Paul Gorman is…

Hawkwind’s Barney Bubbles-decorated gear to the fore in more photos from Windsor Free Festival

Jan 9th, 2015
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//Watched by the crowd, writers/poets/frontmen Robert Calvert and Michael Moorcock (left), drummer Simon King and bassist Lemmy prepare for lift off, August 25, 1973. Photo: Dave Walkling//

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//Detail of pic above showing Bubbles’ drumheads and speaker designs//

Following my post of photos from the free music festival at Windsor Great Park to the west of London in 1973, attendee Dave Walkling has sent a couple of sharp images which capture the anticipation in the crowd just before Hawkwind’s set.

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Astounding Barney Bubbles rarity: An amazing Hawkwind drumhead

Jan 8th, 2015
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//Drumhead painted by Barney Bubbles in 1972. Photo: (c)//

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//From left: Nik Turner, Stacia Blake, Simon King and Lemmy during Hawkwind’s set at the Windsor Free Festival on August 25, 1973. Note the drumhead on the left. Photographer: Unknown//

A rare design by the late graphics master Barney Bubbles has come to light after four decades; the psychedelic sci-fi drumhead was painted for Hawkwind when the space rocking Sonic Assassins undertook tours around the world following their success with the Silver Machine single in 1972.

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Flashback to Hawkwind + Pink Fairies at The Roundhouse 1975 as Nik Turner’s trademark claim sparks hostilities

Oct 18th, 2013

//Top: Stacia Blake weaving her magic onstage at The Roundhouse in 1975. Photo: Paul Apperley. Above: Peter Lavery's photo of Russell Hunter from the insert in the Pink Fairies' 1973 album Kings Of Oblivion. Posted on the Facebook Portobello Shuffle group by Ian Nottnotw Edmondson//

Sad to witness Hawkwind, the great British musical force which has carved out a unique position outside of the mainstream music business over several decades, dragged into a tawdry row regarding ownership of the group’s name.

The dispute has been sparked by  saxophonist/flautist/sometime frontman Nik Turner. It seems he is trademarking the group’s name as a touring entity in the US, even though he hasn’t been a member for a long time.

Turner was in the line-up during Hawkwind’s greatest period, 1970-76, and returned sporadically until a parting of the ways with Dave Brock, generally acknowledged as Hawkwind’s founder and the band’s one constant, at the helm for all 44 years of its existence.

If scans of signed US documents circulated online prove to be authentic, Turner’s registration in the US – where he has just toured under the banner Nik Turner’s Hawkwind – denies the existence of any other entity of that name operating in the field of live performance. This undercuts his claims in the American press that he wants to spread peace and harmony by invoking Hawkwind’s name and has enraged a section of the fan base.

Brock meanwhile has cancelled his Hawkwind’s American tour on the basis that he – at 72, a year younger than Turner – is suffering from a stress-related illness as result of the dispute.

//Barney Bubbles poster for Sunday bill at The Roundhouse, 1975//

//I went with my friend Matthew Cang. He kept his ticket//

This is all a long way from the relative harmony in the ranks when I fell under their spell as a teenager. I saw Hawkwind a few times, at the Edmonton Sundown or the Dagenham Roundhouse in north-east London and at a free festival in Harlow New Town, Essex, but one particular concert in February 1975 when the ensemble played Camden Town’s Roundhouse with the Pink Fairies stays in the memory.

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Glastonbury 2011 in nine photos: Mud, Billy Bragg, Spirit Of 71 + more mud

Jun 29th, 2011