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Hawkwind 50th Anniversary Show


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Last week Hawkwind was playing a 50th Anniversary show in Guildford, England.  A fan/friend who lived nearby showed up and played on stage with them for the last half of the show. 

 https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/hawkwind/2019/g-live-guildford-england-139a3de5.html

Clapton appeared much happier playing his Strat than when he was being pictured with his Epiphone. 

The next night Phil Campbell and Jah Wobble were playing with Hawkwind. 

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Thats one gig I'd have loved to be at for sure! (more to see Phil Campbell with them than Mr. Clapton)

Funny bit of syncronicity your posting this, I spent most of this afternoon watching old Hawkwind footage.

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I've been working up an analysis of 1973's Space Ritual for potential inclusion in the guitar magazine for which I write, but so far no luck from the band's office, etc. in getting pix of Brock and Lemmy from that era. And Getty Images costs too much. I'm not gonna complete and submit it until I get some usable archival photos.

But this thread gives me an opportunity to inquire to you youngsters once again about names and definitions of musical genres: A while back, a Gen X'er journalist referred to Hawkwind as "prog" but I tend to disagree. To me, Hawkwind was/is "space rock" while back in the day, "progressive" was Yes, ELP, King Crimson, etc. Hawkwind purveyed pounding, chord-based songs that went on and on, and interpolated chattering/slithering synths, disembodied flutes and saxes, and spoken-word ruminations abetted by whooshing white noise...and for the most part, they still do, from what I can tell.

 Iconic progressive bands specialized in complex arrangements (including time signatures), as well as unique (and listenable) vocals and lyrics

And my perception is that what's called "prog" in modern times (Neal Morse, et. al.) has elements of both "progressive" and  "space rock" but also has more fast guitar riffing, contrasted to the "chops" of Messrs. Fripp, Howe, Hillage, etc. that actually serve the song. Maybe Bill Nelson's another example from the '70s.

"Prog" also usually seems to feature soaring (and sometimes annoying IMO) vocal histrionics (a polite term for what a friend of mine called "shrieking"; YMMV.).

I know I'm stereotyping, but I utilize as many facts as I can accumulate before I do stereotype. And maybe it's somewhat of a generational thang, but how accurate are such curmudgeonly perceptions? Input and comments appreciated.

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There's this pic of Lemmy &  Dave Brock sat next to each other in this band photo from round that time.

ironically it was placed on You Tube for a version of ' The Watcher', as performed in the first posting of this thread with Eric Clapton joining in, which is very different to the original song, not that that's unusual for Hawkwind to do.  Lemmy sings on this studio version and has the writer's credit on their 1972 album 'Doremi Fasol Latido'.  FWIW I never saw Hawkwind as a prog. rock band, I'd have maybe thought of bands like Yes and Genesis,  ELP,  King Crimson, (none of who I've ever particularly liked)  being put into that genre, but definitely not Hawkwind.  I've seen them labelled as 'Space Rock' but hadn't noticed that terminology until more recently or thought about what it meant or which other bands might be labelled as such, Ozric Tentacles, maybe? Steve Hillage? Todd Rundgren's Utopia? I find it quite a difficult genre to define.  Could it be just a creation from the mind of some journalist , in need of a pigeon-hole or genre in which to place a band, before some deadline? e.g. I am a big fan of Rush and Frank Zappa, but I don't think a genre exists that either could be very neatly stuffed into, particularly Zappa.  There is definitely a pulsing & hypnotic quality to some of Hawkwind's music, especially at their gigs where the live performances of many of their songs often sound very different to the studio versions and they've created musical 'bridges' between the end of one song and the start of another another that they've either rehearsed or jammed on for a particular bunch of tour dates and there's no break in the music from when they start their performance until the end, or at least until they'd stopped and then come back on stage for the ubiquitous 3-song encore, delivered in the same way.  It definitely has quite an effect upon you, no doubt about that, whether under some influence or not. Some of that change in the sound between the live and studio versions of songs will also be down to the many changes in the band line-up over time as well I guess.  When I was a teenager I'd often get stoned and often put Hawkwind or Pink Floyd (especially 'Ummagumma') or Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze on to enhance my feeling of stoned-ness.  I was a few days past my 14th birthday the first time I got stoned and Hawkwind's live double album 'Space Ritual' was playing in my friend's basement, (known as a cellar here) along with others but I would often listen to Hawkwind and the other bands I mentioned when not stoned back then too and still listen to them very often these days, but I stopped smoking weed about 15 years ago and it still affects me, in a good way.  I find it isn't just Hawkwind, Floyd et al that is hypnotic or can carry my mind off some place, or provide a mental escape of some kind but just music in general, maybe some kinds more than others.   I was watching the Hawkwind documentary below earlier today along with some of their live footage and there's a part where Lemmy points out that classical music can do this just as much as modern music and that many people at classical performances will sit back and close their eyes and are escaping to some place in their minds too, it's just that 'Hawkwind do it a bit less gently than Brahms'.  

Sadly, Dave Brock refused to be in the BBC documentary after he was made aware that Nik Turner would also be in it.  Brock can be considered to be Hawkwind and is the only constant member to be in the band from it's beginnings up to the present day, (he also owns the Hawkwind trademark) just as Lemmy could be thought of as the primary force or core member of Motorhead.  Neither band would/could be such without either person.  The day after Lemmy's death in December 2015 the other 2 band members, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, rightly announced that Motorhead had ended. Without Lemmy,  Motorhead can't exist.  The band name comes from the last song he wrote when he was with Hawkwind.  It's also on Motorhead's first album, along with 'Lost Johnny', the Hawkwind versions of both songs are better, sorry Lem.  I've followed Phil Campbell's post-Motorhead work, both as a solo artist and his work with 'The Bastard Sons' (who weren't born out of wedlock) their first album is very good, (the preceding EP less so) as is his first solo album, I've bought both. My apologies for digressing, oops.    BTW This is quite a good interview with Dave Brock:

I hope I've been of some help, (probably not) both Hawkwind and Motorhead made a big impression upon me ever since the beginnings of my adult life, or what others may call adolescence.  I've always listened to quite a wide variety of other kinds of music as well but these 2 bands in particular will always occupy a special place in my affections and have given me lots of good memories, both through their live performances and their recordings.

 

PS here a couple of pics, including the lovely Stacia, Idon't know if you can re-publish them or not but they're in the public domain.  Now I've got used to it I've found 'Duck Duck Go' to be a better search Engine than Google, who  I'm trying to dump.  I'm stuck with You Tube for now but I use a load of add-onns on Firefox that hobble their trackers, ad servers etc

 

hawkwind-300x193.jpg

lemmy-hawkwind.jpg

hawkwind pic 2.jpg

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I saw Hawkwind in 1974 in South Bend Indiana.  I thought they were on a bill with Slade but Slade played with King Crimson in a show there a year earlier.  Quite a mismatch.  Good thing I have photos/negatives of the Hawkwing show because, while I was there, I remember very little of It.  Somebody told me to go because they were Pink Floyd-y.  Did I miss something momentous?  

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Wow you lucky b-b-b-chap.  I was only 9 in 1974.  I'm not sure about momentous but likely very good. There's one or two of their gigs I only have fuzzy recollection of too but that might be down to things I'd eaten before I went there

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In the early 70s I was listening to a lot of different types of music, I heard Hawkwinds 1973 album space ritual and I was hooked,  saw then many times in Cleveland first being 1974 Allen theater, but at the same time I was listening to them and the other space rockers; Guru Guru Amon Duul, Neu  and of course the kings Tangerine Dream. I was also getting into the Cleveland punk scene; Rocket from the Thombs, Frankenstein, Deadboys, Devo, Pere Ubu, Pagans, Hamer Damage, Rubber City Rebels and ton  of really good bands that never made it. 

Exciting times. 1972 till I crashed and burned out exiting the music scene @about the smell time Black Flag broke up in 1986.

Now, not so much. We have Rap, Country and the Eagles playing at a resort in Mexico for $10,000 a night. 

Never liked the prog rock scene at all. King Crimison, Yes, etc. etc. what a load of self indulgent bullshit.

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