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Hawkwind

From Academic Kids

Hawkwind is a British rock music group.

Formed in the summer of 1969 as Hawkwind Zoo, they were offered a record deal by Liberty Records in November of that year and immediately shortened the band name to Hawkwind. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Brock has been the only consistent band member though multiple personnel changes. Their music began as hard-driving blues rock, but quickly added doses of psychedelic music, with prominent use of special effects and synthesizers. Their music usually deals with urban and science fiction themes (writer Michael Moorcock was a collaborator), and Hawkwind are widely seen as one of the earliest space rock group.

Their elaborate live performances (somewhat reminiscent of Sun Ra's) quickly gathered them a cult following, partly because they were seen as a 'community' Of the People - For the People group. Their second album In Search of Space was very successful.

Hawkwind were, along with the Pink Fairies, key 'community bands' in Ladbroke Grove home of the Mountain Grill cafe. During the early 1970s Hawkwind played a number of benefit gigs along with other 'community' bands/artists including Pink Fairies and Steve Took who, as a key member of the UK Underground went on to work with a number of Hawkwind members.

Hawkwind achieved chart status with the release of the single "Silver Machine" in 1972 (Vocals by Lemmy Kilmister). Their follow up single "Urban Guerrilla" was withdrawn after increased terrorist activity by the Provisional IRA.

Hawkwind have had a long-standing connection with many free festivals including the Stonehenge free festival that ran from 1973 until banned in 1985. Authorities moved in "with force" to stop the event that 13th year as, under ancient charter law, it would have become a public festival for all time. The spirit of these festivals has been reawakened by their last two "Hawkfest" weekends.

On October 21 2001 the Hawkestra, a band formed by virtually all former members of Hawkwind, played a sell-out gig at the Brixton Academy.

Dozens of musicians have passed through Hawkwind over the years, however Dave Brock has been at the heart of the band since they formed. Other members have included Lemmy Kilmister (who went on to form Motörhead), Nik Turner, Harvey Bainbridge, Del Dettmar, Huw Lloyd Langton, Robert Calvert, Paul Rudolph (former Pink Fairies/Deviants member) and Twink (another Pink Fairies member) and more recently, Ron Tree as bassist and frontman. Other members who may have been better known for their careers outside Hawkwind include Ginger Baker and Arthur Brown.

Also Hawkwind have been known for giving credit to non-musician members of their crew, such as Liquid Len, a lighting engineer, and Stacia, a dancer. Their distinctive graphic design was created by Barney Bubbles, who would later create the graphic identity for Stiff Records, where, due to it being a small world Larry Wallis (Pink Fairies and Motörhead with Lemmy) was an in-house Producer.

The science fiction writer Michael Moorcock has a long association with the band. One of Hawkwind's albums Chronicle of the Black Sword was based largely on Moorcock's Elric book series. The cover for this album was designed by John Coulthart.

Hawkwind should be partly credited for Lemmy's Motörhead speed metal style of music (so named because of the slang name "Speed" for Amphetamines which the members of Motörhead consumed with relish). Lemmy was sacked from Hawkwind after being arrested at customs with suspected Cocaine, although analysis revealed it was amphetamines. He was ultimately released because he had been charged with the wrong crime, not because amphetamines were legal in Canada, as some have maintained.

Hawkwind also had an influence on some Punk rock and grunge: Former Black Flag and current Rollins Band singer Henry Rollins is a fan, as is Jello Biafra. The Sex Pistols included Silver Machine in their live performances of 2002; while reviewers may have seen this as as "ultra ironic" [1] (http://www.nme.com/reviews/10795.htm), John Lydon made it clear that this was a tribute [2] (http://www.thefilthandthefury.co.uk/pistols/interviews/sp_john03.html).

Hawkwind founder member Nik Turner formed the relatively successful Punk orientated Inner City Unit with former Steve Took's Horns members Judge Trev Thoms and Dino Ferari. In 2001, he launched a tribute band called XHawkwind.com, playing old '70s Hawkwind favorites, and featuring (unusually for a tribute band) ex-Hawkwind members. Dave Brock launched a court case over the band's name, which was successful in 2002. Nik Turner's band continues to perform, but is now SpaceRitual.net.

Two recent biographies of Hawkwind have been issued to suppliment Kris Tait's outstanding "This is Hawkwind: Do not Panic". These are Ian Abrams' "Sonic Assassins" (Published by SAF publishing; ISBN: 0946719691) and Carol Clerk's "Saga of Hawkwind" (Publisher: Music Sales Limited ISBN: 1844491013)

Discography

Hawkwind's discography is baffling and large; this list just represents "core" albums. There are, in addition, compilations of previously recorded material and live recordings, which are not issued under the control of the band, and which frequently change their name, so one may find exactly the same material under several different names. Titles from 1970 to 1974 are readily available on CD, and these CDs frequently include other rarities from this era, but albums from 1975 to 1979 were either never issued on CD or were only available in limited editions, making access to these recordings difficult and expensive. Most of the better tracks from 1975-1979 appear on disk 2 of the 3-disk compilation 'EpochEclipe'.

The Space Ritual concept album and Warrior on the Edge of Time in particular are representative of Hawkwind's style at the peak of their success. Their 1980s work is well represented by Levitation and Chronicle of the Black Sword.

The 1990s saw the band moving towards a world music approach.

For an extensive critical discography see this Guide To Hawkwind Albums (http://www.starfarer.net/hwalbums.html).

External links

fr:Hawkwind pl:Hawkwind

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