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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Well, first of all, this is a Very Good Book. It is well written in a friendly style whereby the author lets the characters largely speak for themselves: much of the action comes from the mouths of band members and hangers-on, with the author unobtrusively piecing it all together with an easy flowing narrative. It's focus is not the music, but concentrates rather on the human aspects, the characters, inter-relationships and shifting undercurrents of the many people who have 'belonged' at one time or another. Inevitably, it deals with conflict, as it becomes clear very early on that a band which outwardly symbolised 'peace and love, man' was apparently rife with disharmony and acrimony. Of course, all the key events in the band's history are here recounted, all the highs and lows, in detail, by the people who were there, though human memory is fallible as is proven time and again by differing opinions as to what actually happened on many occasions. And some of the anecdotes are priceless. Here, there is no holding back or hiding behind sweeping generalisations: indeed, they all seem to speak quite freely of their opinions of each other, and most of the juicy anecdotes and comments are quoted directly. Two important threads emerge as you progress through the book: one is the dominance of 2 strong characters (Dave Brock and Nik Turner) and their opposing views on the purpose and direction of the band, differences which finally blew up into a bitter court case 4 years ago. It could be argued that the author 'sits on the fence' by not taking sides, but by giving both sides an even opportunity to air their views she enables the reader to make a far more balanced judgement. The other thread which permeates through most of the book is - money, and this is my only serious criticism. There is so much bickering over money, and much of it is relatively small amounts. It tends to give the impression that they are/were a bunch of money-grubbing moaners but I suspect this has been blown out of proportion in the fall-out from the divisive court case as a lot of old grievances have risen to the surface. If you thought of Hawkwind as a bunch of drug-addled zombies then this book will hopefully enlighten you. Similarly, you should not expect a 'Hammer Of The Gods' style of sex-orgy exposť (notwithstanding the nude dancer and nude drummer!) But, if you are at all interested in the band, and in delving into the characters behind the music, then you will find this an entertaining and essential read.
Review: The Saga Of "Hawkwind"User Review - Goodreads
A good and interesting read, but at times overly drawn out...