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This article first appeared in hawkfan 13  way back in 1985, and to my knowledge has to be Alan Daveys first interview in his long and illustrious career as Hawkwind bassist. As you will see it was conducted by Hawkfan head honcho, Brian Tawn and makes for interesting reading. the original spanned across some 12 pages so this approximately half of it, I did try the OCR facility on my scanner but quite frankly it took longer to edit that than it did to type it, so hence you'll see that I've been pretty busy and the thought of transcribing the same again one hit was somewhat daunting as I'm sure you can imagine, so you can get on with reading this to start with and rest assured that part 2 will be with you very shortly.

I've tried to not only copy the piece verbatim, trying only to add the occasional missing word or correct the odd piece of grammar, so hopefully it will come over as the original was intended. I'm sure it wasn't intentional but there are a couple of great quotes in here that wouldn't be out of place in a "Carry on" movie, but I'll leave you to try and find them - enjoy


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I've known Alan Dave7 since 1979 or 1980, via letters, phone calls and occasionally meeting when Hawkwind played Ipswich Gaumont. During that tine, he's always come over as an easy going, cheerful guy, willing to work had for his goal while happily accepting whatever fate hands to him.

Last Summer, Shortly after playing Stonehenge and then the Amsterdam dates with Hawkwind, Alan spent a weekend at the Tawn house in order that we could combine a relaxing day or so with an interview and photo session. The basic idea was to use Saturday to Settle him in and then attack him on Sunday. As it happened, Alan walked into the house and was instantly 'at home' as though he had been coming here for year's, which is how we like it here.

I stuck to my plan and after getting his car unloaded and pouring coffee into him, I marched him off into town, I dragged him round the market, shopping centre, the park, the docks and various buildings and monuments. While we got to know each other better, he got to know more than enough about Wisbeach. . .it may be a small market town (Lemmy always writes 'population 6' against it) but you can soon cover a few miles wandering round it. Later, at home, I subjected him to the trials of close-up photography...see if you can look nonchalant while someone points a camera at you from a distance of about three feet. In fact, the day was more of an ordeal for him than I realised. As a country boy, I see nothing wrong in walking a few miles, but Alan isn't a country boy and would no more think of walking a long way than he would think of hurling himself off his roof. Anything more than a couple of hundred yards is a job for the car so being walked for an hour or two on a hot afternoon must have seemed like Some kind of Fenland torture. Still, he took it all in his stride (sorry, .couldn't resist that) and made no complaint.

During the evening, Alan and I went out to Collect some curries and, though he didn't say so at the time, he was horrified when I led the way out of the house and walked briskly past his car, He was sure we'd drive since we were off to get some hot food, no wonder he was hungry when we got back... and was only too happy to spend the rest of the evening sprawling about, looking at Hawkwind photos and such like.

On Sunday morning, I took him out to the town again for a long photo session against a variety of local backgrounds and took him home again in time for dinner, by which time he was worn out and at which time he told me how little he normally walked. He was also tired because we had stayed up late and had a sore throat, caused by singing loud and long while driving from Ipswich to Wisbeach, The fact that we had spent most of the time laughing at one thing or another (we're both inclined to see the funny/ridiculous side of every-thing) had weakened him a bit more. Time to clobber him with an interview.

I had thought of working some of it into an interview to be presented. on cassette or on record but the final product was hardly suitable, partly because we both talked in voices which were too quiet for a decent recording and partly because we were a pair of idiots and kept getting side-tracked into laughter and irrelevancies. Ergo, I had to not only keep this to a written product but had to edit it. I don't believe in including all the errs, ums, ahs, (laughs), etc. when typing out an interview. just picture the whole thing as an effort to drag a few facts and attitudes out while we're both clowning around.


BT Alan, what made you take up the bass as oppose to any other instrument?

AD When I was fifteen, I bought the Doremi Fasol Latido album and heard an interesting sound on 'Time We Left This World Today' and decided I'd like to play the instrument that made that sound, whatever that instrument was. It turned out to be Lemmy's bass so I went out and bought a bass and, learned to play like that, basically.

BT BASSically?

AD Yes, BASSically.

BT If events had not taken that course, do you think you would have, at some other time, taken an interest in the bass, or in any other musical instrument?

AD No. I wasn't interested in playing at all till I heard that bass solo and it struck me that I wanted to play that instrument. I really wanted to play something that's sounded like that.

BT  Hadn't it even entered your mind when you were at school, when most people seem to think, at one stage, that they would like to be in a band.?

think, at one stage, that they would like to be in a band.?

AD No. I had no musical interest at all.

BT Where you a Hawkwind fan at the time?

AD Yes. I'd got a few of their albums.

BT Which album sparked of your interest in Hawkwind?

AD quark Strangeness And Charm.

BT Why that one?

AD Well, it was my brother's album and he kept playing it and Iliked it

BT Was there any particular track which got you hooked on the album?

AD 'Spirit Of The Age'. That one and 'Hassan I Sahba'.

BT Why those two?

AD I don't know.. .they just appealed to me straight away and made me feel like jiving.

BT When you took up the bass, was it just for fun or did you have the idea then that you'd like to play bass in a band.?
like to play bass in a band.?

AD Just for fun really. I didn't have any intention of getting in a band.

BT So how did you come to get in a band or to start up a band?

AD It happened that at the same time I bought my electric bass, my cousin bought an electric guitar, so we started to play together as the basis of a band, and it started from that

BT  Did you give a name to it?

AD  Well, it developed into the first named band, which was Sta11ion. That was me on bass, my cousin on rhythm guitar, a friend of mine on lead, a drummer and a singer,  just doing old blues songs.

BT   Did, you play very much?

AD  Yes. I'd catch the bus to my cousin's house and we'd play every day.

BT  What came after Stallion?

AD  Well, Gunslinger started. Motorhead got on the scene and that was good, with some  heavy bass, and Gunslinger started to sound like Motorhead because I picked up the way Lemmy plays.

  BT  Who was in Gunslinger?

  AD  Me, my cousin and a drummer called Andrew Mann. Just a three piece.

  BT  How long did that last?

  AD  Oh, it lasted a few years.

  BT  Did. you play many gigs?

  AD  No, We were too heavy so no-one would let us play. Too loud and too heavy.
  BT  Disgusting  

  AD  Yes. We tried a couple of pubs but the glasses kept rattling off the shelves,  so they asked us to turn it down but that was no good. When it was too quiet we lost all our power.

  BT  What d,id you do after Gunslinger?

  AD  A band called Andromeda, with a different guitarist but the same drummer. That was just another three piece but it sounded    more like Hawkwind because we were playing stuff which I had written and I was inspired by Hawkwind

  BT  When did you start getting ideas of playing for Hawkwind?

AD About a year ago I suppose, or just over a year ago (make that aroundSpring`83). Nothing was happening with the band I was   in and it was absolutely dead. My brother came to see me and suggested I tried for Hawkwind because every time he cane round I was upstairs with  Hawkwind blaring out of the speakers while I played along with them. He said I should write to Hawkwind and see what happened Damn silly, isn't it?
BT  Didn't you think you were out of your head, aiming so high as that, to go from obscurity to a big-name band?
AD  A bit, yes. I don't know what I was expecting.

BT  Of course, it'll never work. You'll never do it.

AD   No.

BT   I guess you were a bit surprised when it did come about. How did it come to be thaty ou played with Hawkwind at Stonehenge?

AD   Dave rang me and asked me to go. I suppose he liked the tapes I sent him and decided to give me a go at Stonehenge.

BT   You'd been sending him tapes of your work?

AD  Yeah, for about a year or so.

BT   Were they aware of you playing solo and was the material written by you?

AD   It was stuff  written myself  plus 'Lord of Light', which was the only Hawkwind track I sent. All the rest was my own material. I played most of the instruments apart from a few songs where my cousin played guitar. I did bass, synth, guitar and vocals on the others.

BT How did you find it at Stonehenge, playing your first gig in front of a huge crowd? you first major gig that is.

AD  A bit chaotic because the band hadn't rehearsed. It was a new band line up and we hadn't even rehearsed! Nik didn't know who I was till I turned up and then he didn't know I was going to play. Huw knew I was going to play but didn't know who I was till I we were getting ready to play... And I didn't know the people in the band, that's why it was a bit chaotic perhaps - we hadn't had the chance to get on the same wavelength before we played. I have a friend Danny Thompson, who is a drummer and he came along and guested at Stonehenge.

BT  Did you know the songs they played or did you have to bumble along as best you could?

AD  I knew every single one. I know every Hawkwind song there is - well, every one I've got.

BT  You know all the bass lines?

AD  Yes. I used to play along to them but with most of the songs I have my own bass lines. I don't want to copy other peoples' bass lines all the time because that would get a bot tedious. I want to make up my own.

BT  So you want to develop them a bit towards your own ideas, while presumably keeping them within the existing framework of the song?

AD  Yes. I couldn't do what Harvey was doing anyway because I don't play like that.

BT  How would you describe your style of playing?

AD  Manic. I play like Lemmy because that's how I thought a bass was played. For the first year of playing, when I first started, I only used to listen to Space Ritual and Warrior on the Edge of Time so as far as I knew a bass was played like that. Oh yes I listened to Doremi Fasol Latido too.

BT  Did you know that Dave played some bass on warrior On The edge Of Time... On Opa locka?

AD  Yes

BT  Do you tend to play the bass as a rhythm instrument, with chords rather than individual notes?

AD  Chord working, yes.

BT  Do you use a plectrum or do you use your fingers?

AD Well. I use my fingers on my left hand....

BT                                                               Thank You.

AD                                                                                ...And a plectrum in my right hand. I use a plectrum because of the way that I play. If I used my fingers to play I'd come to the end of a gig with only half my fingers left, so I always use a plectrum.

BT  What sort of a guitar do you use?

AD  A Rickenbacker

BT  Always a Rickenbacker?

AD  Yes.

BT  How many bass guitars have you got?

AD  Two. Both Rickenbacker. One's an original and one is a copy. The copy is a bit overpowering. I can't use it on my own gear because it's just too powerful and everything shakes and rattles, so I'll have to get myself another Rickenbacker soon.

BT  Another one!

AD  Yes

BT  Why Rickenbacker? why not any other sort? you're obviously hooked on that kind of bass so you must believe it to be special?

AD  I think it's the neck, the thin neck. It;s easier to play. I mean, if I play a Fender precision to do chord work the neck is just too big and it's uncomfortable to play.

BT  Too big to get you hand round it?

AD  Yes. It's big and bulky, whereas Rickenbackers have lovely thin necks and their sound is a really punchy sound. very penetrating.

BT  And you like to be a noisy little sod, don't you!

AD  Yes. They've all told me that, in the band. I'm a noisy sod.

BT  Did you enjoy Stonehenge?

AD  Yes, it was great.    (see how expansive he can be!)

BT  How did you get on when you went to Amsterdam with them?

AD  That was excellent actually. The whole trip. I got to know the band a bit better and we started working on the same wavelength on stage and it all fell in just right.

BT  Have you rehearsed with them yet or have you only done these gigs?

AD  We've only done the gigs. we did a rehearsal at Amsterdam but the rehearsal was also the soundcheck. That's the only time we've had to rehearse so I haven't done so properly with the band yet.

BT How many gigs did you do in Amsterdam? I know you went there just for 2 gigs, 31st July and 1st August.

AD  Well we did one extra one. We got asked to do one in a legal squat. This was a big hall, which was a squat, and there were a lot of people there... more Punks than anybody else. They asked us to do the gig and arranged for the PA for us and we just turned up with our guitars and played.

BT  Did all of the band go?

AD  All except Dave. He had to fly home because he had arranged to sell his organ...his church organ that he had to fly home to see to that.

BT  How did the third gig come about because it wasn't planned before you went?

AD  Some guy watched the first two gigs and he was sort of the leader of the squat I suppose. He just asked us to play in their    hall and that would be their own little gig, with Hawkwind just for them. It went down real well.

BT  Would you like to go abroad with them again?

AD  Yes, I'm looking forward to it.