Hawkwind emerged in 1969 from Ladbroke Grove, the heartland of London’s counterculture, to become a ‘people’s band’ supported by bikers and hippies alike as they staged free gigs, benefits and protests and welcomed the involvement of any number of creative people – writers, poets, dancers – from within their community.
They insisted upon all these things even with the Top Three success of 1972’s enduring anthem Silver Machine and the pioneering Space Ritual projects.
They have had more line-up changes than their only remaining founder member Dave Brock, can remember. Motorhead’s Lemmy and legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker were just two of the musicians sacrificed along the way as the band went head to head with the police, customs, the taxman – and each other.
With the memories of many of those who were there, this is the story of an extraordinary 35-year career, the music and the band, whose fans still loyally turn out for conventions and are rewarded with ‘private festivals’, set against a background of sex, drugs, madness, writs, rage and revenge.