The Demonization of Nik Turner-Hawkwind, Hawknerdz and the Flame Wars of 2014-2015

Not since Martin Luther nailed up some truths on an imposing church door has there been such a troubling schism in a monolithic religious organization. Pastoral and visionary, this highly bonded group have worshipped at the altar of the band Hawkwind for nigh on five distinct decades. But what could cause such a rift in this pacifist (minus the home made lager) and like minded group? Nik Turner. Just saying that name in certain circles is a call for public hangings, vitriol, character assassinations and general flame wars. Why does this septuagenarian gentleman get singled out so consistently and what is his publicly offensive crime? Only one thing-playing Hawkwind music. So why do some UK fans get such a bug in their butts about Nik?
The Backstory
Nik was a founding member of the seminal space rock band Hawkwind in 1969. Co founder Dave Brock and Nik pretty much created space rock (Edgar Froese may disagree). To be truthful, several other key components rotated through Hawkwind from the key years of 1969-1976: Lemmy (Motorhead), Robert Calvert, Simon House, the dual electronic maelstroms of DikMik and Del Dettmar. But the foundation sound and vision came from these two twins of space rock-Dave Brock and Nik Turner. Dave was the sound and Nik was the voice, and both came from beyond the edge of the cosmos. Hawkwind came slowly through unending waves of music press criticism, shrugged their shoulders and set the controls for the unknown. One of the few bands to remain mostly relevant throughout their 46 year history, their iconoclast view ended up being correct. Pink Floyd? Gone. Tangerine Dream? Gone. They are name checked by hundreds of known and unknown bands across the planet. Hawkwind showed the early critics who was correct.
The Trouble With Nik
Nik began to have some trouble in the band in the mid 70’s. Dave had sacked more than a few (although it is reported that Nik was tabbed to sack Lemmy on their 1975 tour for getting caught with speed crossing the Canadian border, two years after Dave had temporarily sacked Lemmy in 1973) and the band line up had become fluid. The last one on the chopping block was Nik. He was sent to the wilderness in 1976 (purportedly for instigating a coup to get the band to fire Dave, which temporarily happened). This set off a film worthy love/hate relationship between these two stewards of spaceship Hawkwind that has lasted until this day. Like some lingering diseases, the disorder occasionally went dormant (Nik rejoined the band full time in 1983, saving them from their formulaic metal bent and getting them back towards a festival and space rock track) and reconciliations were offered. Nik was shown the door again in 1985, ostensibly for being a stage hog (partly true). Although some debated their likes and dislikes of 15 years of Hawkwind, everyone agreed that this was not only THE band, it was their band. Reunions in the millennium included many former members, and the Hawkwind family was one huge extended clan.
Enter the Hawknerds

Something started to go wrong recently. In 2013, posts on Amazon and Yahoo groups indicated a new breed had arisen–the self appointed Hawkwind police. They trolled the internet looking for mentions of Nik Turner, gathered the troops, and attacked. Where this new strain had come from was a mystery for a while. Somewhere in 2014, something happened on the UK Hawkwind fan site. Known amongst themselves as Hawknerds, the site began to show some troubling signs. ‘Wanted For Treason” and other nasty threats were posted over pictures of Nik Turner. Beheadings, Hangings, stonings were all mentioned. What the hell were these people talking about? Most of the folks on this site are straight shooting music fans, unwilling to be drawn into political discussions of the “schism”. But moderators either tacitly or actively approved of this misbehavior. Posts by current members of the band fueled the fires and opinions got very heated. A strong cadre of members were increasingly vociferous about their opinions of Nik Turner. And in sharing these opinions, they were not shy. Like a child in a divorce, they were told to take sides, and poisoned by…..someone. They took to the web (mostly friend face) and screamed the mantra “Nik Turner is the devil!” They started a flame war that was single minded: destroy anyone who disagreed with the party line. You like Nik Turner? You are banned from the site. Did you have your own site? (Nik Turner’s main friend face site and the Hawkwind North America/Canada site are good examples) We show up and attack. When faced with logic or asked questions logically-they descended into name calling, attacks and bans. This happened on the UK site where many US fans questioning the double cancellation were just muted and sent away. They orchestrated a concerted effort to suppress and censor any information on the internet about the Hawkwind failed tour, and shifted all blame on Nik, by any means possible. “They had questioned the integrity of the band”. Why would they say this? Why would they intentionally divide a fan base that was such a global family? That some on the UK site were bothered by US fans complaining about losing two rounds of hotels and flights to go to unplayed shows-and offered a “who cares, they’re playing ten times this fall” attitude only added to an already forming rift.
The Non Tour Saga and the Blaming of Nik
Although this is detailed here earlier, a quick recap: Hawkwind had a tour of America booked in fall 2013. Three days before the tour was to commence, they canceled the whole thing. The reason? Dave Brock had been stricken ill over stress by the fact that Nik was suing to use the Hawkwind name in America, and was unable to tour. Whether this was the idea of Nik or Cleopatra Records is to be determined. But given this excuse, people were sad and regrouped. Online,the complaints were solidified. It was stressed that a concurrent tour as Nik Turner’s Hawkwind would be confusing to prospective fans. Ignoring the fact that all US (and Canadian) fans know the difference, and would attend both bands no matter what, the claim of a single Hawkwind was a rallying cry to many UK fans. A larger problem developed in the spring. The rescheduled tour in 2014 was once again canceled two weeks before it began with the band citing some fairly implausible excuses-they had nowhere to sleep (tour buses are where bands sleep), they had no food plans (venues feed bands), promoters would not put up the cash (they had done enough in October to satisfy the band), renting a back line would be expensive (many US tours from 1989 to 1997 prove they know this isn’t a problem). When mentioning visas and airfare, the explanation gets into a twilight zone of logic. People started to doubt this story, and by proxy, the October story. (Hawkwind had gone on a short UK tour near the proposed US tour dates in October). Was there something else out there that kept them from coming? Nik? Certainly not a real excuse. (All of Nik Turner’s shows in cities that Hawkwind were scheduled to play were after Hawkwind had done a show, precluding any supposed confusion). Another troubling question was: Were Hawkwind legally prevented from coming to North America by the legal kerfuffle? This would go a loooong way to explaining the fairly unconvincing and contradictory claims regarding the spring 2014 tour. The fact that they couldn’t legally come would explain not touring and not telling anyone at the same time.

An interview with Dave Brock in 2016 finally confirms that their excuses were a smokescreen for legal troubles that prevented the band from coming to the States (as well as Dave wishing Nik would die(!). A good article that chronicles this and quotes the stated at the time reasons from Hawkwind’s main website can be read here )
What’s In A Name?
Now let’s set some history straight. Two Hawkwinds? Is that possible? A quick perusal of rock history can show us some things. Multiple Wishbone Ash, Venom, Queensryche, Foghat units populate a dwindling rock god gene pool. Steve Hackett’s Genesis just toured. Collins, Banks and Rutheford toured in 2007, are planning a tour now, and own the name-no problem. Yes? Well there’s Yes, and uh Yes featuring Anderson, Wakeman, Rabin (as of April 2017). Hawkwind’s space rock contemporaries, Gong are an even better example. Gong, Paragong, New York Gong, Gnog, Gong Maison, Mother Gong, Pierre Moerlen’s Gong? For better or worse, this band of UK and French stoners managed to get along and share…after all, wasn’t that the vibe of the sixties? Free shows and Portobello Road communes were the order of the day. Money? That’s for fat cats, the man, the establishment. Although it is sure that the Gong family squabbled about many things PHP, they never took their family fights public, and gave the illusion of getting along. And so did their fans.
Not the End But a Denouement
How this will play out isn’t easy to predict. As noted before, the band of Hawkwind fans was one of the strongest and longest lived underground and nearly religious cadres in rock behind Deadheads. But this divide in the following weakens a group that has never seen strife as fans. Nik Turner’s Hawkwind and Hawkwind? US fans don’t care. Bring ’em both. This US refusal to recognize any conflict drew vociferous attacks via the UK. The Hawknerds are partially guilty of inciting this schism in a fan base that was solid for decades. Not reining in wayward factions and tolerating or encouraging childlike internet behavior has gone a long way to creating ill will that never existed before. This campaign seems to have the quiet backing of the official band as well. Airing of dirty laundry in public is not a smart way to solve problems. There is no evidence of squabbling between Hawkwind factions, hell there were no Hawkwind factions before this recent flame war started. They have advised to be patient and wait until the legal battle is settled, yet actively promote a squabble over a conflict, a conflict between two band members, not fans. This is irresponsible, and uses age old smear and censorship tactics, spreading the hate that they gleefully accuse folks who honestly voice any opposing opinions of, and silencing and deleting whenever possible.

But this article is not intended to be an apology for Nik Turner, it is a plea for reconciliation, and to get everyone back together, fans (and band members). Some will disagree.  I know that few of the hardened hatchet men will be moved by this message, but I feel sorry for them. “Cutting off one’s nose to spite their face” comes to mind as these people miss out on some amazing music to fight a battle, a battle that is not even theirs to fight. If a band splits, then either a limb dies off, or it roots and regrows. The obvious solution is to get the original band back together. (Nik had openly said on his 2013 tour that he had no problem with Dave and wanted to play at any time, and that he had contacted Lemmy’s son about a full on reunion…(sadly no longer possible).  But this is not always possible. So when a long lived band has two incarnations, it actually is double the fun for the crowd. Two Hawkwinds? Two Hawkwinds touring America at once? Hallelujah! Two space rock gods fighting-not something that has any winners. Two 70 year old guys fighting over a band name? It makes one shake a head and think…”why can’t stoner grandpas just get along?”

For verification of any of the above, the sources are the closed groups of Hawkwind UK fans, Hawkwind US/Canada, and the Nik Turner group, all friend face locations.

Update June 29, 2017-Out of the Woods

The trademark dispute ended in the US this week with the board finding for Dave Brock and Hawkwind, barring use of “Nik Turner’s Hawkwind” as a billing moniker. He still can play as “Nik Turner formerly of Hawkwind” on the bill, which seems as if two words were the cause of four years of strife in the Hawkwind fanbase. The result was pretty much expected by everyone when the complaint is read closely. (Brock has been the only constant member since 1969). The 22 page finding can be read here.

The confusion part of the case as argued relied on an early 1970’s trademark dispute between du Pont owning an automotive cleaning agent called Rally vs a smaller company who held the trademark for a detergent called Rally. Du Pont was originally refused a trademark for Rally, took the smaller company to court, and the original company was forced to share the name with du Pont. The argument that there would be confusion as to which was which was disputed by the board. That angle seemed unclear as to how this was so influential when the conclusions between this and the Hawkwind dispute were diametrically opposed viz a viz sharing. I would have thought the now forgotten Bay Area 80’s supergroup Dinosaur suing punk rock from Massachusetts Dinosaur (eventually settling on Dinosaur Jr to get out of it) would have been more relevant. Nik touring as Hawkwind Jr is probably not going to bring folks through the door though.

So who won? Obviously Brock will be happy to get Nik off his back. (reading the board decision, it is hard to tell who was the motivating power in this dispute, Nik or Cleopatra Records. From reading the 22 pages, my guess would point towards Cleo.)  Beyond that…?

Who lost? On paper, Nik loses the battle to be called Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, though as pointed out above, touring as ‘Nik Turner formerly of Hawkwind’ isn’t that much of a change. The general public is unaware of this squabble, so his following in North America will likely stay unaffected. He comes out mostly a wash. Cleopatra certainly is out lawyer’s fees for pressing the issue, so they’d be in the loss column. The real loss falls to the Hawkfans who have been polarized (even when not choosing sides) into some real rabble rousing hate camps. (see: Hawknerdz). Hawkwind, as the extended family, was once a mobile free festival- a moveable cosmic feast that spread across all of the continents, friends all whenever we met. We knew a secret. The rifts caused by elements of coordinated online social media fanning flames of dissent and causing an unnecessary UK vs North America, us vs. them fan squabble lasting years and something that  will take years to heal. Some folks should take time to reflect on what they’ve done to this pretty damn cool planet-wide fan base. Time for an Earth Ritual folks.

“oh yeah, only the stones remain…”    the Soft Boys





53 thoughts on “The Demonization of Nik Turner-Hawkwind, Hawknerdz and the Flame Wars of 2014-2015

    1. There is no Hawkwind UK site for fuck sakes! We were started in Toronto Canada get ur facts right before garbage u idiots . Founder of the Hawkwind FB group Darren Kachuba

  1. Glad to see someone finally wrote a decent article about the rift. As a lifelong Hawkwind fan, I could care less which version I see. I just want to be able the be afforded the opportunity to see any incarnation at this point. I just wish Brock would get over himself. He makes the Fogerty Brothers look sane.

    1. Don’t blame my father for Nik Turner he new what he was doing . If you owned a band would you like someone selling teickets as you?

  2. Among some juvenile playground comments and responses received(that ironically proved the point of the above article about self appointed Hawkwind internet police misbehaving) was a comment from Darren, pointing out that the so called UK site was actually originally created in Toronto. Apologies for the inaccuracy, yet most of the Hawknerdz are from the UK, so it is easy to perceive it as a UK site.

    1. Yes and Darren banned me for daring to bring up the unsettling inconsistancies in the Hawkwind tour cancellation stories. And that was the best treatment I got on that board lol. Before being exiled I was called every name in the book, mostly by those creepy fuckers from the UK. Don’t kid yourselves: there was an organized concerted effort by the band to set their dogs loose on anybody they deemed “unfriendly”. The lowest of the low happened when Hawkwind blamed promoters for the cancellation of the second proposed tour in 2014 (hogwash…), and the rabid dogs went to this promoter’s website and filled it with vile messages. The most disgusting behaviour I’ve ever seen. The promoter is a legit business man who didn’t do anything wrong. It all got so sickening for me that I can barely stand to hear or read the word Hawkwind any more. peace. 🙂

      1. If you had seen Darren’s original post, you’d not be surprised. I had seen some of the crap posted by Hawknerdz on the NA site, and was gobsmacked as to what passed for truth in their minds, and the vitriol with which they attacked anyone asking innocent questions. It is curious that we were asked to be patient, and the answers would be forthcoming. Well it is now two full years later, and we have not heard a single thing from mission control–it is as if the whole double cancellation of a tour never happened. Hawkwind did themselves a grave disservice by not cleaning up their mess over here, and I think they have pooched any chances of redemption, failing a full on reunion. Thanks Lino for your input.

      2. I don’t know this “fansite” ~ the official UK Hawkwind fan forum is not run by anyone named Darren, and there aren’t any so-called Hawknerdz, childish trolls, or what have you, just a group of dedicated fans loyal to the band that is Hawkwind and releases albums under that name. In the interest of keeping such flame wars off the site, any attempt to start up a ‘Nik versus Dave’ slag war usually is met with disapproval from members and moderators alike. It is generally accepted that the legal hassles between band members/former members is a matter of dignified silence. I’ve never been to this other site spoken of here, but I doubt any of the freeforum dot org members on the officially-sanctioned boards are the same folks as these self-appointed hawkwind police or nerdz. I’ve read the boards for years and they are all really cool people, mostly musicians themselves. just sayin’.

  3. A lot of the stuff here is totally false. The fact is Dave Brock has been at the helm for almost fifty years now, through all the peaks and troughs, and is the only constant in five decades of eclectic music – he is Hawkwind. He worked hard and persisted when the band were at their lowest, and continues to produce original material with whomever is in the band at a given time.

    Turner is capable of producing interesting music and formed a part of the ‘legendary’ era for sure, but it is simply not right to then try and take the Hawkwind name for what is in effect a tribute act with hired hands after all these years of absence. I’d ask anyone to compare both live bands and say who they think is better.

    And no, not all fans know the difference at all; the band have a cult-like status to the diehards, but a lot of the audience are casual listeners; how would they know the difference? Promoters certainly don’t. Look at the recent court case of Wishbone Ash vs. Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash for proof of this. There is a reason that Hawkwind sell 800 tickets a show and Turner 150 – would this really be the case if EVERYONE knew the difference?

    I’m objective and I don’t care who people want to see, but I’m sure if you spent 46 years of your life working on something, only to have the artistic and financial value of it massively depreciated for someone with a comparatively brief affiliation with your project, you’d be upset. It’s just not right.

    It’s a matter of principle and truth.

    1. Thank you Argus for a well reasoned response. Everything you say about Dave is true, he has steered the starship through many incarnations, and many troubles. He is the embodiment of Hawkwind, and a living legend, that is for sure. You are correct that Dave should be concerned but the perceived depreciation of financial value has much more to do with bad decisions being made than Nik horning in on the party once more. I am not sure how Nik has artistically depreciated the value of Hawkwind though. Recent disappointing studio albums from the band have done similar things.
      As for “a lot of stuff here is totally false”, that is incorrect. Everything in this article is easily verifiable. The reason the Hawks didn’t tour is still up for speculation, and it seems they will not ever address two US/Canada tours being canceled without any reason. As far as to which version people prefer, that is a dangerous argument, as few in America care, either version is equally welcome in the live venue. Hawkwind could put much of the controversy to bed by touring North America. Fans here hope for that and would welcome that whole heartedly!

  4. carwreck you totally right that Hawkwind lost a great deal of fans from 1990 on due to a lot off awful albums . And the very latest original albums the last 10 years are not only awful music wise , they are mixed something awful . They also went from that great driving wall of sound , actually being played by actual musicians to tape loop , drum machines ,etc in their live shows . And in the USA haven’t toured but twice in some 35 years now . Dave Brock also fired so many original members who were essential to the Hawkwind 1970’s era sound . Now its basically a new age Yanni type sound , when the fans want the Space Ritual era sound . And don’t even mention the 2 failed tours of USA in 2013 and 2014 which cost many fans like myself lost dollars in days off work and hotels and travel expenses . And for what , stress over another man . Hawkwind after those two so miserably failed tours should be ashamed of themselves. The manager Kris Tait should be fired . And to place blame on Nik Turner for the awful albums , failed tours , firing of all the original members , loss of record companys and their financial backing , lack of $ , is ridiculous . And copyrights belong to ALL the original members of any group , not just who has the $ and power to obtain them . Its funny that when Dave Brock used the UK legal system to his advantage its okay . But when Nik Turner uses the USA legal system for the same thing its not right . But you notice one BIG difference in the legal fights of the copyright of both men which to me is very telling of the thinking of Brock verses Turner . Brocks copyright in UK was ONLY FOR HIMSELF and ignored all original members . But Nik Turners copyright USA application includes himself and ALL THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS including Brock . Kind of says it all dosen’t it, about who thinks of others , which is the whole point of the original 1970’s Hawkwind spirit

    1. Not to be rude, but why would anyone no longer affiliated with a band be included in a future copyright? If someone starts a business with another and one decides to move on to other things, the co-founder that left the business would not be included in said business’s future trademarks or business dealings.

    2. Here is an exact excerpt from Nik Turners own facebook page where he states that on the US trade mark, he did not put Dave Brock’s name but put Brock’s Son, Pasco. He has typed it in capitals, not me.

      1. In fairness, the above is an excerpt from a larger post from Nik from early October 2013 (3 years ago), which is included below for clarity:

        I must admit it is strange to include Brock’s son and not Brock. Perhaps it is a way of protecting Dave’s legacy for his children rather than have an estate up for grabs. Perhaps it is just a dig at Dave, pure and simple. Hard to tell, but odd nonetheless. Thanks to Steve for digging this up and sending in. Cheers!

    3. Here is an exact excerpt from Nik Turners own facebook page (link below) where he states that on the US trade mark, he did not put Dave Brock’s name but put Brock’s Son, Pasco. He has typed it in capitals, not me.

  5. And whats so sad about the whole thing is that in the USA in 1995 all the fans went and saw both shows , Brocks and Turners ,and would do so again tomorrow . But what a small amount of bitter UK fans and the band itself dont realize, is that Nik Turner tours ,Brian Perrera at Cleopatra , Rob Goodwin , during the vanishing decades of Hawkwind tours , lack of cds or lps for sale anywhere in USA and any publicity , actually was the only way to hear ,see a show or buy any Hawkwind related item at all . Without Brian Perrera , Nik and Rob Goodwin , any Hawkwind would have totally disapeared in USA .

  6. Hi Larry-thanks for writing. Hawkwind has actually done four US tours proper since their final US show in SF in 1978, approaching 38 years ago! –1989, 1990, 1991 and 1995. Spot US shows in 1997 (four shows) and 2007 (three shows) really weren’t tours proper, and both ignored the West Coast, a hotbed of Hawkfans. So it is twenty years since they have done any real work in North America, and you are right, it’s unsurprising that their fanbase has waned over the past two decades. I do think that any shows Nik does over here have a benefit to Hawkwind proper-fans get excited about their music and look to the Hawkwind remasters, and the occasional younger fan who cannot discern Nik isn’t the ‘real’ Hawkwind? Well they go out and buy Hawkwind CDs, not Nik CDs. This seems to escape many UK fans, that Hawkwind is reaping a financial benefit from Nik keeping the music alive here. I saw Nik last month, and purchased a Hawkwind t-shirt on the way out. Wore it out the next weekend, and blew people’s minds—“Hawkwind! No way!” Yes way.

  7. its time dave and nik buried the hatchet now lemmy gone just get both playing together and some good original music ive seen nik twice recently play a village hall about 70 folk and it was excellent also hawkwind at venues

  8. Surely these are all old men now and the legacy of Hawkwind lies mostly in the 70s and 80s. I was into them in the late 80s and early 90s, religiously listened to the back catalog ad nauseum, followed them around on tour and to festivals (mostly they turned up). Nik Turner should be trading on his own name – anyone who likes Hawkwind knows who he is and should make the choice whether they want to turn up to listen to him – doing Hawkwind songs or not. I’ve been to see him without the Hawkwind tag. The Hawkwind ‘brand’ has been so diluted throughout the years (how many different bands and projects that just have ‘Hawk’ in it?) that is it really that important? If you keep things in perspective they were a band that hit the highs in the 1970s, they are a band that has maintained a following that has created a lot of friends and following – a benign cult if you like. In hindsight their shows were often pretty shambolic, but a great night out. I havent heard anything created in recent years that has been any good. Try and keep it all in perspective. Like the article says, Gong managed to keep this all sensible but then again Gong, in the sands of time, will be seen to have had the edge artistically and musically.

  9. File under who cares in todays world….. music is mostly another marginalised distraction of the fickle minded today, except for a diehard ever dwindling bunch clinging to an out-dated notion of togetherness eaten away by modern mainstream music and radio mana …. I loved the Hawks though I always thought Turner was the prime tool especially in the 80’s…. even Lemmy acknowledged the true power of the band…. namely Brock. I do think it’s about time they all packed it in though…. I personally thought they ran out of steam in the late 80’s… with a few good albums every now and then amongst plenty of dross….I do keep an ear out and remain ever hopeful when any of the Hawkwinds get around to doing something. I feel they will forever struggle in todays world because it doesn’t have the spirit of the age like it used to….. the players that come along for the ride are just that and have none of the uniqueness the characters of the old band line ups had….. where are guys like Barney Bubbles, Liquid Len, the Dik Miks,the Lemmys, Calverts and Dells etc…. ???
    The calibre of audience has dwindled too because many whether they like it or not are just walking parodies of times past as they the poly-orgasmed consumer of today are mixed with pseudo psycho babble mentalities shaped by generations of subliminal programming. Besides who is listening….???
    That original spirit of the true underground has been eroded by the forces of the establishment who are having the final laugh on us all inducting the likes of Jagger and Geldof into their elite circles as performing circus animals for their amusement.
    When will it be the Time of the Hawklords again….??
    Never one thinks…. So up the pinks…!!

  10. Just enjoy the music leave the disagreement between the people involved it’s nothing to do with anyone else LOVE PEACE JOY

  11. It is a sad state of affairs when one section of the fan base alienates the larger fan base. I was tempted to get a Hawkwind passport, but do not wish in any way to be associated with Hawknerds. What happened to peace, love and unity. As I say just sad.

  12. Did you know that Nik Turner has decided to use your blog as evidence in the ongoing trademark dispute? This means that you may have to justify how factual your comments are, or whether they are hearsay/opinion. Would you like to tell us your sources? Are you ‘on the inside’ or are you just repeating other’s comments?

    Were you aware that Nik Turner has been advertised in the UK as ‘Nik Turner’s Hawkwind’ despite being barred from doing so in court? One particular publicity poster for this has Turner stood in front of the floral tributes at Lemmy’s funeral gurning like a moron, which many fans found distasteful, dishonorable and cashing in on the death of a former bandmate. Or that his bid to trademark the name occurred when poor Huw Lloyd Langton was literally on his death bed dying of cancer? Or that this was 7 months after the death of original bassist John Harrison?

    Was this coincidental? Well, Turner then stated in the trademark action support documents that the name belonged to the original line-up. 1969/70 members Lloyd Langton and Harrison couldn’t speak either way because they were dead or dying, and Turner had employed the rest of the members in one of his Hawkwind clone bands (before he dumped them and buggered off to the USA, causing them to put out a statement to say that his antics in the States had nothing to do with them). And Brock? Turner hypocritically thought that Brock’s son, not the man who has run the band for 45+ years, deserved the name. So much for treating each original member equally.

    Oh, and let’s not forget Turner’s perceived involvement in the Lloyd Langton ‘memorial’ concert. Someone decided not to consult the grieving Lloyd Langton family and cash in on poor Huw’s death by organising a ‘memorial’ concert. Was it Turner? Well, it was at the same venue that Turner put on a Robert Calvert ‘benefit’ concert previously and was advertised at a show where he guested with the Psychedelic Warlords playing ‘The Space Ritual revisited’ in his home county of Kent. The promoters absorbed the rap for that but came out 4 days later after a concerted backlash from fans and the Lloyd Langton family and said they wouldn’t work with ‘that individual’ again. Alan Davey was furious with ‘the person’ who organised it and threatened to ‘deck them’ if he saw them again. It was never proved that he was involved, but fans got the notion that he was behind it. Turner also put on a Barney Bubbles memorial gig that was cancelled (due to ‘back problems’) before being moved from the Roundhouse (3,300 capacity) to the 229 club (600 capacity, and far from full). Lots of core fans lost money over that. Oh, and the Barney Bubbles estate were very interested in talking to Turner over infringement and use of copyrighted material.

    And that’s the rub – it’s not the fury of the fans or ‘Hawknerdz’ that is the problem here – it’s Turner’s continual wish to cash in on something he has no right to use and has admitted in interviews he had no right to use – the Hawkwind name. He’s used former band mates (living and dead) over and again for self-publicity and in his blinkered pursuit of Dave Brock in regards to being sacked 40 years ago. He launched his trademark action on the back of the hard work put into the Warrior…. release and the associated money – how much was his payout for this?

    So why have fans so vocal and hostile? Largely as a backlash against what they perceive to be unfair and unjust actions being taken by Turner and his associates, backed up by blatant lies spread by people supporting Turner, all to grab the name and kick Dave Brock in the balls. I and many others have been subject to abuse, vitriol and threats (the paedophile accusations against one notable individual were particularly distasteful) yet your blog seems to have ignored the ‘Demonization of Hawkfans’ and then Turner has the gall to advertise himself as the ‘Spirit of Hawkwind’.

    Well, I saw the ‘definite’ information coming from associates of Turner and Cleopatra, such as his road manager and a lot of shadowy fake social media profiles (that were traced back to Californian IP addresses). They first swore that the reason that Hawkwind called off the tour was because Brock had no visa because of a criminal record (Turner’s tour manager swore on social media to personally apologise to Brock if this was proved incorrect). This was proved wrong when the visa and passport were shown to concerned fans. Then the rumour moved to Tim Blake’s visa. Then it mooted that Brock (over 70 years old and threatened with the removal of his livelihood) was not suffering health issues at all and was making it up. And so it went on.

    This blog being used as ‘evidence’ in court is symptomatic of this – throw enough shit and some of it will stick. We, the fans, have had enough. One Hawkwind concert sells as many tickets as a whole US Nik Turner tour. Perhaps this has more to do with the ‘demonization of Nik Turner’ than any planned vindictive campaign?

    1. First, thank you for writing James. You are clearly an informed source.
      I am not sure if a blog would ever qualify in court as legally admissible evidence, at least in the States. Not sure about the UK.
      You do pose some interesting questions about the timing of some of the actions taken by Nik (or Cleopatra possibly, it isn’t really clear).

      But you have to see some of this through the lens of American and Canadian fans. We legitimately got screwed, not once, but twice. Many of my acquaintances were out close to 500-1000 dollars apiece. Why? One Hawkwind tour canceled hours before it started. Out the window goes lost wages, canceled flights, hotel reservations, wasted vacations. A big problem which had no answer given. The rescheduled spring tour seemed as if no effort was being put in by the band, and the complete information blackout from mission control did little to assuage the fans who were burned TWICE in six months by the band they love. That Hawkwind have still not addressed this issue at all is kind of insulting to those who have spent decades on board the ship, hundreds of days preaching the word, and thousands of dollars to keep the Captain afloat. We got screwed, and nobody took the blame, the band just got silent and hoped the problem would go away. Fans were distraught they didn’t get to see what everyone in the UK was talking about. UK fans on FB generally didn’t help things, somehow not understanding what a big deal this was. “We’ll see ya at Gateshead mate” and such is what they offered. Hawknerdz preaching hate as Nik became the focus–apparently to take the attention away from the complete fuck up of a situation that was the US tour it seemed.
      Enter Nik. He tours over here and gives a glimpse of the Hawkwind glory. Something that NA fans felt robbed of. Nobody thought it was Hawkwind, but a taste of one of the two main sources of Hawk power from the glory days.
      What is one to make of Nik’s pleas on the 2013 US tour for getting back together with Dave (and Lemmy at that point)? Could be posturing, could be sincerity. I thought he seemed quite sincere when he discussed all of this with me before one east coast show. He repeated this every night of the tour. I suppose this could be looked at as ‘crafty strategy’ but honestly it didn’t seem to be that at all.
      In America we have seen too many situations of the same band touring in two incarnations that we are used to it-many different versions of a single band in the ‘Wishbone Ash’ vein. Nik didn’t tour as Hawkwind, and that would be pretty unacceptable to all Hawkfans over here. But let’s face it, rock is dying. Everyone is grabbing for an edge, trying to bring some authenticity to the dwindling gene pool of rock. No offence to Hawkwind, but it’s Dave, Richard, and……’who’s in it now’—not all that authentic anymore. Without a full on reunion, the Hawks would be hard pressed to pull in 300 fans these days over here-roughly 200 showed up in NYC in 2007. This would put a Hawkwind show pulling in what two Nik shows would. A large difference from the UK. But the UK gets more Hawkwind shows in a spring than the States gets in two decades. Fans are hungry for Hawkwind in any form.
      Nik does seem to play fast and loose with the rules, but FFS-we are talking about 70 year old guys. Bury the hatchet folks, stop taking sides, and bring us one unified musical space rock front. This beef is between Dave and Nik, and fighting it in public has seriously harmed Hawkwind’s reputation in the States and Canada. Some fans have given up. Unthinkable a decade ago! But the alienation of US and Canada Hawkfans can be directly attributed to the Hawknerds misbehaving online.
      Not sure how much ‘throwing shit’ is in here. The comments section may have inaccuracies, but those are just “write ins”. I would be hard pressed to find anything in the article that is inaccurate.
      Again, thanks for your input and your opinion. Perhaps your letter might be a catalyst to get a little more in the way of explanations out of the band, a band that has shaped our lives for decades.

      1. Thanks for your reply to the comments. I speak as a veteran fan (I’ve lost count of the number of HW gigs I’ve been too, as well as Space Ritual, Hawklords, Psychedelic Warlords, ICU and others) so I know a large number of the ‘Hawknerdz’ (not a term I like, I should add).

        The reason that many of them are some vocal is because they too have invested time and money in the entity that is Hawkwind and they feel any threat to this is an attack on something very personal to them. Seeing it being fuelled by the taint of corporate money and being hailed as ‘the true spirit of Hawkwind’ is, quite honestly, insulting.

        We too have had our disappointments. Before people start believing NT’s protestations that Brock’s illnesses were feigned it must be remembered that he has a track record of this himself. There was a ‘Hawklords’ gig mooted for March 2009 at the legendary Roundhouse in London (where ‘Silver Machine’ was originally recorded) featuring various ex-HW members, a ‘Liquid Len’ lightshow (although it transpired it wouldn’t be him) and playing ‘The Space Ritual’ in it’s entirety, Quintessence and a performance of Calvert’s play “The Stars that played with Laughing Sam’s Dice”.

        As the event neared, those of us with tickets got an email to say that NT had hurt his back….

        “We regret to inform you that the Hawklords gig has been cancelled. The change of show date, due to Nik Turner’s back injury, has meant various acts and production events are unable to be present and, while there has been a concerted effort by all concerned since March when the show was moved, it has not been possible to solve these problems by finding replacement performances. As such, both Hawklords and the Promoter feel that to pare down the event would not warrant a £30 ticket price and have made the unhappy decision to cancel the show.”

        In a Terrascope interview in 2012: “Unfortunately it didn’t sell enough tickets and so the original promoter pulled out. I then decided to do it myself and put it on at the 229 Club [in October 2009].”

        I bought my ticket just a couple of weeks before the original show and mine was around 300. I think it’s pretty clear why the original show was called off – Roundhouse capacity: 3,300 standing. 1,700 seated, 229 Club capacity: Venue 1 & 2 620 & 140. In all it got cancelled twice before finally going ahead.

        I never got my money back. Many others did, but they didn’t get the money back for travel or accomodation that they booked. I lost £30. Some lost £hundreds.

        Before people rush to judgement on the reasons for HW’s US cancellation, perhaps they should bear in mind that there has been no evidence to suggest that the original tour was dropped was anything but Dave Brock’s health – apart from speculation from NT, his team and supporters that it was because he had no visa (this was disproven) and that the illness was just an excuse (a tactic that betrays Turner’s mindset – Pot? Kettle? Black?). Everything I’ve read points to the second mooted tour being cancelled due to the band being asked to stump up for all expenses rather than a bonded amount being held in escrow (my knowledge on this business practice is poor so please excuse me if I’ve used the wrong terminology). This appeared to be due to risks associated with the original cancellation.

        I have written on this blog in the name of balance – there has been a vocal backlash against Turner for what has been perceived as duplicitous and deceitful behaviour. He dumped former Hawkwind bandmates to fly to the US, so how can he call his band “Nik Turner’s Hawkwind”? He toured in many of the same towns and cities as Hawkwind at the same time, protesting that he set his gigs up first but, funnily enough, his gigs weren’t announced publicly until some weeks after the Hawkwind ones were.

        He said the rights to the Hawkwind name should be available to all original members, yet excluded Brock from this and waited for Harrison and Lloyd Langton to die (or were dying) before launching a trademark appeal in his own name. His associates and supporters started a smear campaign against Brock – I and others have extensive collections of screenshots and links to postings that clearly show this. He lost all rights to a similar name in the UK 14 years ago but last month publicity material went online advertising “Nik Turner’s Hawkwind” with a backdrop of him standing in front of Lemmy’s funeral wreath sticking his middle finger up (this is Lemmy – the man who Turner got sacked from the band and who called him a ‘wanker’). Is it any wonder that ‘Hawknerdz’ and other fans – many of whom have followed the band since the 70s and 80s – are upset?

        Before I sign off, here’s a couple of snippets for you from the latest court documents and some reaction. Thanks again for taking time to read this…..

        “Brock bullied and intimidated me into a settlement in a court in the United Kingdom in 2002….”

        Was he beaten, threatened or assaulted? No. He settled out of court to prevent being taken to the cleaners over costs because he had no way of winning. He was that intimidated that he shook DB’s hand afterwards…. (2003 interview): “I suggested we did a gig to pay for the court costs and he sort of laughed and then we shook hands – well I shook hands with him. He didn’t actually proffer a hand to shake hands with me….”

        “While Mr. Brock says that he has a “large fan base in America and abroad” this is contradicted by the fact Brock’s version of Hawkwind has not had a United States record deal for decades….”

        Err, hang on. The US is only one field in a global market. The band have played the US, but also Japan, Australia, Greece, Italy, Sweden and many more. There is no contradiction in this statement. It’s just being twisted to be US-centred.

        “By performing as NIK TURNER’S HAWKWIND, not only am I not confusing any fans of Brock’s musical group (that is, the limited number that there are here in the United States), but I am helping Brock to sell more Hawkwind albums….”

        If Hawkwind have a tiny US presence (as repeated over and again) then what’s the logic of using the name? To generously promote DB’s band or to generate NT ticket sales? I suspect the latter. And if a new fan was to go and see a band with the word ‘Hawkwind’ in its name and where there are Hawkwind albums and t-shirts for sale, wouldn’t there be a huge potential for confusion?

        But perhaps the most telling statement is “….I, like every other member of the “classic” Hawkwind line-up, was forced out of the band by Dave Brock…” I beg to differ. Simon King continued to 1979, as did Bob Calvert. Accounts say Lemmy was sacked when NT made the ultimatum that it was one or the other of them. It’s never been entirely clear why Dik Mik departed but I’ve seen nothing to say that he didn’t just leave of his own accord. Del Dettmar emigrated to Canada (again, I’ve never read anything to say he was sacked) and Stacia carried on to 1975 and appears to have just left and was never sacked.

      2. Thanks for your information again James, it will help a bit to clear up what is muddy.
        Some things addressed do need some clarification. You do mention the disappointment of the March 2009 Hawklords gig, but does that one show and loss of thirty quid really compare to TWO blown out tours with dozens of dates and thousands lost for fans? I know you are trying to make a point, but a single fuck up by Nik isn’t in the realm of two North American tours spiked. As noted, their excuses for not coming both times are suspect. The States and Canada are HUGE. Don’t forget that the UK is only half the size of California. Pretty easy to navigate to all Hawk shows. US and Canadian fans made plans to travel to many locales. Chicago to Boston is the same distance as London to about Warsaw Poland. Chicago is only halfway across the country. The perspective of travel US and Canadian Hawkfans had to go through is more dollar and time consuming than anyone in the UK would imagine.
        As noted, all of Nik’s shows in 2013 that were booked for the same US cities that the Hawks were booked into were scheduled AFTER the Hawks were due to play. If anything, this would have caused a lack of interest in Nik shows not Hawkwind shows. But as many have noted, US fans were incredibly excited to see BOTH bands. There was no confusion as to who was who as stated repeatedly by Hawknerdz. Yes, Nik is correct in that his shows benefit the Hawks measurably. If a fan buys an album, shirt or CD with Hawkwind on it, it is passing the word on through that fan. If they were uninformed enough to think it was Hawkwind, they still are walking around in a Hawk shirt, playing Hawk music to their friends, inadvertently spreading the message.
        As far as members being forced out-Simon King was fired by Brock in 1979, Calvert was likewise sacked more than once by the captain (see comments in Pete Frame’s Family Tree book), and Lemmy was sacked at Brock’s behest.
        Overall, Nik touring the States has been good for him, and good for Hawkwind. The name still floats around, the general public are unaware of the flame wars brewing underneath, and fans get to see Space Ritual era material played by the guy who sang much of that album. This doesn’t mean that Nik is a replacement for Hawkwind by a longshot though

    2. When you say ‘we the fans…’, it isn’t clear what is meant. UK fans it would be assumed. Because this sentiment doesn’t really hold water with the general US Hawkfans. ‘We have had enough’ could also deftly apply to most of the US/Canada fanbase who are still awaiting an explanation, now two years later, for why the band screwed up so badly, and generally fucked over a huge fanbase so unapologetically. I do think the band would have to tour as a full on reunion over here to get things cooking again. (The last Hawkwind US tour in 2007 saw 200-250 punters show up in NYC, the same NYC numbers Nik drew in 2013).
      The fact that many lifelong US fans have ‘had enough’ of all this strife can be laid squarely at the feet of Hawknerds and their ilk who have spread the poison of a conflict that isn’t theirs to fight, and sadly–to Hawkwind themselves. It is very sad that this conflict couldn’t stayed buried in private, where it should have stayed. We all love Dave over here and all know he is the Captain of the ship. But that doesn’t mean that we are obligated to hate Nik just because Mission Control indicates we should. NIk is no saint, nobody here would argue that. But the spirit of Hawkwind flows strongly through him, perhaps sometimes even more authentic than the current Hawk incarnation. (cue cries of ‘heresy!’)
      As other commenters have noted, it’s about the music, not the politics. Dave and Nik aren’t getting any younger. Time to capture the genie in the bottle one more time. For the punters.

      1. This from someone with no inside knowledge, but who has seen Hawkwind many times over the years in the UK, with and without Nik including five times in 2017. I am also, for the record, a big fan of Turner’s recent solo material. But..

        There is no room in the current band for Nik Turner. I assume that’s what is meant here by a ‘full reunion’ as, to my knowledge, the rest of the original band are either no longer with us, or musically inactive? It would ‘capture’ nothing beyond a feeling of bafflement among those familiar with the current band as to what the heck he was doing there on artistic grounds, let alone anything else. The dynamic of the band is the best it has been since the mid eighties. Dibs and Haz are are much ‘authentic Hawkwind’ as anyone who has come before. Nik Turner is an ex-member, a very important one to be sure, but still an ex-member for over 30 years.

        Throughout their history, Hawkwind have continued to evolve musically, sometimes quite dramatically. They never have been, and certainly are not currently, their own tribute act; they never fell into the trap that most of the surviving bands from the’70s did. ‘Hawkwind’ is the band touring under that name in 2017, not some shadow of their ’70s incarnation(s). Turner does not belong in that. Maybe he does possess some of the ‘spirit of Hawkwind’ past, but only two entities possess the spirit of Hawkwind past, present, and future and they are Dave Brock and the collective that has been, is, and will be the fans who go to the gigs to see the band actually performing in front of them.

        In short, US fans would not be seeing a more ‘authentic’ Hawkwind in the unlikely event of a ‘reunion’ to tour the US. They wouldn’t be seeing Hawkwind at all.

      2. Hi Robert-
        Thanks for reading and writing in! In the over two years since this article was written, it has become increasingly apparent that any reunion involving Dave and Nik is now in the realm of extremely unlikely. At the time, NIk had said he was in touch with Lemmy’s son, and that if his health improved, he would consider a Dave, NIk, Lemmy reunion if the stars aligned. Of course, no one had contacted Dave about that I’d guess.
        The band has flirted with the boundaries of being a tribute act to themselves from time to time-see all covers of their own tunes that festoon Blood and Onward- two on Blood and six on Onward, Space Ritual anniversary, Warrior remake tour–they were coming perilously close. (Samantha Fox singing Master of the Universe anyone?)
        Machine and Woods are two extremely strong releases, and the shift from Dibs to Haz on bass has revitalized the band very much akin to when Alan took over for Harvey in 1984. A Lemmy styled Rickenbacker pounding out rhythms in the hands of a take no prisoners bass player seems to be what fuels the beating heart of Hawkwind. Lightning has now struck three times at the bass chair, and the band is off and running once more.
        As far as Dibs and Haz as authentic as Hawkwind members past, they just happen to be current members. Few would argue they belong mentioned with Calvert, Nik or Simon King in the band’s canon. Dibs or Lemmy? Nobody’s arguing that one I’m afraid.
        Any version of Hawkwind that gets to the North American shores would be a party, that’s one thing that is for sure! Fans are still rooting for it to happen I know

  13. All I can say is……………..
    It shouldn’t / doesn’t matter to the fans who is in a band.
    The Space Rock gene pool was never massive to start with (was underground, and still is to this day), and as the
    years roll on, it is getting smaller. Meaning fewer and fewer people / bands are playing Space Rock.
    Be thankful that these people (today) still want to play and record for us, so as to let us enjoy the music.
    Also, be very careful not to disillusion up and coming musicians / bands from the U.K. who want play this type of music.
    We are in jeopardy of becoming extinct!
    Nobody anywhere can play Space Rock like the bands in the U.K. We are the Masters at it!!
    But be aware :- Scandi bands are improving rapidly.
    We must support new Space Rock Bands and Keep the Space Flag Flying High in the U.K.

  14. James, when you wrote “Did you know that Nik Turner has decided to use your blog as evidence in the ongoing trademark dispute?”, I’ll admit didn’t quite believe you. I did see this confirmed recently however in one of the Facebook Groups by Mr Dibbs himself.

    It does kind of strike me as odd, however, that a Blog article would be used as evidence. Other than the dates and documented information that was published, what kind of evidence is it? A lot of it, like any blog, is just opinion. Someone likes something or they don’t.
    How could it possibly be used in a court case?

    1. Indeed. It surprised me as much as it probably did you. I have no doubt that you believe in what you say and I think there’s more than a little truth in your piece, but it is just opinion, a commentary on what effect the cancellations had with almost no reference to the material point of the case – who owns the name. (If anything, your mention of ‘two Hawkwinds touring the US at once’ actually kind of illustrates the kind of confusion that Brock is arguing will happen, but let’s leave that argument for the courts….)

      It is illustrative of one thing though – that internet commentary or postings can be used out of context or read in a way that that may not necessarily reflect the writer’s voice or opinions accurately.

      When you talk about the Hawknerds and the ‘demonization’ it’s worth all of us remembering that we fans (you, I, the ‘Nerds’ and others) can only make our judgements on half-truths and part information. Just as you noted the difference between the wasted expense and expectations of the US tour(s), we UK fans have the luxury of more exposure and many take knocks against the band rather personally, rightly or not.

      Here’s hoping that the case is settled soon and you get to see the band in your native country. Sadly, I don’t think there’s any point in hoping for a reconciliation but if the case closes the air should clear a bit.

      Best wishes….

  15. For what it’s worth, I’m a lifelong Hawkwind fan, There is space… for all the Hawk versions, like Gong as mentioned, the fans know the difference. I just think its really sad that it’s come to bickering and character assassination (both sides). Guys your in your 70’s be friends or at least respect each other. Lives of great men – and all that eh.

  16. Really interesting article and comments. I’m a UK Hawkwind fan since the early 80’s and find this whole affair rather saddening. My first experience of Hawkwind live was during NT’s second stint with the band, I have seen them numerous times since and spend a decent amount on gigs, records, CD’s, tees etc. For me DB IS Hawkwind and he is fully entitled to trade and perform under that name anywhere in the world, but Nik should also be entitled to earn a ycrust by performing songs that he helped to create. I don’t think that ‘Nick (sic) Turner’s Hawkwind gives any doubt as to what punters are paying for, but it is certainly sailing close to the wind in regards to the validity of the billing. The courts seems to be the only way to put this to bed and hopefully draw a lline under the whole thing. I empathise with fans disappointment in having the 2 US tours cancelled at late notice, that really sucks, but the band have been notoriously chaotic at times and this seems no different now. The latest incarnation of Hawkwind is the best that they have had for many a year – I hope that Hawkfans across the pond can get to see them perform, the new bassist is fantastic! Definitely sems to be chanelling The Spirit of Lemmy in some cosmic way. Seen that Nik has also resurrected Inner City Unit who were a band that I had as much love for as Hawkwind. Onwards & Upwards!

  17. I saw what was billed as Hawkwind around 95/96/97 at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Northeast Ohio. I was beyond disappointed. There was no Brock and as far as I re-call, no Nik either. It was rumored that Brock wasn’t allowed in the U.S and was detained in Canada. At-least that’s what people were saying at the festival.
    I’m not a Hawknerd, nor an authority on the band. I couldn’t even state all the members that were in Hawkwind since they released their first album back in 69. I was told that the singer was named ‘Rizzo’, or ‘Captain Rizzo’, or ‘Capt. Rizz’. His name matters not, because they were terrible. They were so bad I swore to never see them again.
    Well I’ve changed my mind, and was fortunate enough to see Nik Turner’s Hawkwind in Columbus during their 2016 Autumn tour. Now I understand why they are such a great band and what it means to be under the influence of Hawkwind. I’m glad I didn’t keep that mindset and didn’t listen to all the Nik haters out there. Because of his re-incarnation of something special he helped form many years ago, my faith was renewed.
    It was one of the best live shows I’ve seen in a very long time. And he happens to be an extremely nice person as well. He was approachable and appreciative. He made us all feel welcome.
    The legal battle between all involved is not my fight, nor will I choose sides. This issue is between the two men, and as fans, we are denying ourselves of this great music when we get involved in things that don’t even concern us. And not to sound cheesy but, you shouldn’t do that.
    Technicians of Spaceship Earth, Reunite.

    1. Yes Steve, that 1998 show had no NIk, and no Dave. Dave was stuck in Canada and wasn’t let into the country despite some very concerted efforts to facilitate it. Tree was rumored to have been turned around as soon as the plane landed and put on the first one home due to lack of luggage and sundry. Rizz was a Jamaican style toaster, and generally very cool guy who did the Hawkwind in Your Area lp, but wasn’t really right for the band. He could hold court though. Richard Chadwick, Jerry Richards and Rizz from the UK met Steve Taylor and Steve Hayes from the US to perform certainly the most unique and sort of distant version of Hawkwind ever seen in the US. Some cool space jams they wrote that day worked better than some of the Hawkwind covers.

  18. Just found this more than a year after it was written – nice to see something from a more detached point of view, good job. One thing though, on the band name issue – where there have been bands where there is some kind of split, someone leaves or whatever, and both parties use the name, it’s never on good terms. The ‘new’ entity is always in a legal battle with the ‘original’ who always starts to put “OFFICIAL” on everything, there is insult, vilification and generally lawsuits all round, so just pointing out that it has happened before doesn’t present it as a viable solution, it always ends badly. The Wishbone Ash saga was settled in court, the Queensryche saga was also taken to court, everyone hates each other and so on. In your list of Gong bands, none of these bands are called Gong, they all have some other words thrown in there somewhere. And Steve Hackett most definitely did not call his band Genesis. However Nik has been treated, which appears to be pretty badly, it does also seem pretty clear that Brock’s band is the continuation of Hawkwind, and Turner’s is a new entity that he has created and given that name too. The problem with band names is always the money associated with them. Roger Waters encountered this while touring at the same time as Pink Floyd – he got small theatres while his old bandmates cashed in at stadiums playing all of his music, and he tried to stop them. I like Turner’s new stuff, (and Hawkwind’s), and personally like that he’s now going by the “Nik Turner’s Brand New Space Ritual” moniker, or just his own name. Hoping to see both bands again.

    1. HI Andy, thanks for reading and commenting! Just for clarity, Steve Hackett toured as Genesis revisited. Now the waters of dual band ownership get muddier as Jon Anderson just claimed the Yes name for his outfit, so now there is Yes and Yes featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman. I’m sure Steve Howe is not pleased-but the ratio of Yes core 70’s members in ARW vs Yes is tied at two to two.(3 to 3 if you count 80’s members Rabin and Downes) Will everyone know which Yes has which members? Hey there are two Yes versions, I’d go see both. But like any band in this situation, the fans would really just wish for some reconciliation. Not likely in Hawkwind’s case it appears. Sad that courts have to settle these disputes when fans just want to hear the music that changed their lives.

  19. Wow where to start
    Nik your a friend of mine and you and dad (Dave Brock )have had a off on thing for years. As for the fasting yep my mum used to say this so I would go to court and back you. She also wrote silver machine saw her name vanish (Sylvia McManus )and Bob Calvert.
    From what I can see you can’t have 2 bands both called HAWKWIND. Very sad also lost you both a lot of money when your both skint. Dave is getting old same as Nik bless you both as you have been part of my life very sad

  20. Hello Pascoe-thank you for your well informed thoughts and inside information. I agree it is sad for all involved, but we all remain hopeful that it will end well for all involved. Dave and Nik are both bloody legends, and deserve the best life has to offer. Highest hopes to see the Hawks in the States at some point soon.

    1. Americans know what’s what: many online Hawknerdz are shit stirrers. From online attacking writers who say anything about Nik to attacking Hawkwind personages such as Alan Davey and Michael Moorcock (who have said some things supporting Nik)-virtual attacks, real physical threats, hundreds of responses on Facebook spreading hate, name calling of the most playground level. Are you kidding? This is where Hawkfans have slipped to? Where’s the hippy vibe? When did this single minded and hateful posse take control?

      Thinking people cannot tell between Hawkwind and Nik’s take is absurd, everyone knows Dave is Hawkwind and Nik is Nik. Nik played a bunch of tours since 2013 in North America. Hawkwind blew out two tours, and gave no final reason for it. Basically, that’s what’s what. Where’s the reason for the no tour which we have been asked many times to wait patiently for by Dibs? Christ it’s been almost four years since the beginning of the 2013/2014 debacle, and still no clear answers, and none seem like they will ever surface. But the fact that Nik has played the States and made people here happy rankles the online Hawkwind police in the UK. North American fans are happy to see a glimpse of some form of Hawkwind, but it seems that despite no actual Hawkwind band coming here, UK fans would begrudge North America even this morsel of coolness.

      So in the end, Nik has done some excellent tours, bringing Hawkwind vibrations here because the main band seems unwilling to come over. Why? Only Dave knows.
      Peace folks, try it.

  21. It would seem that common sense and justice has prevailed, and Nik Turner lost the right to use the word ‘Hawkwind’ in his performances for the second time in his career.

    While this is pleasing to most Hawkwind fans, there is no sense of triumph. It is a case that shouldn’t have happened. Nik Turner, supported by Cleopatra Records, brought this case – it was not Brock or the ‘Hawknerds’.

    It was revealed some time ago (but not here) that Cleopatra asked Brock to come to the USA several years ago, but to drop his whole band and perform with session musicians as Hawkwind. Brock declined, citing musical integrity over the pursuit of dollars, and (as Cleopatra knew full well) arranged a US tour. Turner did not, dropped his whole band, grabbed the name and toured, ruining the full band’s plans

    What hasn’t been expanded on here was the camaign of misinformation – ‘fake news’ is the current phrase – that was directed towards Brock and co. Campaigns that were directed at members of the band in order to diminish their reputation. For example, go onto Facebook search for ‘Angela Stuart Hawkwind’ and see the posts for the profile about Dave Brock’s visa. This same posting (complete with spelling mistakes) appeared like a rash across the internet – Brooklyn Vegan was a prominent US one but it appeared in the UK, Australia and others. Then have a look at the profile of ‘Angela Stuart’ and what has ‘she’ posted? Every one is Cleopatra-based praise.

    Then, Chinese-whisper style, this was repeated further. Turner’s road manager repeated it on line (I still have the screen shot) that he knew it was true and would ‘personally apologise’ to Brock if it was wrong. Brock countered by showing every fan who showed up at a gig in the UK the stamp in his passport, dated 2007 and valid for 10 years. Then the rumour changed to it being keyboard player Tim Blake’s visa because he’d had a fatal car crash a few years earlier, etc.

    Some sniffing around at posts noted that some of these rumours were posted, then replied to by Turner associates a few minutes later, all eminating from similar IP addresses in California. Once this was disclosed, the postings stopped. They’d been rumbled. This was just one instance of abuse directed towards Hawkwind and its fans. There was barrages of personal abuse and bullying online, fake profiles set up to infiltrate discussions on Turner’s behalf, etc. It was all very sordid.

    Evidence was submitted to the Trademark board and they rejected Turner’s claim he was an original member, accepted Brock’s claim that the similarity of the business meant there could be confusion, and they rejected Turner’s claim on the name because they accepted that Brock had been the only continuous member.

    Brock is Hawkwind. Turner has no claim to the name. Period.

    1. Hello James, thanks for writing in!
      Yes, it wasn’t hard to predict that Nik would lose this fight, which really makes me wonder how much was this Nik’s idea and how much was this Cleopatra’s idea? As noted in the update above, reading the decision by TTAB, it looks like this was Cleopatra driven.
      I do remember the Brock/visa controversy, and Dave did seem to quickly dispel that reason for not touring. Still, Mission Control went on full information blackout in regards to the second US tour in March 2014, and never addressed it again. Not once. They claimed they’d hired someone specifically to sort out the 2014 US tour. Then, once again, zero information. They left venues in the States and Canada still selling tickets to shows that they knew they wouldn’t be playing. That level of disregard is pretty hard to swallow. Dibs chiming in on Facebook bashing anyone who asked legit questions also did not help. If the legal proceedings were part of not being able to tour, the band should admit it and clear the air. If not, the band still should come up with something to explain the second tour evaporating like morning dew. Something still not spoken of caused it seems very likely.

      There were some noticeable efforts supporting Nik online that caused much trouble, that much is true. I’ll have to take your word that they came from California IP addresses, but that being the location of Cleopatra, makes it plausible that Cleo employees were tasked to do those things.

      Ok, now….Cleopatra asked Brock to come to America and dump his whole band to play with session musicians? I find that one very hard to believe. That one does not pass the sniff test. Even Perera at Cleo wouldn’t think that idea had a chance of floating in any reality-he may be a ruthless businessman, but dumb is something he is not. And that is pretty dumb. Nik did establish himself over here with a pretty good band with Nicky Garratt of UK Subs fame as the guitarist/musical director. They played some hot shit shows, despite posts from folks who hadn’t seen a single show saying it was all ‘amateurish’. Saying Nik ‘ruined the full band’s plans’ is absurd, though it is repeated over and over in the UK. Remember, not a single Hawkwind show where Nik and Hawkwind were booked into the same city had Nik playing first. Hawkwind was the first scheduled band calendar wise in every city. That would actually work against Nik for those who are short of cash. Some of my friends were forced to choose only one due to financial difficulties. Of course everyone who could go to only one show chose to go to Hawkwind. But Hawkwind never came, Nik did play, and it is easy to see why many Americans view this whole situation as a laissez-faire deal. Hawkwind does have it in their power to fix this and bring a full on Machine/Woods spectacle over here!

      As far as barrages of personal abuse, that one lays fairly at the doorstep of the Hawknerdz. How many posts had to be deleted on multiple Facebook sites? I was sent screen shots by readers where it was 100% vitriolic attack on the part of the Hawknerdz, and any differing opinions were buried. Bullying, personal abuse, real physical threats? (This author has been threatened with beatings several times by several different posters, all deleted by Facebook) Almost all came from the Hawknerdz and associates. That one is not in doubt. I too have screen caps. Sordid is what describes this behavior, but 90% of it originated on the HW facebook page, which for good or ill, is perceived as officially endorsed by the band.
      It’s a shame it came this far, but conflict brings out people’s true character, and there is a vocal minority of some really dark folks puttering around the UK prone to repeating what the mantra of the day posted on Hawknerdz news, and they aren’t shy about stalking the perceived enemy on every social platform. These people somehow have missed the message of Hawkwind, one that was fairly clear since 1969: peace, love, unity and good times!
      I truly hope that some healing can finally begin, but the damage both the band and the Hawknerdz have done to the North American fan base is far deeper than one may imagine. Defending a band we all love makes sense, but the extremes taken in this case by fans steps over all sorts of bounds of propriety.
      Peace, carwreckdebangs

      1. So a little research on the ‘Dave comes to America and dumps his band’ issue leads to an interview in PROG magazine in spring 2016

        In the interview, this exchange was recorded:

        PROG:What happened with the all-star Hawkwind project that was proposed fairly recently?
        BROCK:There was this supergroup thing that came up two-and-a-half years ago, which I refused to do. And it’s cost us dearly. It’s an American company – the guy who runs it is a millionaire and he wanted me to do all these recordings. His idea was to use Hawkwind to get people like Paul Kantner involved. The line-up would’ve been spectacular. He wanted some of the old psychedelic giants in the States to come together to do an album with me and the band. Then I found out he wasn’t going to use any of the band and was going to basically manipulate the Hawkwind name and use session musicians. And I said no, because these were my mates. Lemmy was asked too, but refused to do it. It’s a hard story to tell you, because it’s ongoing as we speak, but our American tour was cancelled because of it all and there’s a certain ex-member that he utilises. This is who’s behind it all, this stupid old cunt who I wish would just die.
        PROG: I’m guessing you’re talking about Nik Turner here. This is probably a stupid question, but can you foresee a time when you two will make up?
        BROCK: Never, ever. He has done untold damage to this band. He’s an absolute idiot with what he’s done. When he went over
        to America he was playing in pubs and using the Hawkwind name. It’s all linked to our webpage and people assume
        it’s us. It’s actually really ruined the band’s credibility in America.

        For fucks sake Dave, you’ve got to be kidding. Wish Nik would just die? Not cool at all. So much for peace and love.
        But contained in the exchange is finally the real reason Hawkwind didn’t tour in 2013-2014 in the States. One can assume that Dave initially signed something that was the genesis of a Dave/Nik/Lemmy Hawkwind reunion which prevented them from legally coming over, but it seems clear we will never know the full story. The interview does call the ‘Dave is ill’ excuse into question, and hints that all the excuses were actually lies to cover this legal mess up.
        But there’s now no reason for the band to come over and make some amends to US and Canadian fans, right? Brock Hawks in 2018!

  22. Dave and Nik are two old fools who need their heads banging together, it’s too late now anyway as they have both damaged the bands reputation irrevocably. Nik is playing tiny venues in the states while Dave’s Hawkwind (mainly Dave and some roadies/stand-in’s) will be playing the London palladium with an orchestra !! Hawkwind were a great band once but not anymore. A real shame.

    1. Some things haven’t changed “Mainly Dave and some roadies/stand-in’s” sounds like the band in the early years, the roadies being Nik Turner and Dik Mik (RIP).

  23. Agree with everything you say carwreck .Brock is what’s killed Hawkwind . They went from as big a band as there was in the world in 1970s till Brock fired everybody .And changed the music from the great acid psychedelic wall of sound of those 70s live shows,played by actual musicians to tape and computer made awful music hawkwind fans don’t want. How can someone fire the Great Lemmy ,Simon King the great space ritual era drummer , great nik turner , bass great Alan Davey , legend Robert Calvert and on and on . That trademark for only yourself stinks to high heaven morally . Even the few hawknerds left complain on their own censored website about how bad the recent albums are . Those hawknerds have turned off lots of fans . Hawkwind has lost greatly by letting them spread there garbage on their forums . There forums are empty . I don’t think Hawkwind could sell 100 tickets in Chicago anymore ,not cause of nik ,but because of Brock actions and those 1st grade name calling hawknerds .

  24. At one point I remembered hearing a band member say that one day we would know the truth of why the Hawkwind didn’t come to the USA. I found one case of it being said in this Facebook blog.
    Three years have passed and I guess Dave Brock does tell us all. He said there was some kind of agreement that has kept them from touring. I could see it happening that way – and it does make sense. Not sure why it took so long to break out the truth.

    Here is some of the remaining charred scraps of the FlameWars.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s