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|Born||9 March 1945|
Pretoria, South Africa
|Died||14 August 1988 43) (aged|
|Associated acts||Hawkwind, Sonic Assassins, Hawklords|
Robert Newton Calvert (9 March 1945 – 14 August 1988)was a South African writer, poet, and musician. He is principally known for his role as lyricist and member of the space rock band Hawkwind.
Calvert was born in Pretoria, South Africa and moved with his parents to England when he was two. He attended school in London and Margate. Having finished school he joined the Air Training Corps, where he became a corporal and played the trumpet for the 438 squadron band.He then went on to college in Canterbury. After leaving college, and having been denied his childhood dream of becoming a fighter pilot, he slowly acquainted himself with the UK's bohemian scene. Calvert began his career in earnest by writing poetry. In 1967 he formed the street theatre group Street Dada Nihilismus.
At the end of the 1960s he moved to London and joined the flourishing psychedelic subculture. He soon became one of its most active members; joining, amongst other activities, Frendz , one of the leading underground magazines of the time. During that time he acquainted himself with New Wave science fiction writers. Acclaimed author Michael Moorcock, winner of several science fiction literary awards and publisher of the influential New Worlds magazine, became a lifelong friend. Calvert's poems were published in New Worlds and other magazines. Although he was influenced by the New Wave, Calvert developed a distinct style of his own. His ability to change fluently between poetry, music and theatre allowed him to develop into a multimedia artist. Calvert then became acquainted with Dave Brock, and became the resident poet, lyricist and frontman of Hawkwind, intermittently from 1972–1979. Calvert co-wrote Hawkwind's hit single "Silver Machine", which reached No. 3 in the UK singles chart. Although Lemmy sings on the single version, this is an overdub of a live recording taken at the Roundhouse in London, with Calvert on vocals. "They tried everyone else singing it except me", Lemmy later said.Calvert also directed Hawkwind's live opus, the Space Ritual Tour.
Calvert suffered from bipolar disorder, which often caused a fractious relationship with his fellow musicians. At one point he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Despite his sometimes debilitating mental health, Calvert remained a fiercely creative, driven and multi-talented artist. During periods away from Hawkwind duties, he worked on his solo career; his creative output including albums, stage plays, poetry, and a novel. His first solo album, Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters , was released in 1974. The record is a concept album; an amalgam of music and theatre focused around the Lockheed bribery scandals. In 1975 Calvert won the Capital Radio poetry competition with his poem "Circle Line". In 1975, musician and producer Brian Eno produced and played on Calvert's second solo album, Lucky Leif and the Longships , a concept album which looked at the history of the US and the Vikings, who crossed the Atlantic to reach America before Columbus.
As well as Michael Moorcock and Brian Eno, Calvert's collaborators included Arthur Brown, Steve Peregrin Took, Jim Capaldi, Steve Pond, Inner City Unit, Vivian Stanshall, Nektar, John Greaves, Adrian Wagner, Amon Düül II and, posthumously, Spirits Burning, Dave Brock, and Krankschaft.
Aged 43, Calvert died of a heart attack in 1988 in Ramsgate, Englandand was buried in Minster Cemetery near Margate. His gravestone is engraved with the line "Love's not Time's fool", from William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.
Hawkwind are an English rock band known as one of the earliest space rock groups. Since their formation in November 1969, Hawkwind have gone through many incarnations and have incorporated many different styles into their music, including hard rock, progressive rock and psychedelic rock. They are also regarded as an influential proto-punk band. Their lyrics favour urban and science fiction themes.
The Space Ritual Alive in Liverpool and London is a 1973 live double album recorded in 1972 by UK rock band Hawkwind. It is their fourth album, reached #9 in the UK album charts and briefly dented the Billboard Top 200, peaking at #179.
Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters is a 1974 satirical concept album by Robert Calvert, the former frontman of British space-rock band Hawkwind. It consists of a mixture of songs and comic spoken interludes.
David Anthony Brock is an English singer-songwriter and musician. He plays electric guitar, keyboards, bass and oscillators. He is a founder, sole constant member and musical focus of the English space rock group Hawkwind. Brock was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the annual Progressive Music Awards in 2013.
Warrior on the Edge of Time is Hawkwind's fifth studio album. It reached number 13 on the U.K. album charts and was their third and last album to make the U.S. Billboard chart, where it peaked at number 150. Many of the lyrics are by Michael Moorcock, and the album is loosely based on the concept of Moorcock's novel The Eternal Champion. Reviews have been mixed, with Melody Maker panning the album and particularly criticizing the vocal work while the All Music Guide has praised the album for features such as the songwriting. This would also be the last album to feature the band's classic bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was fired from the band one day before the album's release.
Quark, Strangeness and Charm is the seventh studio album by the English space rock group Hawkwind, released in 1977. It spent six weeks on the UK albums chart peaking at number 30.
Sonic Attack is the eleventh studio album by the English space rock group Hawkwind, released in 1981. It spent five weeks on the UK albums chart peaking at #19.
Live Seventy Nine is a 1980 live album by Hawkwind recorded on their Winter 1979 tour. It reached #15 on the UK album chart.
The Weird Tapes are a set of music tapes by the English rock group Hawkwind. Issued in the early 1980s, they contain live, radio sessions, out-take and demo performances.
The Hawkwind, Friends and Relations series of albums was released in the early 1980s containing live and studio performances by Hawkwind and related bands.
Hawklords were an English music group active between 1978 and 1979. Members were from Hawkwind, who were inactive during that period, and a local Devon group named Ark with the addition of former Pilot keyboardist Steve Swindells.
Spaced Out in London is a 2004 live album by Hawkwind. It was recorded at a 2002 gig.
Yule Ritual is a 2001 live album by Hawkwind.
Out and Intake is a 1987 live/studio album by the English space rock group Hawkwind.
Alan Davey is an English musician, best known as the former bassist with Hawkwind. He is the original bass player in Gunslinger which started in 1979 and is still the bass player and vocalist for Gunslinger. He's currently writing a new album for 2018 release on Cleopatra Records as well as 2 solo albums for 2018 and 2019 release and is also writing music for movies and TV shows. He has also played and recorded with Meads of Asphodel, Dumpy's Rusty Nuts, Spirits Burning, Bedouin (1998-2003). He formed with the newly re-imagined Hawklords in 2008 with Nik Turner till 2012 and since then formed The Psychedelic Warlords in 2013 till 2015.
Paul Fraser Rudolph is a guitarist, bassist, singer, and cyclist. He made his mark in the UK underground music scene, and then as a session musician, before returning to Canada to indulge his passion for cycling. He resided in Gibsons, British Columbia, where he owned and operated a bicycle business, Spin Cycle. He has since retired to Victoria, British Columbia.
Simon King is an English drummer most noted for his work with Hawkwind. He was described in 1985 by British rock magazine Sounds as the 'definitive rock drummer.'
Hype is a 1981 album by singer Robert Calvert, the former frontman of British space-rock band Hawkwind.
Centigrade 232 is an album and a book of poems by English writer and musician Robert Calvert, recorded in 1986 and released in 2007. The poem Centigrade 232 was set to music by Spirits Burning in 2001. Some titles were set to music by Hawkwind and issued as The Brock/Calvert Project in 2007.
Spirits Burning is a musical collective that features musicians associated with space rock and progressive rock, including input from members of Blue Öyster Cult, Clearlight, Gong, and Hawkwind. Spirits Burning is overseen by American composer/producer Don Falcone.