Hawkwind are an English rock band, one of the earliest space rock groups. Their lyrics favour urban and science fiction themes. They are considered a key link between the hippie and punk cultures. Hawkwind are primarily known for playing "space-rock", a hybrid of hard-rock and acid-rock that united the sonic power of the former and the free improvisation of the latter. Formed in November 1969, Hawkwind have gone through many incarnations and styles of music. Dozens of musicians, dancers and writers have worked with the group since their inception. (Read more at Wikipedia.)
Links To Peel
Although Hawkwind had no more than a couple of Peel sessions, the DJ had relatively close ties with in the band in its earliest days. Late in August 1969, Peel saw an ensemble then called Group X at All Saints Hall, Notting Hill (see Gigography 1969). According to the Hawkwind page on Wikipedia:
Gatecrashing a local talent night at the All Saints Hall, Notting Hill, they were so untogether as to not even have a name, plumping for "Group X" at the last minute, nor any songs, choosing to play an extended 20-minute jam on The Byrds "Eight Miles High". BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel was in the audience and was impressed enough to tell event organiser, Douglas Smith, to keep an eye on them. Smith signed them up and got them a deal with Liberty Records on the back of a deal he was setting up for Cochise.
Smith later recalled:
John Peel walked out of the hall, looked at me, and went 'Sign them. Big band.' I walked on, didn't think any more about it, then two months later decided to get involved. Went round to see Peel, dinky toy collection out, playing with it on the floor, and I said 'We got the name John, we got the name. Hawkwind Zoo.' He looked at me: 'Hawkwind Zoo? No. Get rid of the zoo.' And that's how that happened. 
In the 1970s Hawkwind became synonymous with the British hippy scene, playing its circuit of club gigs, benefits and free festivals. Although Peel gradually became disillusioned with the underground, they were, at least in their early days, the kind of "people's band" he sympathised with.
Towards the end of the 1970s, Peel also played tracks by Motorhead, featuring former Hawkind bassist Lemmy, as well as Hawklords, an offshoot of the recently disbanded Hawkwind who included former Hawkwind members Robert Calvert, Dave Brock and Simon King.
Festive Fifty Entries
- Two sessions. Commercial releases (details from the Starfarer site): from #1, "Hurry on Sundown" on The Text of Festival, "Some of That Stuff" (aka "Came Home") on Hawkwind Anthology Volume 3; from #2 "Inwards Out" (aka "We Do It") on The Text of Festival.
- Hurry on Sundown / Seeing It As You Really Are / Some of That Stuff
2. Recorded: 1971-04-19. First broadcast: 24 April 1971. Repeated: ?
- Inwards Out / You Know You're Only Dreaming / You Shouldn't Do That
(Information from the Starfarer site)
- 15 November 1970 (John Peel's Sunday Concert). Recorded: 1970-11-05, Paris Theatre, London
Set list included:
- Seeing It As You Really Are
- Untitled Number
- Both tracks released on The Text of Festival.
- The band were temporarily banned from BBC sessions after a microphone was stolen at this appearance.
Other Shows Played
- 18 July 1970: Mirror Of Illusion (LP - Hawkwind) Liberty
- 02 June 1972: Silver Machine (single) United Artists
- 16 June 1972: Silver Machine (single) United Artists
- 25 October 1978: Silver Machine (single) reissue
- 28 September 1978: Automoton (LP-25 Years On) Charisma
- 04 October 1978: Death Trap (single – PSI Power) Charisma
- 24 May 1979: 25 Years (7") Charisma
- Official site
- Starfarer (Hawkwind Trivia): "Despite his apparent dislike of Hawkwind, John Peel played "Infinity" and "Life Form" from the just-released PXR5 album during his set late on Friday night at the Reading Festival in August 1979."