the works of Robert Calvert

- part I: early 70's > '73-

"It's not a real world we're living in, it's a Science Ficton one
and Rock will reflect that if only because Rock music
is this generation's literature." - R.C.

he following list of Calvert's works is broken up into six parts.
The works are listed according to their date of release.
This part [ I ] includes the works from the early 70's up to '73.

jump straight to part II / III / IV / V / VI

... roll down to explore part I ...

early 70's: Frendz / New Worlds

Cover of NEW WORLDS #1 Calvert contributed various articles and poems to the highly influential underground magazine FRENDZ. Various poems of him were also published in the influential NEW WORLDS magazine. Founded in the early 60s and edited then by Michael Moorcock and later on by Hilary Bailey.
NEW WORLDS became THE platform from which NEW-WAVE movement in Science Fiction literature took off - featuring authors like J.G. Ballard, Thomas M. Disch, Norman Spinrad, Brian Aldiss a.o. After the usual problems with such an undertaking the magazine was awarded with the Arts Council's price - which again led to a heavy debate in the parliament on how it was possible that the state itself no only tolerates but even supports such an obscene forum of obviously sex-obsessed, neurotic, mentally deranged and-what-have-you-writers...
Calvert was featured at least two times in NEW WORLDS with his poems Ode to a Time Flower, (New Worlds Quarterly 5; London; Sphere 1973)
The Naked and Transparent Man Gives Thanks, (NW 10; London; Corgi 1976)
> Read three three short prose-pieces that Calvert contributed to FRENDZ:
   > Street Theatre Police Brutality Read All Abaht It!
   > The Last of the Listening Ears
   > Reclusion
   > a short-prose text from 1974: Cattle at Twilight (first publ. in SOUNDS)
> Read Calvert's comments on his involvement in FRENDZ a. o. magazines on the QUOTES pages.
> Read more on Mike Moorcock`s bio, works and his connections to Calvert and Hawkwind on the Collab-Relations, the Quotes and Hawkwind pages.
> Now online is a resource on the New Worlds Magazine:

> "Friends magazine was a rebel offshoot from the UK edition of Rolling Stone back when Rolling Stone could still be considered almost an underground mag." > more infos on Friends/Frendz mag. can be found on Phil Franks highly recommendable site.

early 70's - THE BOX - stageplay/monologue

A recently re-discovered early monologue/stageplay (one that Beckett might have written on a 'funny' day...)
> Click HERE to read more about it and get a taste of Calvertian humour - AND:
read the COMPLETE script of THE BOX... - and...what's more: take a chance to listen to a couple of excerpts, read by Mr. Calvert himself -

in all modesty: a WORLD PREMIERE on the web!

1971 - X - IN SEARCH OF SPACE - Lp with Hawkwind

'X - In Search of Space was Hawkwind's 2nd studio album and established the band's style of hynotic free-flowing improvisations, often accompanied by tribal rhythm's - in contrast to Dave Brock's acoustic guitar based pieces - remnants of his days as a busker, often with a melancholic touch.
ISOS features for the first time the significant graphics of Barney Bubbles, including photos by the seemingly ever-present photographer Phil Franks. Barney also did most of the work on The Hawkwind Log, a booklet that came with the album, featuring a collage of texts and photos - supposedly a found log-book of a spaceship, carrying the (last) notes and contemplations of it's travellers through space - somehow the seed of Calvert's concept of the soon to come Space Opera - the Space Ritual. Consequently the Log also features several Calvert poems like Co-Pilots of Spaceship Earth and Ten Seconds of Forever - pieces, that should become standards of the Calvert / Hawkwind repertoire.

Though Calvert was already much involved in the band's live appearances, his musical & poetical contributions unfortunately didn't show up on those early studio recordings.
However, IN SEARCH OF SPACE has recently been re-released (incl. digital remix of the orig. masters - fold-out cover...) and now contains 3 tracks, featuring Calvert collaborations: SILVER MACHINE (the -then- soon to become top-ten hit) / SEVEN BY SEVEN and a fantastic raw-and-roaring version of BORN TO GO - one of the band's best live performances, featuring some frantic Calvert vocals - probably the earliest example of (psych)-Punkrock. This track alone would make the CD worthwile to own.

> More infos on IN SEARCH OF SPACE.

Silver Machine Cover 1972 - SILVER MACHINE - single / with Hawkwind

The one and only mega-hit single that Hawkwind ever had. Inspired by a typical 'pataphysical' essay by the french writer Alfred Jarry ("How to construct a Time-Machine"), Calvert provided the lyrics - actually refering to the shiny racing cycle of his childhood days...
"Silver Machine' was just to say, I've got a silver bicycle, and nobody got it. I didn't think they would. I thought that what they would think we were singing about some sort of cosmic space travel machine. I did actually have a silver racing bike when I was a boy. I've got one now, in fact."
Calvert's vocal-track - which had gone sort of washed out in the original live-recording - was replaced with a new one by the ever roaring Lemmy.
The financial success of this release gave Calvert and Hawkwind the chance to realize their lavish and now legendary SPACE RITUAL show. Calvert in later years on the release: " I wasn't very surprised about the success. After all it was a single and singles were bound to go into the charts. That's how naive I was in these days." Well, he found out later...
Read Calvert's comments on SILVER MACHINE, Alfred Jarry and the initial -quite absurd- concept behind it on the QUOTES pages.
> More infos on SILVER MACHINE.

> See the original SILVER MACHINE ad by Barney Bubbles

1973 - SPACE RITUAL - double live Lp - with Hawkwind

This is the (almost) only/main official documentation of Calvert's work with Hawkwind as their part-time singer, co-writer and "resident poet". His involvement and influence, however, was much deeper than these early records are showing.
Already in his first bands (which were a mix of vaudeville street theatre and beat bands) Calvert employed theatrical elements. In 1971 these experiments reached a first climax with his conception of the now legendary SPACE RITUAL tour for / with Hawkwind.
This show featured a synthesis of the arts on various levels: Multiple light and slide projections, various stage effects, dancers, the resident DJ (no, that isn't an invention of the TechNO generation either...) and host Andy Dunkley who did the introduction and the famous Countdown - and last not least Calvert's poetry recitations, linking the different songs. He is performing his own poems The Awakening / 10 Seconds of Forever
(illustrated - plus sound) / Welcome to the Future (illustrated - plus sound) as well as Mike Moorcocks "The Black Corridor" and Sonic Attack - and is also the singer on Orgone Accumulator (illustrated + sound) and partly on "Seven by Seven".
Most people describe the Space Ritual as the album of the early Hawkwind period. It has recently been re-released incl. a new booklet and some powerful extra-tracks, feat. more contributions by Calvert. Highly recommended, as this album is a highly atmospheric and powerful documentation of Hawkwind's typical melange of free-flowing heavy space-psychedelia with a strong proto-punk edge. Furthermore, the album feat. a lot of elements, that make it a strong point of reference for the 'industrial' music scene, which would be further developed a few years later by bands like Throbbing Gristle a.o. This is rarely acknowledged although instantly evident in all the sonic experiments the feat. Audio Generators - and particularly in tracks like Sonic Attack.

> HERE you can read an appreciation of Hawkwind's groundbreaking 'industrial' work by Nigel Ayers of Nocturnal Emissions
> More infos on the SPACE RITUAL.

1973 - URBAN GUERILLA- single / with Hawkwind

The follow-up single to SILVER MACHINE - actually a much better song, featuring Calvert as the original vocalist.
But, as it often happend in the later years of Calvert's career, misfortune struck him at a very promising moment. The single's release coincided with a series of bombings by the I.R.A. in London and United Artists, the band's label at the time, began to fear they just might be the next target - if only from negative press-reactions - or reactionary press....
So, just as the Guerilla was climbing up the charts the BBC and other stations banned it from the air and eventually United Artists withdrew the record from further release.
This was just one of many unfortunate incidents that happened again and again in - or rather to Calvert's career...

> Read Calvert's comments on the story around URBAN GUERILLA and this song being -not just musically - a definite precursor
of some of the events surrounding the punk movement later on.
> Lyrics & more infos on the URBAN GUERILLA.

If you want to get your copy of URBAN GUERILLA I'd recommend you purchase the re-mastered-re-released version of the 1972/73 Hawkwind classic Doremi Fasol Latido, which includes URBAN GUERILLA as a bonus track - plus a so far unreleased version of the Calvert classic EJECTION - a track from his (then) forthcoming solo-debut CAPTAIN LOCKHEED AND THE STARFIGHTERS.
A brilliant live-version from 1978 can be found on the Weird-Tape 104

...this list is as complete as it can be from the informations I've gathered so far.
If you know of any other works that don't appear on the following page/s,
please get in touch.

END of PART I - go to PART II
works pt. II / III / IV / V / VI
biography   words / lyrics
quotes   collab-relations
R.C. & Hawkwind   Mike Moorcock
the world on Calvert   the spirit behind
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