Watch Eric Clapton Join Hawkwind for Eight Songs During U.K. Show
Eric Clapton linked up with Hawkwind for a lengthy guest turn during their show in Guildford, England, part of the space-rock band's 50th anniversary tour.
The ex-Cream guitarist came onstage during "The Watcher," a 1972 track written by future Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister before he split with Hawkwind.
Adding bluesy licks and solos on his Fender Stratocaster, Clapton hung around for the rest of the main set and full encore, playing on seven additional songs: 1970's "Hurry on Sundown," 1971's "Silver Machine" and "Master of the Universe," 1973's "Welcome to the Future," 1975's "Assault and Battery" and "The Golden Void" and 1992's "Right to Decide." Watch below.
Clapton is a longtime friend of singer-guitarist Dave Brock, Hawkwind's lone original member. The pair often played guitar together during their pre-fame teenage years in the early '60s.
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'The Watcher' With Hawkwind
"It would’ve been about ’63 or ’64 – quite early on," Brock told Music Radar in 2018. "We used to sit around plonking away on guitars. We used to hang out in Richmond because it was a really nice place, and go down Eel Pie Island and meet up in L’Auberge coffee bar. Eric lived in Cobham in Surrey, which isn’t far from there. That’s where everybody used to hang out. We used to sit there and play guitar and swap around — each one of us would have a go. We used to sit in Richmond Park, drinking cider and smoking marijuana."
Clapton was so young that he didn't yet own an instrument. "I used to play blues guitar and Eric didn't have a guitar," Brock told the Quietus in 2011. "We used to sit there and I would show a few chords to him, 'off you go' and then [later] he'd have his guitar, we used to sit there playing together. I've got some photographs from then."
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'Silver Machine' With Hawkwind
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'Assault & Battery / Void of Golden Light' With Hawkwind
In another Cream connection, late drummer Ginger Baker played drums on Hawkwind's 1980 record, Levitation. Decades later, Clapton sat in on an orchestral-backed version of "The Watcher" from Hawkwind's 2018 album, Road to Utopia.
Brock has continued to lead Hawkwind across 32 LPs and several live releases. The band's most recent studio effort, All Aboard the Skylark, arrived in October.
Clapton recently played a trio of U.S. shows leading up to his Crossroads Guitar Festival. He released Happy Xmas, his first holiday LP, last year.
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'Right to Decide' With Hawkwind
Watch Eric Clapton Perform 'Master of the Universe / Welcome to the Future' With Hawkwind