Mick Slattery, co-founder of Hawkwind and its original guitarist, has died aged 77.
Hawkwind announced in a Facebook post on Saturday (March 18) that Slattery died “peacefully at home” the previous day (March 17) following a short illness.
Slattery formed Hawkwind with his Famous Cure bandmate Dave Brock in 1969. They joined forces with John Harrison (bass), Terry Ollis (drums), Nik Turner (saxophone/flute) and Michael “Dik Mik” Davies (keyboards) and initially went by the name Group X.
Brock wrote in the tribute on Facebook: “Me and Mick played together in a band called Famous Cure in 1967, touring Holland before going on to form Hawkwind in 1969.
“I have lots of fond memories from our younger days, playing together in Holland and hanging out in Richmond at the L’Auberge Cafe and Eel Pie Island. In the late 60s, we used to rehearse in my upstairs flat in Putney and also in the basement of Bob Kerr’s music shop in Gwalior Road, playing loud music, much to the annoyance of our neighbours. Fly free old friend.”
The band originally performed at All Saints Hall in Notting Hill, London before they had a name. They came up with Group X because they didn’t have a title at the time of first playing live, eventually landing on Hawkwind.
Slattery played on an original version of early Hawkwind song ‘Hurry On Sundown’, which was recorded by the band as Hawkwind Zoo during some initial studio time to record demos.
The track was eventually released in a 1996 reissue of Hawkwind’s self-titled 1970 debut album.
Slattery left Hawkwind in 1969 and was replaced by Huw Lloyd-Langton. He continued to make music with musicians who’d played in Hawkwind (with Turner in the group Space Ritual, and with Hawkwind’s former bassist, Alan Davey, in his Hawkestrel project).
The guitarist’s passing comes four months after Turner died at the age of 82.
Turner performed with the space rock pioneers until 1976, including a period with a pre-Motörhead Lemmy also in the band, before being kicked out. He returned in 1982 for a two-year stint before leaving once again.