Hawklords – Charisma Records – 1979

25 Years

Only The Dead Dreams Of A Cold War Kid / P.X.R.5

Dave Brock and Robert Calvert’s ‘Hawkwind’ band that lasted two years during the legal hassles of who owned the rights to the ‘Hawkwind’ name during 1978.

This is the second Hawklords single, and is also a track off the excellent Hawklords (first and only) LP entitled ’25 Years On’. For obvious reasons I did not chance putting up that LP, but if you like this single then go out and buy the CD if it still available, or search for the original LP in rare record collector shops…

The tracks on this 12″ single seem suprisingly ‘new wave’ compared to the generic sound that Hawkwind possessed all through the rest of the 1970’s. The previous Hawkwind LP featuring both Calvert and Brock released in 1977 ‘Quark Strangeness And Charm’ hinted at a new sound, but with the emergence of Hawklords and Inner City Unit (Nic Turner’s late 1970’s outfit) these older artists from both sides of the Hawkwind camp, were suddenly accepted and firmly embraced by the much younger punk generation. Pretty sure I heard Inner City Unit and Hawklords material as a nipper, way before I even knew who Hawkwind were (stop giggling, I was young and more into 2 Tone and The Clash in the late 1970’s!!!) Made up for that though, when I bulk bought original pressings of all the Hawkwind LP’s from 1970 – 1977 within a couple of years in the early 1980’s…

Inner City Unit’s debut LP is uploaded on this site somewhere, use the search function.

Born in 1978, out of the ashes of the Sonic Assassins, Hawklords was the brainchild of the late, great Robert Calvert. The band’s debut release, on the Charisma label, was the album 25 Years On (later editions were released simply as “Hawklords”). It featured eight excellent tracks, all but one co-written by Calvert, and marked a significant departure from the spacey sounds of earlier Hawkwind material. 25 Years On peaked at number 48 in the charts. Two singles were also released: Psi Power and 25 Years.

Barney Bubbles was involved in the design, and the stage sets for the supporting tour. The overall idea was based on a company called Pan Transcendental Industries, which was a factory that manufactured car doors to replace angels’ wings – a very avant-garde mixture of Fritz Lang and Mao Tse Tung visually.

In 1983 Barney left the planet.

In 1988 Robert Calvert headed for the gods alone know where.

  1. dan i
    dan i
    August 25, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Hawklords rocked! I think Dave Brock was getting away from his own musical comfort zones working with Robert Calvert at this time. Apparently Brock really doesnt like previous album ‘Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music’ (personally one of my favourites, and one of their most musically diverse). Calvert was at the height of his powers with songs like ‘Flying Doctor’ and ‘Only The Dead Dreams…’

    Did anyone see him with I.C.U or Maximum Effect later? Top stuff.
    Calvert’s poetry gave the Hawks an edge and without it, they definitely suffer.

  2. alistairliv
    August 26, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Gotta agree Dan, Capt’n Bob was the man. I have just retrieved Hawklords the album to listen to Psi Power “I can read your mind like a magazine…” It is like a small but perfectly formed science fiction short story. Bollocks, I am meant to be writing an introduction to my thesis on the Galloway Levellers but here I am listening to PXR 5 / ‘Uncle Sam’s On Mars’ – recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon Nov 1977 and discovering that Bob inspired Jello Biafra

    On their 1978 tour of the states, a significant meeting took place between Calvert and fellow would-be revolutionary Jello Biafra, who had been wowed by Calvert’s political stance. Jello tells it thus:

    I only met him once as a shy, wide-eyed fan at a Hawkwind show in San Francisco in 1978. I was fascinated by Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters because the text predicted the worldwide Lockheed scandal one or two years before the mainstream press!
    I asked him how he came by this information when reporters all over the world couldn’t find it if it was right in front of their nose.
    He said that he kept files on different renegade corporations that disturbed him. In other words, a dossier on corporate criminals, instead of the kind the F.B.I. keeps track of.
    Years later I began to do the same thing myself, thinking back to Calvert and knowing how much this would help me in the fight against censorship and for my Spoken Word performances in general.
    I think it’s important that all artists use their art to spread suppressed information in a time when the mass media that used to report this information is so badly censored. This is what many punk and rap groups do.

    Thanks to http://everything2.com/?node=robert+calvert for the above information.

  3. stirmonster
    August 27, 2008 at 12:21 am

    i saw hawkwind in a field near cambridge a couple of weeks ago. i wasn’t expecting much but they were even worse than i could possibly have hoped them to be. so, so bad. they had some hells angels type doing a load of calvert bits – the “black corridor”, “uncle sam’s on mars” and “quark”. it was a travesty. they also completely butchered “orgone accumulator”, possibly my favourite hawkwind track. brutally sad. they also had the cheapest looking back projections i’ve ever seen. barney bubbles must have been turning in his grave.

  4. alistairliv
    August 27, 2008 at 8:00 am

    That is sad. Very sad.

  5. Phil R
    Phil R
    August 27, 2008 at 8:34 am

    I saw Hawkwind a couple of years ago with Arthur Brown (Crazy World) On lead vocals and it was an amazing combo, although it was so loud my ears were ringing for two weeks after! Arthur was a true pioneer as well.

  6. dan i
    dan i
    August 27, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I backed up a lot of my Hawkwind onto CD this summer and have listened to a lot of what used to move me years ago. ‘Psi Power’ in particular has refused to go from my head – a classic earwurm – I just find myself singing it to myself at the oddest moments.

    Great story about Jello Biafra Al, it is wonderful when the links between generations become clear.

    Stirmonster, very sad to hear it. The last time I saw them, they were a 3 piece at Brixton and I was quite surprised how shambolic it was.

    Ah now, PXR5 and Uncle Sam’s On Mars!…

  7. Nick Hydra
    Nick Hydra
    June 23, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    The b-side is a bit “Golden Years”, no?

  8. jan
    December 30, 2010 at 12:57 am

    i saw hawkwind at stonehenge solstice (summer) 1984, playing silver machine at the dawning of this current era. my mate ron tree played with them also after always wishing to. (recorded they are amazing!) the story lemmy tells (from bbc/dvd/video/?) of them – dave brock et al – leaving him in a usa jail whilst going to canada or something was a bit funny! – yet his was the only voice that could do the vocals to silver machine justice. & him singing motorhead with hawkwind & his band becoming motorhead – stuff of mega-future cyberpunk/acid/rock legend.
    hallo of the mountain grill! i love that record – hawklords – what legal battle were they embroilled upon swith this – was it that mischievious bob calvert or that other one nik turner (ohhhhhhh inner city unit!) now there is a punk rock band with bloody acid casualty written all over them! – ‘we’re gonna raise – the bones of elvis’ bloody sid vicious could have played the bass for them for the credability they fucking deserve! love the hairstyle nik – keep up the saxaphone ….he played it at solstice 1984 – him & brock were ‘friends’ then) jeez i know more than i dare believe – ABOUT ROCK fucking TRIVIA!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    December 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Interesting stuff indeed Jan, there is some Inner City Unit on this site if you would like to use the search function.

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