Hawkwind in concert tonight. Recorded by the BBC for their In Concert series on October 14, 1972 and broadcast on Radio 1.
One of the first things I thought when I saw them during their first U.S. tour in Los Angeles around 1973, was that they seemed to be a couple years too late. They were hard-core Psych, complete with light show, dancers (including the jaw-dropping Stacia), extended jams and lots of references to Space and expanded minds. “Would have been perfect in 1967” I thought. And I think that’s one of the reasons United Artists (their label at the time) had an awful time promoting the band here in the States. America was hot in the grips of early 70s Laid-Back West Coast, and mind-melting just wasn’t on the dance card. And with the exception of the practically immortal Silver Machine, Hawkwind really had nothing that could be construed as hit single material, at least in the U.S.
So they were a tough sell – not the case in the UK where they were immediately swept up in the remnants of Psychedelia and actually became an influential band in what would morph into Prog-rock with other UA bands (Amon Duul and The Neutrons) jumping on the bandwagon. As years went by, the band went through numerous personnel as well as style and label changes. By the time the Post-Punk/New Wave period arrived, Hawkwind morphed into something more contemporary for the time. But they still kept it going.
Hawkwind are still together, after 50 years they have become something of an institution and have served as models for numerous bands, from The Sex Pistols (who covered Silver Machine) to Black Flag and Ozric Tentacles. Their guest roster reads like a who’s who of Rock notables and have a catalog of some 31 official albums to their credit.
This concert, relatively early-on in the band’s career, pretty much exemplifies the Psych/Space aspects of the band, and includes their single Silver Machine, which had been released earlier that year.
If you remember them during this period, it will ring many familiar bells – if you’re new to them, and never really heard them during their formative period, here’s your chance.
It’s suggested you crank this one up.