ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD - Extract from chapter 4 - Hawkwind
ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD by Jeff Collins Latest extract The book's out on sept 15th. Now available for pre-order.
-- Chapter 4 Hawkwind invent space rock.
These two extracts feature the opening section on the chapter with Hawkwind's naked girlfriends while the second extract focuses on the use of LSD to get band members to play better!!!!!
It’s a bright sunny day on the river Monnow in Monmouth in 1973. Just down the road from a busy Rockfield Studios, a group of girls are enjoying the summer sun. After a boozy picnic on the riverbank, they turn their attention to a big tree overhanging the water. Suspended from one branch is a giant tractor tire. Earlier in the day, the gang had taken turns swinging over the water in it. Now, though, a new plan unfolds. Skirts, tops, knickers and shoes are all playfully discarded onto the grass as the girls decide to get naked and take a trip down the river in the tire.
The girls are reveling in their afternoon in the sun in the middle of this beautiful countryside and their laughter and infectious giggling goes almost unnoticed, as they career down the river clinging on to the huge tire. But someway down, both the tire and the girls get stuck as the water narrows and heads into a weir. The girls are left thrashing about, naked in the water, desperately trying to get back to the riverbank. When they do, it’s a mad dash up the grass back to their clothes. A few minutes later, a farmer pops into the Nags Head pub just down the road in Monmouth. Crossing a bridge above where the girls had been stranded, he’d witnessed their struggle to get to dry land. ‘I’ve just seen a group of naked girls in the river,’ he announces to the bar full of locals relaxing after a days work.
‘Ahh’, reply’s one of them, without batting an eye, ‘That must have been Hawkwinds’ girlfriends then!’ And the bar descends into fits of laughter. The conversation is overheard by some of the band’s road crew who are also enjoying a refreshing post-work drink. Hawkwind are well known by the locals of Monmouth. Rockfield studios has become the band’s second home. Hawkwind were one of a number of high-profile groups to ‘adopt’ the studio. Since the early 70’s, the band has made more than 20 albums there...................................................................................... ‘The first album I made with the band,’ recalls Lemmy, ‘was Doremi Fasol Latido. It was their third one. And it was a revelation making it at Rockfield. The place was a blast!’ The band spent September and October of ’72 there and initially found the beauty of the surrounding Welsh countryside a distraction. Dave Brock remembers some of the early difficulties they had simply trying to get everyone in the group into the studio to record at the same time. ‘It was a great place. A place were time would stand still. It was all very tranquil. As a result people would just wander off. They’d be in the middle of recording and simply disappear. The producers would go nuts. They’d be yelling “Where’s that idiot musician gone now? For Christ sake, just go and get him.” It was very disruptive and would hamper recording, but we had plenty of time. We were staying there and we weren’t going anywhere. Well, apart from the odd wander.’ But eventually Brock marshalled the band together and soon the momentum of recording was almost unstoppable. Though he starts to shake his head as he remembers the difficulties the band’s sax player Nick Turner was having with one track called Brainstorm. ‘He just wasn’t getting it. So to help him out, we decided to spike his drink with LSD in the hope that it would sort out the problem. But somehow Nick got wise to our plans. He kept avoiding any food or drink we put his way. “I’m not touching that” he’d shout and then storm out. In the end, we had to get some of the road crew to help. One of them spiked Nick’s yoghurt with LSD. And you know what? It worked. Nick played the piece really well and Brainstorm was completed. He played it much better under the influence of drugs.’
ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD goes behind the scenes of the making of some of rock's greatest albums -- and features bands such as Rush, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Queen, Robert Plant, Oasis, Judas Priest, Budgie, The Darkness, Kasabian, Tokyo Dragonsand many more.
Available for pre-order now from www.amazon.com (plus amazon in the Uk, France, Germany, Japan and Canada), WHSmith, Walmart and Waterstones among others.
Hope you enjoyed the extract.