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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

35 Years Ago: Ginger Baker Joins Hawkwind For ‘Levitation’



By the end of the ’70s, Hawkwind had already been through a long list of band members, trials, tribulations, drugs and general disarray. With nine studio LPs and one definitive double live album behind them, Hawkwind had become a different creature from the one that first roamed the earth back in 1969.

They’d already seen future Motorhead leader Lemmy Kilmister – one of the band’s most famous ex-contributors – come and go. He became just one of some 10 total Hawkwind bassists. They’ve also had nearly a dozen drummers, one of whom is none other than Ginger Baker, a member from 1980-81.

Leader Dave Brock was the sole co-founder left by this time – and remains the only constant to this day. As such, he’d oversee shifts from spacey to heavy and back again, before Hawkwind adopted elements of new wave for 1977’s Quark, Strangeness and Charm. Hawkwind then welcomed back Huw Lloyd-Langton, guitarist from their debut album, as sessions began for an official follow up. But issues remained.

Brock had grown increasingly dissatisfied with drummer Simon King, then one of the group’s longer-tenured members. A chance suggestion by Lloyd-Langton’s wife led to the former Cream and Blind Faith legend. “Ginger fitted the band like a glove,” the late Lloyd-Langton said in the 2004 band bio The Sage of Hawkwind. “His style was just right for it.”

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