Monday, April 02, 2007

Just Say Yes, Kids

This is Nik Turner ... after a lifetime of playing with Hawkwind and sundry other nutcases and no doubt enough hallucinogens to send his brain into permanent orbit around Jupiter, this is not a costume - this is what he actually looks like now.

25 Comments:

Blogger St. Anthony said...

Didn't I read somewhere that Turner said he wanted to play free jazz in a rock band? My kind of music.
Another one of my fave wayward sax players.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Geoff said...

We saw the Hawkwind documentary last night. There's a very sensible man under that costume. More sensible than Matthew Wright - now there's a wild new wave kinda guy.

In comparison, Lemmy's quite straight really.

8:30 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Yes, Matthew Wright ... what was all that about? Not the first person you'd go to when looking for some Hawk info ...
I like the scene near the beginning when they go back to Ladbroke Grove and Turner appears to produce a mouth organ type noise ... on his nose.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Geddy Lee Helium Voice. said...

Missed all of that, unfortunately. Hawkwind were responsible for of the worst and laziest proggish material, in my view; but they had their moments, and their story, with all its personnel is an interesting and ammusing one. I always loved the Warrior-era stuff - with Simon House (I think it was) on violin/keys, and before Turner was kicked out. Turner was on a recent episode of Mixing It; with an album of flute things in pyramids in Egypt. One cannot 'get away with' that kind of thing - since punk, and its critique of supposed hippydom; partly needed, partly destructive, I feel. Perhaps there something daft and quaint and a bit too middle-class and comfortable and escapist about such things, but does it have to follow that we think Turner et al have no worth? The PXR5-era getsthem some New Wave cred. But I prefer the dafter stuff myself.

Nice One St. A

8:16 AM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Simon House ... he went on to do some interesting stuff with Bowie, too.
Turner's flute music, partly recorded in the Great Pyramid - right in the middle of punk, as Julian Cope pointed out. Lovely.
Yes, I have an affection for the dafter stuff ... much of which involved dear old Turner.

2:07 PM  
Blogger farmer glitch said...

Ha - cool hair-day ... I always loved Inner City Unit - thought they were the perfect hippie-punk-link - and a damn stomping live act to boot ...

5:07 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Inner City Unit ... criminally ignored, and surely ripe for reappraisal/rediscovery?

6:15 PM  
Blogger Geddy Lee Helium Voice. said...

Gosh - Inner City Unit. Haven't heard that mentioned for years. Nice one. And Bob Calvert's solo thing ... what was it called? Captain something ...

I saw Hawkwind in 1980. Age 16. Liverpool Empire. Knocked unconscious outside whilst queueing by a gang of skinheads I didn't even see. Woke up inside. Wonder what they - the skinheads - are doing now ... Ha!

10:18 PM  
Blogger Geddy Lee Helium Voice. said...

Not familiar with S House/Bowie thing.

I love his violin on Warrior on the Edge of Time, as it segues from Assault & Battery. Happily, far too loud in the mix; with great echo.

10:20 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Calvert? Captain Lockheed and The Starfighters. It's all coming back to me ... good old Calvert.

The skinheads? Probably now all fathers and solid family men, bringing their kids up to be vicious little chips off the old block.

7:21 AM  
Blogger El Duderino said...

Hawkwind were the first live band I ever saw, with Kek in Yeovil in 1974. Was deaf for days after, my young ears not yet hardened to the assault. Always had a soft spot for them, but most of the post-Calvert stuff is pretty forgettable.

2:38 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Yes, lost track of their later output ... a plethora of dodgy live albums, mainly. The Lemmy period, and anything with Nik Turner or Calvert, that's the stuff I like.
Quark, Strangeness and Charm is great skewed pop.

4:52 PM  
Blogger kek-w said...

The first 6 or so LPs are pretty much total genius...the next couple are a bit pick n mix with the odd good track, then it's the law of dimishing returns, tho John Effay would be able to advise which of the later bits and pieces are worth bothering with...there's some actually quite good live in 1972 type albums floating around...

I saw Space Ritual a year or two ago and they were great (basically most of Hawkwind Mk1 minus Dave Brock)...they played some Inner City unit songs in amongst the classic Hawks numbers...got Nik Turner, Terry Ollis (what a total geezer! he was the pre-Simon king drummer) and Dave Anderson (my krautrock hero and a top bloke - also played in Amon Duul) to sign my treasured gatefold copy of "In Search of Space"...

I used to have the Nik Turner flute and electronics in the pyramid LP but foolishly sold it...saw it a few days ago and was v. tempted but a bunch of other stuff took priority on my wallet...

7:17 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Dave Anderson ... what a CV.
I'd love to see Space Ritual ... shall keep an eye out for them.
I've just sent off for the newly remastered edition of Turner's flute album ... extra track, too! Everyday I forlornly keep a look out for the postie

6:55 AM  
Blogger kek-w said...

Yeah, he told me he also breifly played for Van Der Graaf Generator...just rehersed with them for a summer, in the early 70s I think between Duul and Hawkwind, but there was too much acid floating around and they couldn't quite get their shit together...

10:46 AM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Jesus, now that would have been a track record - Amon Duul, Hawkwind and Van Der Graaf.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Geddy Lee Helium Voice. said...

Such a great area of activity - that ground between Prog and Psychedelia. Currently cannot get enough of Henry Cow this end. Fred Frith is fast becoming a number two to Scott Walker's number one at Cafe Abdab. Happily, I was listening to The Fall's 'Middle Class Revolt' - a CDR from an American friend, had for years, no track listing. Smith quotes Henry Cow's song, 'The War' (or some such like), or is it a cover version? I heard it the once and was too chuffed to really listen!

9:09 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Like Lydon, Smith had a love of a lot of that type of material ... both being big Peter Hammill fans, for instance.
I thinks he knows his psychedelia, Smith.
I swear I saw Fred Frith at the Blurt gig I saw recently.

7:14 AM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

I recall reading that sometime in 1977, Carla Bley had a band comprising various Canterbury sceners (Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper, for example) and happened to be in a studio next door to the Pistols. Lydon went and introduced himself as a big fan and did some jamming ... did anyone think to record this? Like to hear that.

7:31 AM  
Blogger kek-w said...

Er....arcane n tentative Pistols/H. Cow connection time: "Kew Rhone" by John Greaves (ex-Cow bassist) was released on the same day as "Never Mind the Bollocks" (no, really!). And it, um, sounds a bit like some of Carla Bley's stuff...and, errm, both albums were on Virgin.

Also, I always thought Linder (of the Ludus - and early Buzzcocks cover designer/collage-ist - and one-time flatmate of Morrissey (see, I always said he pinched stuff off've Devoto)) sounded a bit like Carla Bley.

I saw Cow in late 77/early 78 (can't remember which) and they were fucking fantastic - I had absolutely no problem w/ going to see things like that and also seeing Punk bands...I always thought they were v. spiky and brittle and totally un-Prog (in the consensus sense of how most people view Prog)...Van Der Graaf also had that sour/bitter/spiky/edgey feel to them that made them uncomfortably uneasy listening...they sounded like they were on speed...and that's what I like about the Proggier end of the 70s acid-folk stuff like Comus and Jans Duke de Grey...it's quite aggressive-sounding sour pasturalism...that's how I like my Prog, nice'n edgey...

7:05 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

Synchronicity ... cue Twilight Zone type music.
A mate of mine is a good friend of Hugh Hopper, used to live near him in Whitstable. I should have angled a intro.
Nice'n'edgey prog ... absolutely.
That's the irony ... there was punk (or some of the more conservative elements) sneering at stuff like prog or whatever when people like Van Der Graaf Generator or Henry Cow were harder and edgier, far more 'punk'.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Geddy Lee Helium Voice. said...

Sorry, Anthony - Molly mentioned the Frith at gig thing, I forgot all about that. Hope it was him. What a treat. Been hectic here. Decorating. So forgive fact slip - not like me ... I hope! The Henry Cow line is something like: '(male voice:)...tell of the war, tell how it began. (Dagmar Krasse:) Musicians with gongs ...' etc. Nearly spat my tea out when Mark E snarled those lines. Great clash.

Carla Blay's band at one time featured the amazing Steve Swallow on bass, I know that much.

I like aspects of both arms of prog, as you define them, Kek. VDGG and their ilk are wonderful, and make the point, graphically, that the supposed wholesale rupture between Prog and its orbits and Punk is well-overegged. I might have said, but that was going to be a central plank of a book I was going to write! When I had the idea, it was seen as heresy. Less so now. Hence: less urge to hunker-down and write the thing!

I agree, Anthony - most Punk sounds tame and quaint these days; whilst much of the darker end of Prog still retains its power, and is, in the narrow sense at least, often Punkier-sounding, too. I just think it is down to intelligence and imagination. Devoto, for instance, has both; whilst the UK Subs, for instance, did not. No shock to see that the former was good, interesting, and valid, whilst the later was just part of the scene. Pound for pound, there are heaps more great bands lying in that vague Prog terrain, in my view. Punk has only a handful of worthwhiles, I would say. All this revisiting Punk after 30 years stuff has tended to bring the shite out, too, rather than the good stuff.

7:54 PM  
Blogger rockmother said...

Yeah - I know what you mean - that sort of gimmick punk like Billy Idol and Splodgenessabounds which is all a bit irritating and very untalented.

11:28 PM  
Blogger St. Anthony said...

The various anniversaries of punk (10th, 20th, 25th, 30th - will it ever end?) get celebrated with bovine predictability ... a tad ironic, given that punk was supposed to be about heading at full speed into the future.
Yes, Splodgenessabounds surely marked the point at which punk officially rolled over and died.

Devoto, now there was an interesting man ... one of the insults thrown at Magazine was that they were a bit prog .... obviously a henious crime at that time.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Geddy Lee Helium Voice. said...

Absolutely! Magazine were more than a bit Prog, of course; and, of course, that was about as damining as one could get around 1979, calling someone Prog! Take 'Back to Nature', from Secondhand Daylight ... brilliant track. Stuart Marconi said it best, on his Freakzone radioshow on 6Music - punk might have started in London, but most of the best and weidest stuff happened up north. Paul Morley says the same - but he would, of course. For me, Magazine and Joy Division do stand out.

Yes, Punk's iconoclasm on a treadmill. Can't blame them for trying to make a few quid, I suppose. But, artistically, it is all rather faded and sad, I think it is fair to say. I don't mean to sound snobbish, I really don't. Good luck to them. I think it says more about how uncritical and shallow society in general is, than about individuals cashing in on some possibly tenuous past association and going through the motions 'one last time'. I know someone who was there in 76, as they say, in one of the famous bands of the time, played THe Roxy et al. He did the rounds last year. Not a bad person; no perceptible malintent. There was money to be had and he took it. He was even suitably embarrased and had a crisis of conscious over the whole thing! Personally, the idea of such things leaves me cold - as I'm neither particularly nostalgic or practical enough to squander my dignity, clench my buttocks, and take the cash! These seem to be prerequisites. But who can really say, though? Idealism has never got me anything I can use to eat.

8:01 AM  

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