INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Wire JUNE 2007 - by Ken Hollings
ROBERT CALVERT: CAPTAIN LOCKHEED AND THE STARFIGHTERS
Sleek, seductive, dangerously unstable and potentially destroying anyone foolhardy enough to take it on, there was a time when the elaborately packaged concept album was fancied as a viable alternative to mainstream media entertainment. Calvert's choice of Germany's Lockheed Starfighter scandal as the subject for his 1974 Hawkwind side project seems entirely appropriate. Bought in haste by the Luftwaffe and regretted at leisure, the Starfighter could do almost anything except stay in the air, resulting in the deaths of forty-two pilots and a national uproar. To tell this convoluted tale, Calvert mustered help from Hawkwind's Dave Brock, Nik Turner, Del Dettmar and Lemmy, also recruiting the auxiliary talents of Brian Eno, Arthur Brown and Paul Rudolph, plus the voices of Jim Capaldi and Vivian Stanshall for the dramatic reconstructions. The results, accompanied here by single edits and extended versions, defy belief - but it's hard not to admire so obviously doomed an endeavour.