Music More Important Than Money

NME – 16 January 1971

With one LP to their credit and a steadily increasing number of bookings each week, Hawkwind would seem to be doing quite well. But their general disregard for any kind of financial reward and a determination to avoid the hustling of the record industry means that they are often short of cash. It is on these occasions that the singer, guitarist and composer Dave Brock is likely to be found busking in London’s Portobello Road market.

But this breadline existence has not yet deflated their ideals, or changed the group’s direction. They play a continuous form of electronic music while socially they follow a lifestyle similar to America’s Grateful dead or the German community band Amon Duul.

Wherever they play they bring along a large number of friends, charge minimal prices for gigs and have probably played for free more times than any group in Britain.

Recent ventures have included almost spontaneous sets in the camping sites at the Isle Of Wight and Bath Festivals last year. Basically, they want to give their audience something extra, adding new dimensions to live performances.

“We’ve played with so many groups who get payed phenomenal amounts of money but just play six numbers and go home, that we want to try and give the audiences something more”, explained easy-going Dave Brock.

“If we had a little more money, I would like to turn the whole act into a kind of circus with a complete light show where we could give things away, papers and fruit and things like that. For instance, if a monotonous sound like a chanting goes on long enough, it can really dull people’s minds. It’s all very interesting.”

“Originally we just wanted to freak people out, but now we’re just interested in sound. Very few people seem to realise what can be done. As it is, we try to create an environment where people can lose their inhibitions. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We also want to keep clear of the music business as much as possible. We want to just play for the people. It’s like a ship that has to steer ’round rocks, we have to steer around the Industry. But I’d like the group to go on Top Of The Pops. I mean, it’s so ridiculous, we could just go on and turn it into a party. Get everybody to join in and just never stop. They’d never be able to get us off.”

James Johnson

A Plastic Fragment Hawkwind Press Cutting

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