" In my own evolution as an artist and as a fan , Hawkwind were second only to the Stooges in importance to me"
Jello Biaffra, Dead Kennedys
The sonic space rock assassins Hawkwind were riding high on their Top Ten single "Silver Machine" when they set out on their 1972 Space Ritual tour with dancers ( including the voluptuous Stacia), a mime, the extraordinary lighting effects of Jon Smeeton and resident poet Robert Calvert. Their ambition: to create a multi-media sci fi interplanetary rock opera while melting ear drums all across the UK.
Calvert explained the story line succintly:
The basic idea is that a team of starfarers are in a coma...and the opera is a presentation of the dreams that they are having in deep space.
The resulting double live album Space Ritual/Alive in Liverpool and London became Hawkwind's most successful ever...leaping into the English Top 10 in 1973. Many of the better tunes roar past the nine minute mark repeating the same riffs until they seem to be swirling around your head. In that respect they weren't all that different from what was happening in the Krautrock scene. The ultimate head trip/ road trip album.