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Motorpsycho and Hawkwind

(22 posts)
  • Started 3 weeks ago by Punj Lizard
  • Latest reply from pfnuesel

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  1. Punj Lizard
    Member

    The thread on Motorpsycho and Rush inspired some interesting and provocative discussion. So how about Hawkwind? As a longtime fan of Hawkwind I was blown away when I dscovered the text on the spine of Blissard, which you all no doubt know is taken from Hawkwind's "Space Is Deep".

    So do we have any Hawkwind fans here? (bionaut - I now know you're one!) Does anybody have any thoughts about how or where MP might have been influenced by Britain's premier space rockers. Fire up your orgone accumulators and have at it ...

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  2. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    "Uncle" Lemmy, space operas - it's obvious, isn't it? Probably MP do not show off their Hawkwind influences as Bands like Monster Magnet do (I like them, though...), but there's some Hawkwind in MP's genetic code along with all the progressive and heavy heroes mentioned in that other thread.
    If I'm not mistaken, they did a cover of Master of the Universe once or twice in their early days. Golden Cores and Golden Voids...

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  3. bionaut
    Member

    I don't really hear Hawkwind in MP music. They did indeed cover Master of the Universe. 1998-05-12 Frankfurt has a good version. It's actually Young Man Blues > Master of the Universe. Still, I don't hear Hawkwind in MP at all really. I do hear Motorhead, so that means Lemmy. Bent channels Hawkwind-era Lemmy with his rhythm guitar style of bass playing and his energy to my ears.

    As for Monster Magnet, I couldn't let that go by without a shout out to Dave and the boys. Love that band. I have seen Dave and Phil play since the Hard Attack days. I saw them for the first time in 1975, I believe it was. I have some humorous stories about my interactions with those guys. I played soccer with Phil in high school. I remember Phil was not too impressed with me, but I did surprise him with my deep appreciation for Space Ritual. Gonna seem them tomorrow night in Boston.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  4. Punj Lizard
    Member

    My first encounter with Hawkwind was one of my older brothers buying their first album and I was a little freaked out and intrigued by the wierd snake things on the cover. When he played it I really liked Hurry on Sundown, but most of the rest was a little lost on me at that time. Then in 1972 they made a highly memorable appearance on prime time TV playing Silver Machine, which was a suprising hit in the UK charts. After that nothing until November 82 when I fell in with some guys who were big fans. They were all going to see them so I bought a ticket and went too (though on a different night to them). I didn't know any of their material other than the aforementioned, none of which they played, but I was completely captivated. It was phenomenal - unlike any other band I'd seen up to that point. That driving space rock sound just sucked me in and that was it. Between then and 87 (when I moved to Canada) I saw them about ten times, and I've seen them again another half-dozen times in the last ten years (mostly just a shadow of their former selves). They stand a clear third in my list of most-seen bands, but I wish I had been able to see them in their 70s prime. I did get to see Calvert in concert once (in the mid-80s) - an altogether different experience - but brilliant too.

    Being very late to Motorpsycho and only having a couple of months listening to a few albums and odd tracks before I saw them in October last year, that first gig reminded me so much of being back at Hammersmith Odeon at that first Hawkwind gig. Opening with ASFE followed by the glorious space jam of Intrepid Explorer and I was in heaven. I really shouldn't have been suprised when I found out Bent and Snah are fans.

    @bionaut
    Nice story about playing football with the Monster Magnet guy. It sounds like you probably have quite a few more stories to tell. I know nothing about their music so will check them out. I only recently first heard of them and had no idea they went back so far so figured your "1975" must have been a typo (more fool me). Anyway, I just did a little googling and came across some Shrapnel stuff too. I will give it a listen, but it looks like they were more of a punk band back then - even played at CBGB's. Nice. Looking forward to playing some MM later today. Any recommendations?

    I have a compilation of recordings from 1998 (courtesy of and great thanks to The Other Anders) which includes a version of Young Man's Blues >> Master of the Universe from Frankfurt, but the date is different (1998-03-25). There's at least one other track on the compilation from Frankfurt on the date you have so maybe there's a mix-up in dates - I dunno, I still feel like a kid with a new toy when it comes to MP. I'll have to give it another listen today.

    Enjoy the Monster Magnet gig tonight.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  5. Bartok
    Member

    Bent in 93:

    The noise and images that are in the background of "Demon Box" are sometimes almost science fiction-like. How inspired are you of bands such as Hawkwind?
    You can take a song like "Tuesday Morning". We tried to play it many times. In the end, we decided to play it acoustic, but then it almost sounded like a Syd Barrett song. So we thought okay, we'll take it all the way, and put on a lot of weird sounds. Then it was suddenly not Syd Barrett anymore, but Hawkwind. We are clearly inspired by early Hawkwind.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  6. Tomcat
    Member

    @Punj: I learned to know and like Monster Magnet with their '93 album "Superjudge" and really loved "Dopes To Infinity" ('95). The next albums and concerts were getting too much of a "posers" touch for my taste as I prefer the more spaced out stuff. I would have liked to see them already with their 1991 "Spine Of God" which might be M.M. at their prime. Very druggy hardrock But Bionaut must have much more knowledge about their evolution.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  7. supernaut
    Member

    Can't add anything here due to my lack of knowledge about Hawkwind, but the first time I've seen MP was on a festival where Monster Magnet played, too. Bizarre '95.

    And out.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  8. With "Cobras and Fire (The Mastermind Redux)" they released a brilliant album even in 2015. That one is huge.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  9. Nummer6
    Member

    OH Boy,
    Hawkwind and Motorpsycho have a lot in common! Hawkwind is Dave Brock. If he wanted a country
    Lp he had made it. Hawkwind has most of the time done what they want. The Real Fans like me
    enyoy most of there different Lp´s.
    All the Best Nummer6
    P.S. Listen to Thimothy´s Monster the Track and you will now how much Hawkwind is it.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  10. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    I think the major thing HW and MP have in common is the ability of constantly re-enventing themselves in quite different, but always recognizable styles.

    I first saw HW in '87 - before they were nothing more than a rumour in Germany, with reminiscences of the early 70s and Silver Machine being played on my favourite radio station throughout my youth in the 80s. Met them backstage in Nuremberg (withoug Brock!) in 91 and was allowed to have a go on Alan's Rickenbacker bass for a minute. Have seen them eight or nine times since then - mostly excellent gigs except for the last one in 2010 which was really just a shadow of Hawkwind. Hawkwind stands and falls (just like MP) with a driving prominent bass, so I can't really understand how Brock committed the same mistake twice by firing Alan Davey in 2007 - but of course you don't know what happened behind the scenes. I thing the latter day Hawkwind were exceptionally strong between 1988 and 95 - with some good live albums around 2000.

    btw - One thing HW and Motorpsycho definitely have in common is that you leave their concerts happily and totally exhausted.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  11. Devotional
    Member

    "When we started Motorpsycho, we wanted to sound like a cross between Hawkwind and Sonic Youth." - Bent Sæther, 1995 (Beat)

    Hawkwind is such an integral part of the MP DNA. One of their least hidden references. As well as praising them openly in interviews, and putting the quote "Into the void we have to travel" in the Blissard cover, they have also borrowed a lot from them musically. And it's not just Lemmy's bass playing, but the whole heavy psychedelic/space rock-vibe in general, which was there from the beginning. Whether that is balanced out with metal/indie/lo-fi/folk/prog or baroque pop differ from record to record, but save for Let Them Eat Cake and Phanerothyme, I can locate some traces of Hawkwind in almost their entire catalogue. Our national anthem "Psychonaut" is pretty much a Hawkwind orgy, as is "Back To Source" and "K9". Demon Box alone has "All Is Loneliness", "Tuesday Morning" and "Step Inside Again"... The list goes on.

    As well as "Master Of The Universe", MP also covered "You Shouldn't Do That" in 1993, and on Roadwork Vol. 1, during the transition from "Superstooge" to "The Wheel", Bent briefly plays some lines from that main riff from ca. 6:23 onwards.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  12. bionaut
    Member

    Interesting comments on the influence of HW on MP. I guess what I don't hear is any Brock. There are bands (e.g. Monster Magnet) who can capture Brock pretty. To me, Snah is such a distinct animal that he is not wired like Brock at all and forges his own sound.

    As for Monster Magnet @Punj, don't forget to give Tab... 25 a spin. "Get in your car, start it up, and drive straight into a fucken brick wall. I guarantee you will love it."

    A MM/HW anecdote for anyone still reading... I played in a space rock band called Architectural Metaphor in the late 80's and early 90's. We opened for Hawkwind a few times in the USA. One night in New York in 1991, we were on stage at the Wetlands doing Sonic Attack after getting some tips from Brock on the tour bus. Dave Wyndorf was in the audience. He told one of my friends that he was offended that his band was not opening for Hawkwind, because they were so much better than us. He was right!

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  13. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @Tomcat - thanks for the recommendations

    @Johnny - And another new bassist, who was full of energy and apparently bringing them back to life on stage, also just got fired.

    @Devotional - I'm glad you posted that "Hawkwind and Sonic Youth" quote. I was about to start looking for that. I do hear that intersection in places, even in later (than 1995) material, e.g. The Alchemyst.

    @bionaut - thanks for the further MM recommendation.

    I listened to Superjudge and Dopes to Infinity and although some of the music was likeable, I can't say I like the vocals and that pretty much ruins it for me. It's a type of American hard rock vocal style that really does nothing for me and even turns me off. I guess I thought it was OK back when Van Halen's first album came out because I like that album (though it was an exceptional album on its release), but for the most part I don't like the macho posturing vibe that seems to inhabit the style - at least I think that's part of why it doesn't work for me.

    @bionaut again - Whenever I saw Hawkwind with a support, the support band didn't always seem a natural fit, but almost certainly always turned out to be really good and very interesting. The fact that Dave Wyndorf said he was offended and voiced the idea that MM were so much better than the band actually supporting Hawkwind (i.e. your band) seems reason enough not to hire MM as support. MM may have been a "better" band (although what "better" means in this case I have no idea), but I wouldn't mind betting your band were much more interesting and unique.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  14. bionaut
    Member

    @Punj - Nice wrap up. I appreciate what you're saying about Hawkwind support bands. In my case when Wyndorf was in the audience, MM was about to release 'Spine of God', and I was about to be kicked out of a sputtering space rock band in a dispute over ownership of a fog machine. Nolo contendere. Interesting comment on the American hard rock vocal style. I could get into that conversation, but it's heading far afield of MP world.

    @Devotional - I think we have spent enough time on the Hawkwind-MP connection for now, but I will say that 'K9' and 'All Is Loneliness' are my two favorite MP songs. They are the ones that hooked me and opened the door for me loving MP.

    Peace, brothers.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  15. pfnuesel
    Member

    I listened to Hawkwind when I was a kid. It didn't touch me. Haven't heard anything from them (knowingly) since then. I'm willing to give them another chance (unlike Rush). Where should I start?

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  16. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @pfnuesel - personally, to start, I would recommend their second album In Search of Space as a classic of space rock. It also contains the two tracks mentioned above that MP covered ("Master of the Universe" and "You Shouldn't Do That"). Beyond that, Space Ritual is widely regarded among space rock fans as one of the greatest double live albums ever. I hope you have a pleasant flight.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  17. pfnuesel
    Member

    In Search of Space is exactly the record I listened to back in the days. But there's no reason to not continue there again! Thanks for the suggestion!

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  18. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Ha ha!! Move forward a bit in time then - Doremi Fasol Latido is a little heavier (especially with Lemmy now on board). Hall of the Mountain Grill is a little more varied and Warrior on the Edge of Time is slightly more progressive and features poetry of the brilliant psychedelic/SF author Michael Moorcock.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  19. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    I Just listened to Doremi Fasol Latido (vinyl album) again last weekend, inspired by this thread. Was surprised how shaky and rather untogether the music appeared to me. Once one of my favourite HW albums, it nowadays reflects the state of the band in a period of transition between extended space rock jams and proper songwriting, with Lemmy rather new on board and the driving engine still making weird noises.
    (Had listened to the CD remaster version the last times - sounds more powerful and energetic to me).

    Classic songs abounding, though imho they find their definitive shape on the following Space Ritual album (almost all of them present, except for Lemmy's "Watcher"). The latter in its shaky, doom-laden form and content rather reprents the overall charakter of DoReMi for me.

    My favourite HW year is nowadays 1973 (if you count the december 72 space ritual recordings in), although most of my favourite material is rather obscure: The brilliant London 73 gig which shamefully only exists in inferior sound quality on "Bring me the head of Yuri Gagarin" with propably the best Calvert delivery ever ("Wage War" and "In The Egg") as well as the jammy Windsor Free Festival gig (bootleg) with the first appearances of the "Warrior on the edge" themes and Calverts "Ode to a timeflower".

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  20. bionaut
    Member

    @pfnuesel - If you want to try and grok the whole Hawkwind oeuvre, I suggest listening to 'Space Ritual', 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm', 'Live 79', 'Chronicle of the Black Sword', 'Electric Teepee'.

    1973 is peak for sure. 'Yuri Gagarin' was re-released with better sound as 'Empire Pool Wembley 1973'. Great gig. Windsor is unique and awesome. There are quite a few other shows in circulation worth a listen. If you dive into the more obscure HW boots, you have to get your head into the game. Imagine listening to the show from inside a running laundry machine.

    Most important, do not miss the Greasy Truckers set from 1972. That's been released with fantastic sound. This is required listening for early Hawkwind fans. It captures the band in full flight. Brock has told a story about how the whole band dosed prior to the show and could not be persuaded to go on stage for quite some time. Lemmy told a story about the roadies hooking his boot heels on the back of the stage and levering him up into a standing position for the gig. You can hear the synapses crackling on this show.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  21. Nummer6
    Member

    Where would i Start as a long Time Hawkwind fan since 1986.
    Studio Album: Warrior ...1975,Levitation,Electic Tepee 1992,Alien 4 1995,The Maschine Stops 2016.
    Live/Studio: Roadhawks1976!,PXR5 1979!!!
    at the Start: I am not a Fanboy Doremi is totally crap as always Hawkwind is an absoluty Live
    Band many Studio Albums are not really great! For Me the best live period 1976-78!
    All the Best Nummer6

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  22. pfnuesel
    Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but realistically I won't listen to more than one, maybe two records, and then it either clicks or it doesn't.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #

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