‘They phone me up every day to check I haven’t died’

Tensions formed within the band over the years, perhaps inevitably for a group fond of drugs whose members often vied for attention on stage. “Excess, bad drugs – the downfall of everybody,” says Brock. “And paranoia. It happens with every band, it’s a bit like being in an office where everyone moans. Little cliques. It’s human nature.”

In recent decades, Brock was involved in a protracted and complex legal battle with Nik Turner, Hawkwind’s ebullient saxophonist, over the use of the Hawkwind name on tour. Turner died in 2022. Did they ever reconcile their differences?

“No, not at all.” Brock is clearly still aggrieved. Such disputes are, he says, “the other side of this awful business we’re in”.

We talk about his health. Brock was recently admitted to hospital with an irregular heartbeat but attempted to discharge himself. “I said, look, I’m in a band and we’ve got a tour coming up. The consultant had never heard of Hawkwind and I could see him Googling on his phone. He saw all the pictures, the Albert Hall. Then they let me out under supervision. They phone me up every day to check I haven’t died.”

He takes me on a tour of his studio, a converted cowshed stuffed with Hawkwind memorabilia. There are towers of gear and instruments, posters plastering the ceiling, a vast silver chalice on a shelf. The studio door serves as a pinned collage of snaps: Turner in flying-helmet and goggles, Brown in his flaming headdress, Lemmy with bass.

Despite his delicate health, Brock refuses to stop; his new album is a swift follow-up to last year’s The Future Never Waits. The instinct to make music and perform never leaves him.

“Sometimes it soars, and sometimes it goes down the drain for a bit,” he says. “At the moment, it’s soaring.”

Hawkwind tour the UK from April 3; ‘Stories from Time and Space’ is out on April 5: hawkwind.com

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