Hawkwind: Time We Left This World Today

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Hawkwind, especially in their early days, exemplifies the art and excess of rock music.

Pictured: Awesome Incarnate
Pictured: Awesome Incarnate

Before I try to make my case, let’s just see some footage to set the mood:

If that doesn’t press any of your pleasure buttons, I don’t know what to say.

So, hard rock badassery checklist:

1. Two lyricists, one a published poet and the other an English sci-fi/fantasy legend? Check & check.

Robert Calvert
Robert Calvert
Michael  Moorcock
Michael Moorcock

2.Cutting edge artist to design album covers and custom bass drum heads?  Check.

Barney Bubbles
Barney Bubbles

15608173684_3f18d95294_o

(…you may recognize some of Barney’s other work, by the way…)

010_barney_bubbles_theredlist
“Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, 1978
“Armed Forces”, Elvis Costello & the Impressions, 1979
cover_The_Damned77_21
“Music For Pleasure”, The Damned, 1977

3.Amazon woman performing nude interpretive dance in spaced out bodypaint at all of your live shows?  Oh, that’s a check.

Stacia Blake
Stacia Blake

4. Awesome drugged-out sci-fi album covers?  So many checks!

Hawkwind - Front81vbWlaEupL._SL1300_Hawkwind FRONT 137-hawkwind-quark-strangeness-and-charm26031maxresdefault Hawkwind+-+Doremi+Fasol+Latido+-+Frontkrusher-artwork-01HawkwindAstoundingSounds

5. Lemmy?  You’re goddamned right CHECK.

sem-lem720p22-08-40
Oh hell yes.

My point being:  Hawkwind wasn’t just a band, they were damn near a traveling commune.  A rotating group of musicians, writers, visual artists and dancers all taking a concept and moving it forward over more than four decades.  Even their roadies are legendary.  They were out to get weird, and they brought the live concert concept up a notch for everyone.  Kiss? Gwar?  Where do you think those guys got the idea?   Look at this:

hawkwind+livehawkwind.jpg hawkwind-tickets-lincoln-engine-shed_13038742844725.png

That was in the early ’70s.  Did I mention they’re still doing it?  Like, this year?  Here’s what that looks like:

hawkwindLucinda2 Hawkwind-009

If you want to jump in somewhere in the Hawkwind catalogue, I’d suggest starting with Space Ritual.  It’s the right balance of drone, melody, and balls out strange.

If you want to take the Wikipedia route and get the whole long, crazy Hawkwind story, here ya go.

If you want to see the legend in action as you learn, the BBC has kindly obliged:

Happy listening!

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One thought on “Hawkwind: Time We Left This World Today”

  1. Agreed re: Hawkwind…but the photo right before “That was in the early ’70s. Did I mention they’re still doing it?” is straight-up Deep Purple Mk 3 – I’m guessing Stormbringer-era. Not sure who the menstruating(?) woman is, but the front line of blokes is clearly Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale & Thee Almighty Ritchie Blackmore.

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