This Tour Cancellation is Brought to You by Nik Turner
I hafta say I was pretty stoked to hear that Hawkwind was coming to town–and I certainly wasn’t the only one. The Toronto show sold out weeks in advance, with at least a few people planning on traveling from other parts of the province (and who knows where else) to see ‘em. But alas, Hawkwind will not be playing the Mod Club tomorrow, and if you read between the lines, it’s pretty clear who the band is blaming for this postponement.
A message on their official Facebook page states, “As many of you will now be aware, Dave was taken ill a couple of weeks ago. Doctors have confirmed that his condition is stress related, aggravated by the trademark dispute in the United States which could result in years of litigation.” The posting continues, adding that “After much discussion about possible ways forward, the members of the band have reluctantly decided that it is necessary to reschedule the dates to March 2014, rather than putting Dave’s health at unnecessary risk.”
So I guess I won’t get to see Black Sabbath and Hawkwind in the same year. Of course Hawkwind, much like Sabbath, released its debut back in 1970. The difference is that the former weren’t spring chickens at the time; singer/guitarist Dave Brock and saxophonist Nik Turner were already pushing 30–and are now in their 70′s, which makes their most famous ex-bassist a young whippersnapper by comparison. It would be completely understandable if either were suffering health issues, seeing as they’ve both outlived Jon Lord already. In fact, I’m pretty impressed that each was planning on hitting the road for a cross-continental tour…
Aye, but here’s the rub. They won’t be touring together, which is where the trademark dispute comes in. It seems that shortly after Hawkwind announced its North American jaunt, Nik Turner’s Space Ritual came out with bookings in the exact same cities just a couple weeks later–and, in the case of Toronto, anyways, the exact same venue. I suppose this could have worked to Turner’s advantage cuz hey, can’t get a ticket to see Hawkwind? Here’s the next best thing!
But then the embittered woodwind player went and upped the ante a couple weeks ago, trademarking “Nik Turner’s Hawkwind” in the United States. So now it’s no longer Nik Turner’s Space Ritual that’s coming to town, but Nik Turner’s Hawkwind. Holy Competing Queensryches, Batman!
Now to be fair, Nik Turner’s Hawkwind contains as many original bandmembers as the Dave Brock edition. But Hawkwind was never like Black Sabbath, where the same four guys played on the first seven albums; in fact, they’d already replaced half the band by their third record. Hell, if you tally them up, I’m pretty sure that Hawkwind’s been through more musicians than Spinal Tap–although I’m not aware of any ex-Hawkwind drummer who had a bizarre gardening accident.
Sadly, at this stage of their lives, the feud between Nigel Tufnel (Turner) and David St. Hubbins (Brock) isn’t as easily repaired as bringing the former up on stage for a rousing rendition of “Tonight We’re Gonna Rock You Tonight.” The next time these two see each other will probably be in court, not on stage.
Alas, while Turner might stand to profit from the Not-Nik-Turner’s Hawkwind cancellations, I won’t be seeing his show on the 25th–turns out I’m in Texas when they hit Toronto. So I’m hanging onto my Dave Brock’s Hawkwind ticket in the hopes that the March date doesn’t conflict with my usual plans of watching college basketball and/or traveling to watch college basketball that month.
And here’s hoping that when Brock and company do come to town, they won’t be forced to change their name to Vista Hawko.