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
A CHAT WITH ALAN DAVEY (part 1)
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.
AD I don't know.. .they
just appealed to me straight away and made me feel like jiving.
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.
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
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 Of course, it'll never work. You'll never do it.
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.
been sending him tapes of your work?
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?
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?
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?
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!
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 is...so 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.
TO BE CONTINUED!.......