Tuesday, 7 July 2009

WHEN DUNDEE BANNED HAWKWIND - 1972

37 years ago this month, 29 July 1972 to be exact, Hawkwind played a gig at the Caird Hall which resulted in them being banned from Dundee straight after the show!
What caused the commotion was not so much the band, but their female dancer, Stacia, who liked to perform naked on stage.
Predictably, the concert made the local headlines next day and revealed a rather amusing sideshow.
It turns out that they had actual procedures in place at Caird Hall to prevent such an "incident" occurring, but it didn't go to plan on the night.
It was Dundee Lord Provost Fitzgerald who announced the ban next day, then went on to state what the emergency procedure should have entailed.
The strategy was this - someone in charge would be on standby for any controversial event that took place on stage, at which point the lights would be switched off, the police would be called and those responsible would be charged. However, when the time came to put it into practise, the person in charge wasn't present and the instruction was never carried out!
I don't have a ticket stub to put on show, but I do have an NME guide showing the gig date and the magazine "Words" also from 1972 with Hawkwind on the cover (that's Stacia in the insert). The article inside says that "Stacia has been delighting rock audiences with her free-form dancing. She believes in complete freedom of expression, even down to taking her clothes off on stage, if and when she feels like it".
So there you have it, when she was in Dundee, she just felt like it.!!
I was 14 when all this was stirring, and although I wasn't at this gig, I did at least have the "Silver Machine" single!

9 comments:

  1. Like all councils,they shut the the stable door after the horse has bolted. Dundee council proudly announced a few years later that the Sex Pistols were to be banned from playing in the city-too late was the cry-they had already been to the Bowling Alley-a gig I was fortunate to be at. The films Easy Rider and Ulysses were also banned from the mainstream cinemas but they were shown at the Tivoli. I believe that Glasgow council has only recently lifted the ban on Monty Python's Life of Brian.
    These councils show the typical "We know better than you" attitude. Apparently we are all too feeble minded to make up our own minds about what to watch or not. Pathetic.

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  2. Hi Anonymous.

    I too saw Easy Rider (and "I Am Curious Yellow") at the Tiv but I think you'll find, particularly in the case of IACY that films at the Tiv may not have had a British Board certification. What happened in these cases was that the local licensing(?) committee viewed the film and awarded a "local certificate"; or didn't.

    I saw two or three films at the Tiv that were cleared for showing by the local council; usually the film started with a certificate from one of the London boroughs, rather than the certificate from the BBFC.

    To get back to the topic: The Hawkwind gig was excellent! I seem to remember it was on a Wednesday night. Me and my mates were wondering what to do that evening - I'm sure it was during the holiday fortnight - and the gig was advertised in the Tele or somewhere. We didn't have tickets but it wasn't a sell-out so we paid at the door.
    There was a large screen hanging from the roof behind the stage, over the choir steps, showing them thar psychedelic images.
    And then there was Stacia... Her first appearance was in a long flowing dress/cape type thingy; her second appearance, later on, got the band banned.

    Reminds me of a story about Cream playing at the "Two Red Shoes" in Elgin. One of the local dignitaries wasn't impressed with their performance and vowed that Cream would never play in Elgin again.

    8=)

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  3. I was at this concert and found Stacia's dancing a rather uplifting experience. I had banged into Lemmy earlier in the afternoon outside the Caird Hall and he was rather hmmmmh space ritualled, he kept putting both hands inside his tee shirt and rotating them at speed, no pun intended.

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  4. I WAS AT THIS CONCERT TOO. 15 YEARS OLD. GREAT MEMORIES OF TWO THINGS THAT EVENING, BOTH BELONGING TO THE AMAZONIAN STACIA.
    THE BAND WERE LATE SO AROUND FOUR OF THEM STARTED THE GIG. THE MUSIC WAS TRULY AWFUL AND MANY INCLUDING ME LEFT AS THE HOUSELIGHTS WENT UP BEFORE THE NOISE FINISHED. GLAD I WAS THERE THOUGH FOR THE SIDESHOW..

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  5. I was at that gig and it was the worst gig I ever went to apart from Wishbone Ash. Thankfully most gigs at The Caird Hall where of a very high standard.

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  6. I was at the next gig after Hawkwind banning at the Caird Hall which I think was Wishbone Ash. and I think the drummer read a letter they had had from Dundee Council warning them to keep theior clothes on . Quite funny.

    Also (unfortunately) I was at Hawkwind's PREVIOUS gig at the Caird Hall which had NO nude dancing!

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  7. the gig was in july 1972. i was there, and like others thought it was a load of shite. when stacia came on in the nood, a few boys ran to the front to get a better look.
    next day, wullie fitzgerald, the provost said he had been inundated with complaints form people who had been at the concert and were offended by the appearance of a nood woman.
    it was like publicly proclaiming that he was an idiot, which he was. thankfully, him and the rest of the tories lost the next cooncil election.
    in late 70s, dont remember what year, provost charlie farquar announced that the sex pistols would never be allowed to play in dundee. that was six months after they had played at tech college union in the marketgait.
    remember wullie fitzmuppet also banned the film the devils in early 70s.

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  8. The ban must have been lifted or forgotten 'cos I went to see Hawkwind play live on Hawkhill in 1982 where they played at the Uni. Saxophonist and warbler Nik Turner was back in the fold, resplendent in his psychedelic cat-suit, orange mohawk tuft and roller-skates. I met guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton before the show and got him to autograph my Rizla packet. I commented to him that his signature resembled a cardiograph heartbeat, to which he replied, "Yeah, I come from a medical family..." I canny find my ticket stub but I've still got the programme tucked away with my vynyl. It's amazing but I'll be going to see the mighty Hawks in their 40th year this December in Glasgow's ABC.

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  9. Totally under rated band, amazing, awesome. Somebody should ban Councils, bastards just sit there lining their own pockets at our expense and try to dictate.

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