Astounding Barney Bubbles Rarity: An Amazing Hawkwind Drumhead

Drumhead painted by Barney Bubbles in 1972

From left: Nik Turner, Stacia Blake, Simon King and Lemmy during Hawkwind’s set at the Windsor Free Festival on August 25, 1973. Note the drumhead on the left. Photographer: Unknown

A rare design by the late graphics master Barney Bubbles has come to light after four decades; the psychedelic sci-fi drumhead was painted for Hawkwind when the space rocking Sonic Assassins undertook tours around the world following their success with the Silver Machine single in 1972.

Decorated drumheads and equipment behind Robert Calvert, Michael Moorcock and Lemmy performing Hawkwind’s set at the festival in Windsor Great Park in 1973. Photo: Dave Walkling

Stacia Blake performing in front of the drumhead during Hawkwind’s set at Windsor 1973. Photographer: Unknown

Stacia Blake performing in front of the drumhead during Hawkwind’s set at Windsor 1973. Photographer: Unknown

Stacia Blake performing in front of the drumhead during Hawkwind’s set at Windsor 1973. Photographer: Unknown

Stacia Blake and Hawkwind

The design of a snarling apparition – a so-called ‘Hawklord’ as depicted on the group’s album Doremi Sofal Latido – was one of a pair which adorned the front of the twin bass-drums in Simon King’s kit during this period.

 

12″ paper inner for Barney Bubbles’ packaging for Doremi Fasol Latido, Hawkwind, UA, 1972

12″ paper inner for Barney Bubbles’ packaging for Doremi Fasol Latido, Hawkwind, UA, 1972

Detail of grimacing Hawklord from the Doremi inner

Detail of grimacing Hawklord from the Doremi inner

Simon King captured in a 1973 Hawkwind rehearsal with the companion drumhead in the foreground. Photo: (c) Barrie Wentzell/www.barriewentzell.com

Simon King captured in a 1973 Hawkwind rehearsal with the companion drumhead in the foreground. Photo: (c) Barrie Wentzell/www.barriewentzell.com

Bubbles – charged with “Optics” and effectively the group’s art director – applied an integrated approach to the collective far beyond the remit of just creating album sleeves, posters and other promotional material.

 

 

3 x Barney Bubbles drumheads: Top two for Pete Thomas (1974 and 1977) and above for Glen Colson (1983)

3 x Barney Bubbles drumheads: Top two for Pete Thomas (1974 and 1977) and above for Glen Colson (1983)

 

As mentioned in my Barney Bubbles monograph Reasons To Be Cheerful, the visual impact of painted drumheads appealed to Bubbles; as well as these for Hawkwind, he designed others for Pete Thomas (of Chilli Willi And The Red Hot Peppers/The Attractions), Will Birch (Kursaal Flyers/The Records) and his publicist friend Glen Colson.

 

HAwkwind drum kit

 

The current owner of the amazing Hawkwind drum-head has treasured it for a number of years.