single "Silver
Machine", which in that heady summer
was only kept off the top spot by Alice
Cooper's "Schools Out".
So, not a bad history then. But what
of today? Well, the Band is still going,
in actual fact with so many ex-members,
there are two Hawkwinds. One is led by
Hawkwind's original leader Dave Brock
with a group of hired hands (drummer Richard
Chadwick has been with Dave Brock for
nearly twenty years, but is still considered
to be a new boy by some of the fans).
The other turned into "Nik Turner's
Space Odyssey, the Hawkwind Experience",
which 'sometimes' has as many as four
of the original classic line-up.
Sadly there has been no new recordings
out of any Hawkwind camp since the winter
of 1997, Distant Horizons, and to be honest
that wasn't much cop. As well as losing
their minds over the years, Hawkwind also
lost all control of their back catalogue.
There are over 300 C.D's of various quality
floating about on the shop floor, but,
as is proved by the inside of this album's
cover, with its list of twelve current
Hawkwind Fan Clubs there is still tremendous
interest in the music.
So what do this bunch of late fifties,
early sixties musicians do? Well, of course,
you milk them for all it's worth by releasing
a live album once a year from your Christmas
Concert. Yes, all you old Hippies out
there, horror of horrors, just like Cliff
Richard or Status Quo, they rub the old
machine down once a year for a Christmas
jaunt round the country to fill up the
coffers once again. But is it any good
I hear you ask? Well, judging by this
collection recorded on December 29th,
2000 at the London Astoria by the Dave
Brock version of Hawkwind, I would say
absolutely. What you get is over two hours
of wonderfully varied Hawkwind music,
a round up of most of their Greatest Hits
including a song from their first album
to a new one. Famous author and long time
Hawkwind collaborator Michael Moorcock
phoning in his parts from across the Atlantic.
(Although surprisingly Silver Machine
is not dragged out. Or was it played at
the concert but left off the album? Or
is Dave Brock still playing it cool?).
Many surprise guests coming on to play
from Hawkwind's past, and possible future,
(a certain Jez Hugget take a bow for taking
the wind instrument role on this recording)
all played by consummate musicians that
they certainly were not at the beginning
of this journey, played with far more
enthusiasm than by lesser mortals who
drag themselves around the Rock 'n' Roll
Circuit Twelve Months of the year. This
was definitely not the way things were
planned when it all started out in Notting
Hill London 1969, but a positive way for
the nice people from Hawkwind to spend
their twilight years; and like Santa,
they only have to work at Christmas.
Happy Christmas Everybody,
Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew