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DikMik 11/2017

November 16, 2017 – DikMik (Hawkwind) was born Michael Davies in 1943 in Richmond, England.

In 1969, DikMik Davies and friend Nik Turner signed on as roadies for the group that Dave Brock, a childhood friend of theirs, had formed with guitarist Mick Slattery, bassist John Harrison and drummer Terry Ollis.

It was the time of early psychedelics and electronic music and DikMik’s interest in the burgeoning genre of electronic music had led to him being offered a slot in the psychedelic space rock band Hawkwind, before even their first gig of .

Gatecrashing a local talent night at the All Saints Hall, Notting Hill, they were so disorganised as to not even have a name, opting for “Group X” at the last minute, nor any songs, choosing to play an extended 20-minute jam on The Byrds’ “Eight Miles High.” BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel was in the audience and was impressed enough to tell event organizer, Douglas Smith, to keep an eye on them. Smith signed them up and got them a deal with Liberty Records on the back of a deal he was setting up for Cochise. The band settled on the name “Hawkwind” after briefly being billed as “Group X” and “Hawkwind Zoo”.

DikMik’s oscillators, noise generators and synthesizers were the hyperdrive for Spaceship Hawkwind. Dik Mik was the keyboard warrior in the classic Hawkwind. His swooshes of noise not only opened up new constellations of sound, but made him inaverdently one of the key musicians of his time. A harbinger of future eletronic based music it would be fair to argue that DikMik was a pioneeer of not only industrial music like Throbbing Gristle but also much electronic music from Aphex Twin and beyond. Unfortunately his tenure only lasted the best part of almost 5 years

By the time of their 1970 self-titled debut album Hawkwind, Slattery had been replaced by guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton. A year later, DikMik got badly injured in a car accident and was temporarily replaced by the band’s sound engineer, Del Dettmar. Bandleader Dave Brock felt that two synthesized keyboard would give the band a fatter sound so DikMik, who had planned an India trip was back in the ine up by August, in time for their second album, In Search of Space. According to the Hawkwind Museum fan site, when he rejoined the band, he was also trying to bring his roommate in as second guitarist to little success. However, when bassist Dave Anderson didn’t show up for a gig, they gave DikMik’s roommate, Lemmy Kilmister, a shot on bass.

DikMik lasted two more albums, 1973’s Doremi Fasol Latido and their classic live record Space Ritual. But after a tour, he chose to stay in Rome after a show, which soon spelled the end of his time with the band.

“Things like that members not turning up for a gig used to happen all the time – different people would go away for a few weeks and nobody would think anything of it,” Brock said in 1973. “But now, because we’re more well known, you do anything like that and people start thinking, ‘ah-ha…” Actually Del Dettmar experienced the same fate as he took a wrong plane, ended up in Canada and never left. 

He is also remembered as a genuine character, part of the heart and soul of the classic Hawkind chaos and the man who brought his mate Lemmy into the band because he needed a speed buddy – stuff like that is part of rock lore and we love the stories of the pair’s madness but we just want to thank the cosmic warrior for creating a whole new way of -playing music which is often overlooked…

Other than an unlikely credit for bass and guitar on speed metal band Exciter’s eponymous 1986 album, his only recording credits are with Hawkwind.

The only thing I could find so far about Dik Mik’s later years are various entries in Hawkwind saxophone player Nik Turners blog in July 2016, where he describes how Dik Mik lives on and off on his property in Sweden, mostly in a wigwam they built together. The last entry of DikMik being alive and in good spirits was published on April 10, 2017. There is also mention that he worked in Oxford, Denmark and Finland for a while, always in music, finding new cosmic tones and tunes. It is said that he liked hallucinogenic drugs more than music.

DikMik walked over the rainbow on November 16, 2017. He was somewhere between 72 and 73 years old. 

“We are very sad to let you know that our old friend and band mate DikMik, (Michael Davies), passed away early this morning,” Hawkwind wrote on its Facebook page. “He will be loved and remembered for his innovative contributions not only to Hawkwind, but to a whole musical genre of which he was an important pioneer.”

The post also included a note from Hawkwind founder Dave Brock, the only original member still in the band. “I remember when DikMik joined the band, he bought himself an audio generator from Tottenham Court Road, got himself a Watkins Copycat echo unit, a fold up card table, (complete with green baize), and became one of the innovators of electronic music! It was on DikMik’s suggestion, and later persistence, that we got Lemmy to join the band and you know the rest! Goodbye old chap your legend lives on……x”

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