An hour or so later, when Hawkwind took to the stage, the audience rose to their feet as one. I tried to stand, but the young lady grabbed me, pulled me back into my seat, held me close, looked deeply into my eyes, threw up all over me and passed out face first in my lap. A security guy was on the spot and took her out to the foyer of the venue, where she quickly recovered, having 'overdone it' earlier in the evening. I washed my clothes as best I could under the tap in the toilet, but was a bit of a smelly mess for the remainder of the gig - it was a dank, sweaty, dry-ice clouded affair though, so I doubt if anyone noticed the additional fug in the air. My mate thoroughly enjoyed my misfortune and can still be relied upon to recount the story with amused relish 38 years later.
A quick flick through old ticket stubs and diary entries confirms that I saw Hawkwind in concert on five separate occasions between 1975 and 1979, the first four of which featured the unique presence of novelist, poet, singer, songwriter, and showman, Robert Calvert in the driving seat. I initially picked up on Calvert a full two years before the evening of the vomitus maximus incident, via a 7" single purchased for 12p in late 1973, from the reduced price section at Woolworth's in Walthamstow. I must have been aware of 'Silver Machine' at the time, but that was the extent of my Hawkwind knowledge, so I have no idea what attracted me to the fantastic 'Ejection' by Captain Lockheed & the Starfighters (essentially Hawkwind plus Twink and minus Dave Brock), perhaps the oddity of a, then rarely seen, picture sleeve single. Over the past 40 years, the song has been described variously as kraut rock, space rock, even nascent punk rock. It's all of these and more.
Robert Calvert died from a heart attack in 1988 aged just 44. Had he lived, today would have marked his 69th birthday, so here's a little something extra to remember him by, 'Spirit of the Age', a Hawkwind classic from 1977.