Moorcock in his own words on his performances and his feelings about those early Hawkwind days – from ‘Record Collector’ / June 96
I was Bob Calvert’s understudy, basically. When he was in the loony bin, I would attempt to tour with them. I first got involved with the group while I was organising free gigs under the motorway at Ladbroke Grove, in the days when we all felt the community spirit.
I’d written ‘Sonic Attack’ for them, Bob got carted off by the men in white coats, and that’s when I appeared with them. What I liked about Hawkwind was that they seemed like the crazed crew of a spaceship that didn’t quite know how everything worked but nevertheless wanted to try everything out.
There was a sense that they were completely out of it, but yet were producing something actually very interesting. And they weren’t pretentious. There were a lot of people who the minute they stated using electronic music started talking about Stockhausen, which I think is crap, frankly. They didn’t have any of those hi-faluting claims for themselves. I enjoyed doing it, and I have a lot of admiration for Dave Brock and what he did with the band. I like the fact that they stuck to the principles they believed in,particularly the first decade.
I don’t see a great deal of difference between Hawkwind and what Punk was doing. It was just the same, really, with different haircuts. There was as much idealism, disgust with hypocrisy, and Hawkwind had this reputation as a peace and love band, but none of the lyrics were like that at all. It was urban stuff that could have been written ten or twenty years later. I was always very sceptical about the whole peace and love aspect of it all. I was for the sentiments, but you needed something more than just a peace sign and another joint.”
“We were in the happy position of being the only band the Sex Pistols had any time for! The only ‘long hair’ band — that is, the Hawkwind, Motorhead axis in general. If you look at lyrics like “Kings of Speed,” “Sonic Attack” and “Needle Gun” (all mine), you see more in common with punk than peace and love. Our lyrics weren’t that dissimilar. And Hawkwind, don’t forget, refused to play the media game very much as the Pistols refused. We didn’t have the pleasure of telling Bill Grundy he was a miserable old hack, but we might have done, more reasonably. John L. and some of the others were far more interested in power, however, than we were.
I knew early on that punk was just another form of dandy-ism and I’m a great fan of dandy-ism. The true dandy, as exemplified by a certain version of Jerry Cornelius, has to be able to keep their cool on all occasions. As punk sank, like hippies, into mere fashion, I lost interest. I spent time at Blitz because I knew a fair number of the people there and was vaguely involved with some New Romantics, but I must say I preferred the return of grunge.”
See also Michael Moorcock on “P0sitive Punk” 1983