First Lady of the Cosmic Airwaves

New Musical Express – 23 November 1974

HAWKWIND’S first lady of the Cosmic Airwaves bares her soul, her tattoos and her innermost ambitions.

“YOU HAVEN’T seen my tattoos yet, have you?”

No.

Stacia pushes aside her coat to reveal a butterfly on her left shoulder and a small bird imprinted on her ankle.

“So many chicks have them in places which you wouldn’t normally see. I believe in showing them off.”

She chatters on some more: “I’m a Capricorn. You wanna know some other Capricoms? There’s David Bowie, Joan of Arc, Marlene Dietrich, Isaac Newton, Janis Joplin . . . and…er . . . Lemmy.”

She pauses sufficiently to allow one to reflect on this fairly distinguished astrological grouping. Very impressive, but is this one wonders the real Stacia coming to the fore (even if her comments belie just a littie the public picture of the large and intimidating statuesque frontispiece of Hawkwind)?

“People often seem frightened of me,” she says, a perplexed expression on her face. ‘”I suppose they see me at a gig with a bottle in my hand, screaming at a roadie or something to move some wires so they don’t see the real me . . . the person that lingers inside.”

Is this the sensitive Stacia coming to the fore? Is there such a being?

Nobody ever seems to take Stacia too seriously. For herself, she thinks what she does is valid but she thankfully doesn’t come on like it’s Art or anything. She’s still unique anyway, because theres no other chick that dances full-time for a rock band and is taken along to gigs as an equal member of the band. She even has a silver disc for “Silver Machine”, which for a dancer/mime artist/whatever is something of an achievement.

“I only get upset when some stupid idiot comes up to me and asks, ‘Do you get paid by the band, then?’ as if to say that I’m just a groupie hanging around for the sake of it.”

“When I first began I just used to freak out – that was it – but now I’ve got into it a lot more, especially the mime side. I’m still afraid to get too much into it though, because of the way a lot of people, like journalists, react to me.”

She laughs: “Y’know, there was this guy in Chicago who wrote that I looked like DracuIa’s Aunt Trixie – so we invited him to dinner and he thought we were gonna beat him up. He said he was quite prepared for it anyway because he’d given so many other people bad writeups in the past as well. He said he’d asked for it.

“We didn’t beat him up though . . . just got him very drunk and sent him home looking very confused.”

WHEN WE MET last week Stacia was looking somewhat more conservative than one might have expected – perhaps because she was about to spend a week down with her parents in Exeter and was due to catch the train in a couple of hours.

She arrives at Hawkwind’s office at the dubious end of Harrow Road, clutching various bags and cases and dressed in Meet The Folks attire – a simple brown coat and dark trousers.

We move quickly to a nearby pub, populated by the more destitute sort of Irish navvy where she plumps herself down on a bar-side stool and orders a Guinness.

Since her earlier performances with Hawkwind she’s earned herself an odd sort of reputation which has little to do with demure feminity and was fuelled at the start by an apparent desire to shed her clothes at any convenient moment.

“I felt it had to be done at the time. I was into ‘being free’ and all that.” She waves a limp peace sign.

Added to this were remarks attributed to her which ran along the lines of her meeting Hawkwind when she was dancing on Saturn!

The truth is far less interesting, since she just stumbled across Nik Turner at the Isle of Wight festival, went to a few gigs and one night felt inspired to join the Sonic Warlords on stage.

She’s not prepared to go into much detail on what prompted this flash of action, even when assured that it’s quite alright to mention stimulants in music papers these days.

“Yeah, it was just the state of my mind . . . let’s say I was pretty high. I’m not going to go any further – I don’t want the law breathing down my neck again. Sorry, no sordid details on the drug front.”

For the first year with Hawkwind, due to the band’s eccentric fighting effects, her efforts were more or less indiscernable. Now though, her role has been expanded to the point where she engages with Nik Turner in a mime sequence which can last for around 15 minutes.

“In the early days it used to hang me up because I felt I was doing things and nobody could see It. So I said to the band obliously I need more lighting because otherwise people’d only catch a flash of a foot or something every two minutes. It was in the States I started getting into more intricate t hings, because the lighting there was incredible – we had spots and follow spots and everything.”

Also in the States, Stacia found herself oft befriended by the groupie fraternity who saw her as a way in to the rest of the group. She says she never particularly cared and that this approach was more welcome than hostility.

“Most of them are pretty nice. They do a good job, in supplying what’s needed. There’s just the occasional one that’s a pain, like there was this stupid chick who had a rich father and she was flying everywhere to catch up with us – and she was stupid, a bad groupie. Everywhere we went I kept thinking, ‘Oh no, not you again’.”

Otherwise, in her off duty moments, Stacia has turned down offers from Playboy (“I don’t know whether having big tits has been my fortune or my misfortune”) and spent last Christmas in New York with Arthur Kane of the New York Dolls.

She still carries a picture of him in her wallet, though she’s uncertain quite where the relationship stands right now.

“He’s very tall and always drunk – we make a good pair,” she remarked unequivocably.

Among the cases she was preparing to take down to Exeter was a Revox tape machine, which heralds the start of what could be described as a solo career sometime in the future.

She says that she’s been spending some time lately writing songs and has now started recording and practising on tape. At present she doesn’t feel her voice is that wonderful, but she says she’s trying.

“I’d like to release a single eventually. I’ve been wanting to do it for about a year. You can’t really plan things like that but I’d like to go solo one day.”

Previous to finding her vocation in a rock band, Stacia followed the usual undetermined path working in “a record shop, in boutiques, as a dishwasher, in Wimpy Bars, farms – you name it. Actually I got fired from the Wimpy bar because I had a fight with the chef and started throwing the Wimpys around.”

“I’d always wanted to do something in the theatre – mainly dancing y’know – but because of.. er… my height and build, I soon realised I wouldn’t make a ballerina.”

JAMES JOHNSON

A Plastic Fragment Hawkwind Press Cutting

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