There’s something about the first time. Whichever first time it might be. The anticipation, the breathless rush to conclusion, the ultimate depression as it ends and then the relentless search for the next time.
Gigs are like that, especially if your 16 year old self has taken the time to commit to memory as much of the discography of a favorite band as you won. You desperately, buy the ticket, arrange the gig companionship and set off into the night full of expectation.
You take your seat and feverishly, drunkenly attempt to hold in the excitement. The band emerges through a cloud of smoke and then only play three songs you know from the twelve played and two of the twelve are weird electronic bleepy things that do not end in the expected chaos of guitars and drumming. It is however deafeningly loud and overwhelming and shit it’s Hawkwind right there on stage blowing your mind. Yes there is no Lemmy and isn’t that Gongs keyboard player up there but the Captain is there and all is well and that’s Simon King on drums so we are good, and wasn’t the guitar player on the first album?
Being hard up for cash I had only heard three Hawkwind albums at this stage, and the callow Joy Division fans at school would sneer at the mention of Hawkwind. Those being the first album, Hall of the Mountain Grill and Space Ritual so all the Calvert songs and the then unreleased songs from Levitation were strange creatures. However my tiny teen mind was duly blown and I hung on every word of the grizzled creatures around me who mumbled of the anarchy of gigs gone by. There was however no Time We Left This World Today, but the strange metal punk Brainstorm more than made up for any thoughts that this was not Hawkwind.
All of this strolled through my mind as I played my newly purchased copy of Live ’79 that memorializes this anarchic tour before Ginger ruined the gig with a drum solo. It also has one of the most awfully garish album covers of all time.
After this show Hawkwind became a fixture of the calendar for me, if they played on a train or bus line I was there, screaming with the other idiots into the all encompassing noisfest that was a Hawkwind gig.