Robert Calvert (9 April 1944 - 14 August 1988) was a writer, poet, and musician.
Born Robert Newton Calvert in Pretoria, South Africa, Calvert moved to England when he was two years of age and attended school in London and Margate. He began his career by writing poetry and in 1967 formed a Street Theatre group Street Dada Nihilismus. He was best known as the lead singer, poet and frontman of Hawkwind intermittently from 1972-1979 during which time he co-wrote their hit single "Silver Machine" and directed their Space Ritual Tour. Calvert suffered from bipolar disorder, at one point being sectioned under the Mental Health Act, Lemmy would sing on the single version of "Silver Machine", his vocal an overdub of a live recording taken at the Roundhouse in London. "They tried everyone else singing it except me" Lemmy later said.
During periods away from Hawkwind duties, and after finally leaving the group in 1979, Calvert worked on his solo career, his creative output including albums, stage plays, poetry, and a novel. His first solo album, Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters, attained mainstream success.
His other musical collaborators include Michael Moorcock, Brian Eno, Arthur Brown, Jim Capaldi, Steve Pond, Inner City Unit, Vivian Stanshall, Nektar, John Greves, Adrian Wagner, Amon Düül II, and Spirits Burning (posthumously).
Calvert died of a heart attack in 1988 in Ramsgate, England.
Full article ▸