Last year I dedicated Sunday night posts to Australian rock 'n' roll. In 2008 I'll spread my wings and bring something from the entire rock pantheon, starting today with one of my favourite bands, Hawkwind.
Hawkwind is a British rock band, one of the earliest space rock groups. Their lyrics favour urban and science fiction themes. The band settled on the name Hawkwind after briefly being billed as Hawkwind Zoo, Hawkwind being the nickname of Turner derived from his unappealing habit of clearing his throat (hawking) and excessive flatulence (wind). An Abbey Road session took place recording demos of "Hurry On Sundown" and others (included on the remasters version of Hawkwind), after which Slattery left to be replaced by Huw Lloyd-Langton, who had known Brock from his days working in a music shop selling guitar strings to the busking Brock. The addition of bassist Lemmy and drummer Simon King propelled the band to greater heights. One of the first gigs this band played was a benefit for the Greasy Truckers at The Roundhouse on 13 February 1972 and a resultant single "Silver Machine" was released, reaching #3 in the UK charts. This generated sufficient funds for the subsequent album Doremi Fasol Latido Space Ritual tour. The show featured dancers Stacia and Miss Renee, mime artist Tony Crerar and a light show by Liquid Len and is immortalised on the elaborate package Space Ritual. At the height of their success in 1973, the band released the single "Urban Guerrilla" which coincided with an IRA bombing campaign in London, so the BBC refused to play it and the band's management reluctantly decided to withdraw it fearing accusations of opportunism.
Of course, Hawkwind was the band that allowed the incomparable Lemmy to hone his skills and, when he was chucked out of the band for taking waaaaaaay too many drugs, he formed the band with the greatest heavy metal song ever written, Motorhead. The song? You'll have to wait until I do a Motorhead night.
Here are a few videos including their biggest hit, Silver Machine, a classic. There's also one that would earn them a decent fatwa if any of the lunatic Muslim clerics and imams actually went to a rock concert and heard it.
Assassins of Allah