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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Monday, 17 September 2012

EXCLUSIVE: A Hawkwind documentary that never got made...

I have made a career collecting strange friends in all sorts of different areas of life. One of my mates is a guy called John Keeling who is a TV/Film director. I did an episode of an American TV show with him a couple of years ago and we kept in touch. When I started doing the Gonzo Daily back in March he wrote to me, and told me that he had been working on a treatment for a Hawkwind documentary some years ago. It never got made, but he was kind enough to let me have a copy, and to say that we could post it here on the Gonzo Daily.

The treatment is copyright to John himself and he has asked me "DO make the note that there are lyrics within the treatment which have various copyrights themselves – I was not required to include these in the treatment document for discussions with band."

Enjoy.

AN ALIEN’S GUIDE TO HAWKWIND

A DVD/TV documentary treatment - 25/11/04

STARFIELD. MUSIC: ‘BLUE SHIFT’

CAPTION: IT IS THE BUSINESS OF THE FUTURE TO BE DANGEROUS

ALIEN SPACECRAFT ENTERS SHOT.

INT. ALIEN’S AT CONSOLE. ALARM SOUNDS. ALIEN SYMBOLS ARE PICTED ON VIEWER (translated as subtitles): Unidentified signal. Artificial. Origin unknown.

MUSIC: ‘SILVER MACHINE’ - THE ALIENS COCK THEIR HEADS, SEEMINGLY PERPLEXED BY THE SOUNDS.

ALIEN 1: (alien sounds translated as subtitles) Pict it.

WE ZOOM INTO ALIEN’S BLACK EYE, WHERE REFLECTIONS OF VIEWER SHOW HAWKWIND PERFORMING SILVER MACHINE (lyrics appear as subtitles – as though translated for the aliens).

I, I just took a ride

In a silver machine, and I’m still feeling mean

Do you want a ride, see yourself going by

The other side of the sky, I got a silver machine

It flies sideways through time

It’s an electric line to your zodiac sign

I got a silver machine

It flies out of a dream, it’s antiseptically clean

You gotta know where I’ve been

Do you alright to see yourself going by

The other side of the sky, I’m in a silver machine

I said I just took a ride in a silver machine

And I’m still feeling mean

I’ve got a silver machine

ALIEN 2: What is it?

ALIEN 1: Curious. Silver machine… sideways through time…

Velocity?

ALIEN 2: Light Speed

ALIEN 1: Lock on. Run it through the net.

ALIEN ACTIVATES VIEWER. CAPTIONS AND VO ANNOUNCE:

NET: Welcome to the Galactic Net. And may we take this opportunity to remind you your subscription is overdue. Interface available.

ALIEN 1: Identify signal.

VIEWER DISPLAYS MYRIAD IMAGES AND WAVEFORMS AS SEARCH MODE COMMENCES.

NET: Signal originates from outskirts of Galaxy 9. Planet Earth. Dominant life-forms are carbon based bi-pedals. Limited sensory capacity within narrow band of…

ALIEN 1: We know of this place. What is the silver machine?

NET: The silver machine is Hawkwind.

ALIEN 1: Define Hawkwind.

GRAPHICS DISPLAY

NET: Hawkwind is… a supernatural deity of native North American tribe. A fish and chip shop in Dagenham, Essex. A mythical spacecraft constructed by tribe of musicnauts.

ALIEN HIGHLIGHTS ENTRY 3.

ALIEN 1: Demonstrate.

HAWKLOG GRAPHICS APPEAR. MUSIC: ‘NIGHT OF THE HAWKS[REPLACE]’.

LOG MENU FEATURES POSSIBLE FOLLOWING ‘ENTRIES’:

‘ORIGINS - CREW - SIGHTINGS – PERFORMANCE CAPABILITIES – MISSION STATEMENT – DESTINATION – THE CULT OF THE HAWK’

ALIEN SELECTS ‘ORIGINS’

NET: Origins of Hawkwind somewhat confusing. Hawkwind somewhat confusing.

IMAGES OF INTERVIEWEES WITH ON-SCREEN INFO.

NET: Dave Brock. Status: Chief Musicnaut. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboard player. Hawknames: Baron Brock, Dr Technical.

INTERVIEWS POSSIBLY AGAINST BLUE-SCREEN.

DAVE BROCK relates origins of group formation against the background of the late 60’s hippie community in Ladbroke Grove. BROCK AND NIK TURNER - What were they trying to achieve?

(From sleeve notes of first album):

“levitating people’s minds in a nice way, without acid, with a complete audio – visual thing using a complex of electronics, lights and environmental experiences…”

POSS MUSIC EXCERPT FROM ‘LEVITATION’:

‘In the darkness I will shine, cast not shadows nor define

I walk on water, float on air, there is no other to compare

I have this fascination, no cause for deviation, its called Levitation.’

MUSIC: HURRY ON SUNDOWN (poss.’using rare 1970 Roundhouse footage):

‘Well hurry on sundown, see what tomorrow brings

Hurry on sundown see what tomorrow brings

Well it may bring war or any old thing

I’ll look into your minds eye and see what you can see

Theres hundreds of people like you and me

Oh hurry on sundown.’

JOHN PEEL WITH CAPTION: ‘EYEWITNESS TO EARLY SIGHTING’ Relates first impressions of band (the GROUP X) at first 10 minute gig at All-Saints Hall, Notting Hill.

ALIEN 2: Group X? Where did name Hawkwind come from? Responses from BROCK, NIK TURNER, DOUG SMITH (long time manager),

ALIEN 1: Yes but what about the craft?

NET: One of the earliest legends concerning the starship Hawkwind was contained within the recording IN SEARCH OF SPACE. The supplementary Hawklog suggests the craft was discovered by CAPTAIN R.N. CALVERT.

Brief comments on Bob Calvert (now deceased) from BROCK, TURNER, LEMMY, MIKE MOORCOCK, DOUG SMITH, JOHN PEEL.

Why did the band become seemingly obsessed with science fiction and cosmology?

Dave Brock relates meeting Bob Calvert (a science fiction poet who was writing for ‘underground’ publications such as Frendz) and his early influence on the band.

Calvert introduced band to Michael Moorcock’s novel THE BLACK CORRIDOR, a bleak story of one man’s delusions on board a spacecraft which contains the frozen bodies of his family and friends. This paranoiac novel was the inspiration for seminal albums DOREMI FASOL LATIDO and SPACE RITUAL.

MUSIC: ‘SPACE IS DEEP’

‘Space is deep and it’s so endless, when you’re lost its so relentless

It is so big, it is so small, why does man try to act so tall

Is this the reason deep in our minds

It does not feel it does not die, space is neither truth nor lies

Into the void we have to travel, to find the clue which will unravel

Is this the reason deep in our minds

The secrets lie with our tomorrow, in each of us is a hidden sorrow

The path does inward through the night, beyond the realms of ancient light

Is this the reason deep in our minds’

FANTASY FICTION AUTHOR MICHAEL MOORCOCK on encountering Hawkwind. “When I first saw them they seemed like barbarians who’d got hold of a load of electrical gear”

What was it about Hawkwind that so impressed the prolific fantasy author that he became an integral contributor? Moorcock’s first contribution was the narrated SONIC ATTACK first performed at a free gig under the M40 Westway flyover.

‘In case of sonic attack on your district, follow these rules

If you are making love it is imperative to bring all bodies to orgasm simultaneously

Do not waste time blocking your ears

Do not waste time seeking a sound-proof shelter

Try to get as far away from the sonic source as possible

Do not panic

Do not panic

Remember

In the case of sonic attack survival means

Every man for himself

Statistically more people survive if they think only of themselves

Do not attempt to rescue friends, relatives, loved ones

You have only a few seconds to escape

Use those seconds sensibly or you will inevitably die

Think only of yourself

Think only of yourself

Do not panic’

ALIEN 2: Are they dangerous?

ALINE 1: Are they for real?

NET: In human vernacular, Hawkwind are considered by some to be ‘spaced out’.

ALIEN 1: Spaced out?

NET: An abstract concept. During their formative period, numerous members of the ever-changing crew experimented with so-called mind-expanding hallucinogenic drugs.

ALIEN 1: Why?

NET: Don’t ask me

Anecdotes – numerous band members were frequently too stoned to play and had to be replaced by roadies, who sometimes joined the band on a permanent basis, leading to an extraordinarily fluid and chaotic line-up.

MUSIC: ‘NEEDLE GUN’

‘So you’re alive I thought you was done

I’m gonna bring you down with my needle gun

Feel my pin- prick tattoo your spine

Give it a minute your life’s entwined with mine

It’s gonna make you run

Needle needle, needle needle gun

Hear my laughter in your head

It’s a pity it’s a shame nothing’s been said

It’s a vaccination joy with the ultimate death toy

It’s gonna make you run

Needle needle evil needle gun’

The extra attention form the police led to many busts and the bands penchant for a wild array of benefit gigs (including one for LSD guru Timothy Leary) rapidly earned the band a reputation as potential subversives.

Anecdotes – concern by local councils of effects of lightshow on audiences – URBAN GUERRILLA single withdrawn when it coincided with IRA bomb attacks – PXR5 album cover showing an incorrectly wired house plug.

Example: Durham City Echo, 17 December 1970:

‘COURT CLEARED AT HIPPIE FLOWER POWER TRIAL

An ‘electronic beat group’ did not glorify drug taking or violence, a consultant psychologist said at the Durham Magistrates Court today. Before the court were Hawkwind, five young men from London. All deny conspiring to corrupt public morals on 8 August 1970 when at a dance members of the group appeared naked; drugs contraceptives and magazines were handed to the audience and ‘free love’ was encouraged from the stage.

The Case was held up for several minutes when a father collapsed in court after hearing his daughter confession of ‘intimate relationships’ at the Winterland Ballroom that night. A shocked Mr. Howe, prosecuting, said, “You are wicked people to come here and implant lustful and perverted desires to our children”.

A spokesman for the group, describing himself as a musician, wearing a multi-coloured jacket and shoulder-length hair replied “This is a ridiculous fantasy. It is a victimization of the worst sort. You are a sick person with a sick mind”. Judge Day-Lewis cleared the court after repeated laughter and interruptions from the public gallery. The case continues.’

ALIEN 1: Who was in control?

NET: Good question.

DOUG SMITH on the difficulties of managing Hawkwind – especially their anachronistic (for a rock band) disregard for commercial opportunities and penchant for free and benefit gigs.

DAVE BROCK AND OTHERS’ observations. What were they against? And what were they for?

MUSIC: ‘RIGHT TO DECIDE’

‘I’m a digital citizen all safe in my room

And I’ve got my video to relive the gloom

My mind’s on a circuit with the news on a screen

Life’s a no-go area it’s so obscene

You can’t do this

You can’t do that

You can’t go forward and you can’t go back

I’m a plugged in person I’m a TV fan

But there’s so many things I don’t understand

Why do you want to steal on TV it’s not real

It’s a viewing game’

ALIEN 1: This attitude is shared by all crew members?

ALIEN 2: Not necessarily. There have been many Hawklords.

NET SELECTS CREW ENTRY. MUSIC: ‘WARRIORS’. ALBUM COVER OF ‘WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME’. THE LONE HORSEMAN IS ANIMATED. HE TROTS TO THE EDGE OF THE PRECIPICE AS TRACK PLAYS, IMAGES OF EVERY BAND MEMBER ARE MIXED THROUGH. :

‘We are the warriors on the edge of time

We are humanity’s scythe, to sweep this way and that and cut the enemy down as reeds

We are the spade to dig up the roots wherever they have grown

We are humanity’s fire, to burn the waste to the finest ash

We are the wind, which will blow the ash away, thought it had never existed

We will destroy the enemy

But first we must know the enemy, and the enemies of the devils who hide in our minds

And make us less than happy

They make us less than happy

We are the warriors on the edge of time

The victims of the savage truth

We are the lost

We are the last

We are the undying

We are the warriors on the edge of time’

What effect did so many different musicians have on the bands musical development?

ALIEN 1: What happened to them?

NET: Ejection.

ALIEN 2: Ejection?

NET: Emergency evacuation from craft in distress.

PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY ENTRY SELECTED. MUSIC: ‘COCKPIT CHECK/EJECTION’

‘Ground control: Ready for last minute cockpit check

Pilot: OK

GC: Largactil… five milligrams

P: Check

GC: Valium… ten milligrams

P: Check

GC: Heloperidol… five milligrams

P: Which

GC: The little white ones… w w w for white

P: OK, check

GC: Phenobarbitone, five milligrams

P: Check

GC: Disipel… five milligrams

P: Check

GC: Glass of water

P: Check

Together: Our father… which art in heaven… hallowed be… mea culpa, mean culpa, mea culpa…maxima

There’s only one course of action left for me to take

I’ve tried every switch selection that might control this state

I think for my protection I’d better make it straight

Into Ejection

Better tell base

Ejection

That I think it’s a case

For Ejection

Explode into space

Ejection

Protect my face

Ejection’

ALIEN 1: Their ship has been in distress?

NET: No craft is infallible. It appears that during the time-frame of the late 1970’s, the ship was decommissioned.

BROCK and others on the period of hiatus which followed the release of ‘ASTOUNDING SOUNDS/AMAZING MUSIC’, and culminated with the short-lived period as the ‘HAWKLORDS’. What went wrong?

ALIEN 1: How has the ship survived?

NET: The Cult of the Hawk.

SELECT ENTRY THE CULT OF THE HAWK

Brock and others on Hawkwind fans. What kind of people are they?

ALAN DAVEY on how he joined the band – a former fan who bought a bass guitar just to learn Hawkwind songs – kept sending tapes to the band and was eventually invited to join for their last ever gig at Stonehenge in 1984.

BRIAN TAWN What do Hawkwind mean to their fans and how do they categorize/ sum up the appeal of their music?

MUSIC: ‘HASSAN I SABBAH’

‘Hashish hashin, hashish hashin

Black September, Black September

Death unto all infidels in oil

Guide us o thou genie of the smoke

Lead us to a thousand and one nights

In the perfumed garden of delights’

What do Hawkwind mean to Hawkwind?

ALIEN 1: Have they accomplished their mission?

NET:Mission statement contained within text of ‘Space Ritual’.

MISSION STATEMENT SELECTED

‘Son of man thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house

Which has eyes to see and sees not…

And has ears to hear, and hears not…

Give up illusions about ideas of order,

Accepted nothing of inherited norm.

Spread joy and revolution.

It is the business of the future to be dangerous.’

MUSIC: ‘BORN TO GO’

‘We were born to go, we’re never turning back

We were born to go, and leave a burning track

We were born to go, and leave no star unturned

We were born to grow, we were born to learn

We’re breaking out of the shell, we’re breaking free

Turn electrical dreams into reality

We were born to blaze a new clear way through space

A way out of the maze, that held the human race

We were born to go as far as we can find

We were born to blow, blow the human mind’

Q. How have the ideals changed?

ALIEN 1:The ship then, it is not real?

NET:That depends upon your concept of reality. The ship is fuelled by mankind’s most powerful weapon.

ALIEN 2:Nuclear fission?

NET: Negative.

ALIEN 1: What is the weapon?

NET: Dreams

MUSIC: ‘ALIEN (I AM)’ OR ‘ABDUCTION’

ALIEN 1: They have dreamed of our kind?

NET: They are searching now.

ALIEN 1: What is their destination?

SELECT DESTINATION

Interviewees on where next?

MUSIC: ‘WELCOME TO THE FUTURE’

NET: That concludes the Hawkwind log.

ALIEN 1: There is no more?

NET: There is always more.

ALIEN 1: Follow that ship.

ON THE VIEWER WE SEE A SILVER SPHERE WITH THE ‘DOREMI FASOL LATIDO LOGO’ AS ITS INSIGNIA. THE SPHERE BEGINS TO ACCELERATE INTO THE VOID, FORGING A PATH THROUGH COUNTLESS TRANSLUCENT ALBUM COVERS, WHICH HURTLE TOWARDS US LIKE STAR-GATES.

CREDITS RUN

THE ALIEN SHIP FOLLOWS AND DISAPPEARS INTO INFINITY. CAPTION IS SUPERED ON THE STARFIELD:

IT IS THE BUSINESS OF THE FUTURE TO BE DANGEROUS.

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