During a 10 minute break from his band's rehearsals, I managed to hold a phone conversation with Hawkwind's Dave Brock and ask him about his music and the upcoming tour to celebrate 40 years of the band, it being 29 years since I first saw them as a bewildered youth.
Prock - It's 40 years since Hawkwind started, did you think you'd last anywhere near this long?
Brock - Not at all. We live for each week. You know you can do it for a year because you'd have a tour at the end of the year. But what happens next year, you don't know. We keep doing it because it's fun to do.
Prock - Do you see the band going on for as long as you're alive?
Brock - No idea actually. I can't answer that question. Who knows?
Prock - What sort of things can fans expect from the live shows this time?
Brock - We have a couple of lovely dancers with fantastic costumes and a really interesting light show. 2 guys on their computers with a visual tracking of the sound. Fairly psychedelic and theatrical.
Prock - With these shows are you trying to get back to any period of Hawkwind, or just to give a full picture of the past 40 years?
Brock - We constantly go forward really, we do half a dozen old songs but a lot of the stuff we do is new. We go forward, we don't really look back - I think of it like a painting, once you've done it, you move onto another one.
Prock - Who is in the current line up apart from yourself?
Brock - Tim Blake from Gong, Richard Chadwick on drums who's been with us for 22 years now, Niall Hone on guitar and bass and Mr Dibs who plays the bass.
Prock - What new music inspires you when you are writing?
Brock - I don't find that I'm influenced by anything really. These days kids can set up loops on PCs and I like doing that myself. Looping things and playing with them. The world's changing and music's changing - who knows what will happen?
Prock - Do you think the music industry is dead?
Brock - I don't think it's dead, now record companies are buying up venues so really the labels that have venues and agencies, like a package in a way, erm, but yeah a lot of it probably is, now you can do downloads. In the past when we signed a contract in 1970 the 6 members of Hawkwind got 1.5% of the money which was really terrible, so partly yeah, thank goodness.
Prock - Do you see this then as a democratisation of music in terms of overall autonomy of your product and how it's delivered?
Brock - You have a lot more control. We never used to realise that the money for the artwork was taken out of our money. We never used to think along those lines, thinking it would come out of the record company resources. Doing it on a local basis is really good because you can write, record and sell on the road which is good for young bands especially.
Prock - I've been doing some searching on the internet and there is a Leeds band called That Fucking Tank who have a song called Stephen Hawkwind and there's now a beer called Hawkwind. Do you think these are tributes to your band and long earned recognition for you band?
Brock - I heard about that. Instead of having an Oscar we have a can of beer named after us - it's nice anyway - who knows what's behind the motivation of the beer company - perhaps they should send us a crate.
Prock - Have you ever thought of collaborating with Michael Moorcock again?
Brock - Not really, because I don't see anything of him now as he lives in America.
Prock - What will Hawkwind's lasting legacy be?
Brock - Who knows, I really couldn't say. Hopefully giving a bit of inspiration to a lot of people. We do good shows that are interesting to see and that's what you try to do is entertain and get everybody having a nice time and as long as it's fun and everybody enjoys themselves that's the main thing.
Prock - I don't know if you want to answer this question, do you think there will ever be a "classic" Hawkwind reunion again?
Brock - I doubt it no, I think we've done that - we've done that and moved on.
Prock - Thanks for talking to me and enjoy the rehearsals.
Brock - Ok, thanks, bye.