A gathering met at Arlington House in Margate on Friday to watch the unveiling of a Blue Plaque in memory of former Hawkwind co-founder Robert Calvert.
Robert was the frontman for space rock band Hawkwind during much of their classic 1970s period.
The plaque marks the building that his parents and siblings lived in during the 1960s.
Calvert was Hawkwind’s singer, poet and conceptualist from 1971-73 and 1976-79. He co-wrote the band’s million-selling single ‘Silver Machine’ and appeared on classic albums including Space Ritual and Quark, Strangeness And Charm. He was the driving force behind Hawkwind’s transformation into the ultimate science fiction rock band as well as being a hugely charismatic and influential performer.
In his youth, Calvert worked at Dreamland, during which time he befriended future Hawkwind members Nik Turner and DikMik.
After leaving Hawkwind in 1979, Calvert returned to live in Thanet, settling in Ramsgate. It was from this base that he wrote his last two solo albums Freq and Test-Tube. He died from a heart attack in 1988 at the tragically early age of 43.
The Blue Plaque was organised by Thanet residents Nick Dermott and William Gary and among those to attend were family members and the Hawklords, who also a special one-off show at Olby’s Soul Café, Margate, with support from tribute band Motorheadz, plus Superheads.
Hawklords were initially founded by Robert Calvert and Dave Brock in 1978. The band produced one album. 25 Years On, which Robert considered to be his last contribution to Hawkwind-led albums. He then pursued other musical and literary interests.
In 2008 former Hawkwind member Nik Turner, Hawklords singer, songwriter and guitarist Jerry Richards and others rebooted The Hawklords to bring back their space rock and roll to audiences. After 11 consecutive albums, including new release Hawklords at Kozfest 2022, the band is still in demand for tours and festivals worldwide.
Jerry said: “Hawklords were thrilled to be asked to take part in the celebration of Robert Calvert’s legacy of theatre, poetry and performance art at Olby’s Soul Café. A packed audience were thrilled by just some of Robert’s poems and songs from down the ages during a two-hour set by the band.
“Parts of the show were as if time has stood still and Bob’s voice was echoing down the time-stream from the halcyon days of some of his most outstanding works.
“It was a thrill to play for Bob’s children, Helen and Nick, who both attended the show, and for the fans who are still loyal and as enthusiastic for the band as they were back in Bob’s day.
“The late Robert Calvert continues to set the standard for observations about life, the universe and space rock.
“The unveiling of the Blue Plaque at Arlington House was very much overdue and is justly deserved for his contributions to music, poetry and art.”