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Strange Daze 1997
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Trippin' and Freaking Out at America's Premier SpaceRock Festival!

Festival Music 1

Festival Music 2

Strange Daze '98 is over and what a great festival it was! Our thanks to all of the wonderful people who joined us over the 3 day weekend. This was an opportunity for the Hawk Tribe to come out...... and come out they did! With advance sale tickets costing only $40 (children under 12 free) for 3 days and 2 nights of swimming, camping, and cooking out, along with the music of Hawkwind and 12 other SpaceRock bands from around the country, it was an attractive bargain and a good way for a family to spend some quality time together. There was a supervised area for children's activities called the Hawk`s Nest and some folks were found to have come all the way from Europe and the Middle East!! Truly, the beginnings of a world class affair!

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park was a beautiful setting for this event with a cool, clear lake for swimming. There were many wooded campsites (which proved to be where some of the wilder parties were that weekend) along with some quieter campsites geared more for relaxing. The lake was very refreshing and many people took advantage of it, some jumping off of a 15 ft. cliff side into the water, others just sitting on the small beach, after some lazy afternoons spent watching great SpaceRock bands play some incredible sets of music.

The gates opened early Friday to a perfect August day. Warm, sunny, and one of the driest months of the year in this part of Ohio. Great festival weather! People started filing in early in the morning. This gave them a chance to familiarize themselves with the campground layout and enough time to find a good spot to set up their campsites before it got crowded or too late in the day.

The music was scheduled to begin at 5 pm Friday. After a slight delay, the evening began with the dedication of Strange Daze '98 to the memory of Robert Calvert and All who have come before Us! For those of you who don't know, Robert Calvert was a singer, poet, playwright, and one of Hawkwind's few front men. With his vision, fertile imagination and sci-fi lyrics, he had a tremendous influence on the direction Hawkwind's music took in the early days. Coincidentally, Strange Daze '98 would begin on the 10th anniversary of his passing..

Master of Ceremonies was Thom the World Poet from Austin, Texas. Thom is a bundle of positive energy who's traveled around the world doing his unique "stream of consciousness" poetry at many Poetry Slams. He has also performed his word wizardry with such bands as The Space Brothers and Gong. Here, there, everywhere was Thom, exhorting people to open up their ears, minds, and selves! Say "Yes, Thom!". Thom kept things moving, and people thinking, between the acts throughout the festival.

The first band up was Kid from Cleveland (Craig Schultz: guitar, keyboards, vocals - Curtis Schultz: drums, sound effects - Gary O'Brian bass, bass peddles) .....from Cleveland! Didn't see that coming... didja? Fronted by the Schultz brothers, it is a family affair. Their music is very heartfelt, with a heavy Pink Floyd influence and a lot of jamming thrown in. They were well received by the large, appreciative crowd that was eagerly waiting for the music to begin.

Architectural Metaphor from Massachusetts were scheduled next. Unfortunately, their car was broken into the night before when they played a pre-fest gig in NYC. This caused them to arrive at the park too late to take their spot, so they were rescheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Filling in for them was Canis Minor from NYC (Thom Karshish: chapman stick - Joe Silver: keyboards) Hearing them earlier in the day as they jammed around their campsite, they were the natural solution to ArcMets unexpected absence. Ready and willing to play (Canis Minor actually had wanted to play SD '98 but were told there were no more slots left) they did excellent and things worked out well for everyone. Featuring some haunting poetry and whispers by guest vocalist Billy Capozzi and accompanied by Thom Marianetti on a solitary djembe drum, they were unusual, spacey, and dreamy. Canis Minor was a pleasant surprise and they set the proper mood for that night's headliner to appear.

Pressurehed from California (Tommy Grenas: guitar, vocals - Len Del Rio: keys, synths, samples, 'tronics, - Doran Shelley: guitar - Paul Fox: bass, vocals - Lack Clontz: drums) were the final act for the night. You have to see Pressurehed live to really appreciate their brand of hard driving, blood boiling SpaceRock. These boys can fly through space! They do a complete presentation, choreographed to some fabulous film footage presented by Rob Jacob's' Midnite Sun Lightshow. Using film, strobes, and multiple projectors, Rob does a fast paced, yet very cohesive image laden show. You go up, down, in, out, and all around while scenes fly by you, one after another!

During the second song we witnessed, live on stage, a mysterious man (Greg Stacko) dressed in a white robe and wearing a crown of thorns as he "resurrects" a Space Age Adam (Scott Kuti). Once animated, Adam rises out of his eternal sleep and proceeds to glow with flowing colorful light as he does a joyful dance to their music, just happy to be alive! Later, he removes his mask like breathing apparatus to reveal that HE HAS NO FACE!. A blank, featureless man! He could be YOU... he could be ME... he could have been any one of US!

Pressurehed also did an amazing cover of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" while a surprisingly hip Alien plummets in a free fall! Pausing only long enough to peer out at the audience, as if to see what's happening out there, he gives us a knowing wink before pushing off backwards to continue his tumbling, downward journey. Definitely one of the highlights of their set and the evening!

Deficiencies in the sound system became apparent during Pressurehed's set and the sound proved to be a little uneven throughout the festival. Though not as good as it should have been, it wasn't terrible and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The energy level was high as people reluctantly left the stage area to make their way back to their individual campsites, hooting and hollering into the evening's inky blackness. They were all pumped up for a night of partying around the campfire with family & friends. Some to enjoy good smoke and good conversation, others to Trip Out and dance the night away in the silvery moonlight under a canopy of stars!. A magical evening to be sure.

Saturday dawned and revealed many vendors whose colorful tents popped up overnight like mushrooms (ummmmmm.... mushrooms!) dotting the side of the roadways. There were many items offered! Custom silver jewelry, unique colorful clothes, herbal stands with literature on naturally healing herbs and spices, Native American crafts, etc. There was also a rib shack there (open till 4 am) and other food and drink available. There was even a vendor making some dynamite natural Fruit Smoothies. Delicious!

Many bands had their music for sale and there was an abundance of Hawkwind's music and memorabilia being offered. CD's, rare vinyl records and beautifully framed posters. This was the place to be if you were a Hawkwind collector, or in search of anything rare. Prices ranged from cheap to expensive with most things falling somewhere in the middle. You could get a full color festival T-shirt, button, 4" sticker & color mini poster for $20.

First up Saturday starting at 11 am was Quarkspace (Chet Santia: Bass, Guitar, Vox - Jay Swanson: Keyboards - Dave Wexler: Guitars - Paul Williams: Drums, Keyboards, Loops) from Columbus, Ohio. The stage was now arrayed with seven large, colorful tie-dyed cloths that arrived too late to use Friday. Quarkspace proceeded to wake everyone one up with an very energetic, yet smooth set. Inviting the audience to "wake and bake" with them these guys took off and got hotter as the sun rose! Thom the Poet joined them for a bit in a very spacey number and they did a few new tunes. I have been watching these guys for a while now and they have just been getting better and spacier all the time! A great performance and a perfect start to the day.

ST37 (Mark Stone: rhythm guitar - Joel Crutcher: lead guitar - Carlton Crutcher: synths, vocals - Scott Telles: bass, vocals, tapes - Dave Cameron: drums) from Austin, Texas was next. No small musicians here! Great, big, beefy boys, from cattle country putting out a big, driving spacey sound. Lots of sound effects, so essential to SpaceRock, were abundant throughout their set. A lady from the audience named Michelle, joined them on stage to sing a song, some sort of social commentary about the woes of a Native American woman who robs an armored car. I didn't quite get all of it, but obviously ST37 is a band with a social conscience! Another guest, Doug Pearson, joined in with some spirited sawing on his Violin and Thom the World Poet also helped them out with some excellent word smithing.

By the time ST37 ended, big fluffy clouds were floating in the blue sky. A few, looking a bit ominous, proved to just be passing by - giving sporadic shade to the grateful folks in front of the stage. While there were some trees positioned about 150-200 feet away from the stage, the rest of the area was wide open, offering no shelter from the hot sun.

Taking the stage in the rising afternoon heat was F/i (Brian Wensing: guitar - Rick Hake: drums - Jeff Chase: bass - Grant Richter: electronics from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Strongly influenced by Kraut Rock, this is a very strong, mostly instrumental group. Allowing their music to wash over you in waves, synths burping and farting into the summer afternoon (must be all of that good cheese, beer and bratwurst), it was easy to drift into deep space. Good, solid guitar work and precision playing drives you into space at warp speed. Many of the spacey sound effects were not just made with keyboards, but with other items as well. Mouth harp? Whistle? I'm not sure. Lots of very good electronics in this band.

By the time Melting Euphoria (Anthony Who: bass - Zero: synths - Michael Merrill: drums - Bob Clic: guitar) from California took the stage, the worst of the afternoon's sun was over although the heat remained. After driving 3 days in a van to get to the festival they were anxious to play and it showed in their excellent performance! Extremely trippy, they are another instrumental band with pounding drums and plenty of melting guitar over lush keyboards and sound effects, flavored much like the Ozric's! At last year's festival, they were the only band to be rained on, shortening their already too short set. This year they tempted fate again by playing THE RAIN SONG!! But, as I've said, this is the driest month of the year for this area and our luck held out! In addition to their own material, they treated everyone to a cover of Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive"!

You could feel the excitement growing as the night went on, each band seemingly going faster and Faster and FASTER until every bit of the space in front of the stage was filled with music! Glorious, Trippy Music! Psychedelia ruled tonight and minds were opened! Everybody was giving their very best and it showed. The Spirit was apparent tonight! Now it was nearing twilight time and it started to cool off as Alien Planetscapes began setting up the stage equipment.

Alien Planetscapes (Doug Walker aka Dr. Synth: keyboards, electronic flute, effects - Matthew Block: drums, percussion - Chris Altenhof: bass, tapes/loops, effects - Rob Alfonso: guitars, devices, effects) from New York City were great! Calling themselves Americas' oldest, hardest working SpaceRock band, they set out to prove it. After dedicating their set to Born to Go's keyboardist Louis Boone (aka Dr. Electron) who couldn't make it to the festival because he was sick and in the hospital, they launched into some fast, hot and heavy SpaceRock! Accelerating at an enormous rate, they climb fast into the stratosphere before breaking out into space. Slowing down, rolling over and floating for a while, relaxing before taking you deeper still into the void....flute, scorching guitar, relentless drumming and the ever present Dr. Synth, his keyboards popping and percolating, the sound churning around in mid air as if it were alive! Their music was superbly crafted and whole. Everything was right where it should be! Doug Walker is a musician's musician. The good doctor runs a tight ship and they were in fine form tonight. A very powerful set, helped by the fact that they bring their own sound man with them. He knows what they want and he gives it to them. Very, very, good. Other bands should take heed and remember the value of a good sound man who knows their material well. After all, the medium is SOUND and you shouldn't ignore it or leave it in the hands of some incompetent person who doesn't know or care about your music.

You could feel the tension in the air building as the stage was cleared and reset for the legendary Hawkwind. Founding member Dave Brock had been conspicuously absent the last two days, leading to some speculation about what may be happening. Also missing was vocalist Ron Tree, surely not a good sign in these Evil Times! What follows is the sordid tale, the best it can be pieced together from the different people who were involved...


Behind the scenes there was a deep concern about Dave Brock appearing at the festival. He had been told on the Monday before the festival that the waiver he needed for his US Work Visa was "in the mail". The waiver is an extra procedure he must go through because of an old conviction involving a pot plant many years ago, long, long forgotten by everybody.

Well... almost everybody!


This is the day and age of the hypocritical "Zero Tolerance Policy" by the US Government. They appear to be intolerant of everything except their petroleum, medical, pharmaceutical, booze, gambling, tobacco, and mind control industries. Evidently, they can just hang a label on anyone who ever had a minor felony drug offense, using it to limit their legal rights under the law and justify hassling them about such silly things as their admittance into the US to perform at a common music festival.


Knowing that the mail can go from one end of England to another in a matter of 2 days, Dave Brock felt that things would work out in time and continued on with his plan to catch a flight to Toronto, Canada on Wednesday the 12th. However, when the time came to catch that flight the waiver had not arrived in Dave's post box. Not knowing what to do, he opted to take the flight and have someone check his post box daily for the waiver. When it arrives, he reasoned, they would be able to take it to the airport and have it couriered to Dave in Toronto. Still being the middle of the week, that appeared workable. If nothing else, he felt he could always just enter the country as a tourist until they straightened out the work waiver. After all, they haven't said he couldn't do that. So he got on the plane with the rest of the band, hoping for the best.


Arriving in Toronto, Baron Brock and his crew (Kris Tait, Richard Chadwick, Ron Tree, Jerry Richards, and Capt. Rizz) disembarked and went to find their luggage. Soon they were in customs, trying to clear the gate and catch their connecting flight to Cleveland, Ohio. They were to meet up with their rented equipment there and run through a rehearsal Thursday night just to make sure everything was working all right.

As they went through customs, everything seemed to be going fine. Dave had no problem going through the line and was soon walking down the hall towards his designated gate. Suddenly a man from customs comes running up to Dave, saying there's a problem with his visa and he would have to come with him to answer some questions. So Dave & Kris Tait go with him.


Dave & Kris follow the man into a room. As the door shuts behind them, he looks out of the little cell like window and sees the rest of the band being led in different directions. Ron Tree in one, and Richard Chadwick, Jerry Richards, and Capt. Rizz in another. This is the last he sees of them! After being asked some questions, Richard, Jerry, and Rizz are allowed to enter the US and they catch a later flight to Cleveland.

Ron was another story. As everyone knows, Ron is an original and hardly looks like your run-of-the-mill British tourist. He may have long, green hair and his eyebrows could have reptilian green stripes alternating with his natural hair color. Oh well, we love him any ways! Customs, on the other hand, must not have been too pleased with they way he looked, however it was! They informed him that he also needed a waiver (which wasn't even applied for in his case) and not having that waiver he would not be allowed into the US. Dave and Kris were told the same thing about Dave's waiver. Even though his HAD been approved and was supposedly on it's way to his post box, there was no way to confirm this and he would have to have it in his possession to enter the country. In this era of satellite communications and the world wide web, it's really just the same old World War II mantra.... Your Papers, pleeeze!


After checking into a hotel near the airport, Dave calls Cleveland to say that they will not be on their scheduled flight, and explains what is going on. Asked about the rest of the band, he says he hasn't seen them and has no idea where they are at the moment. Nothing else to do he can only sit tight, waiting for his waiver to be brought over when it arrives. Suggesting that the rest of the band may very well be on the next scheduled flight to Cleveland, he expresses hope that things will be cleared up in the next day or two (it's still only Wednesday), then hangs up to get some much needed rest. Going to the airport we discover that the band did manage to catch the next flight and were pleased to meet up with Richard, Jerry and Capt. Rizz. Discussing the situation, it is decided that the best thing to do is to just keep our fingers crossed and proceed as planned. It wasn't until right before the rehearsal on Thursday night that we find out Ron Tree spoke to Dave and they decided it would be best for Ron to return home on the next flight back. None of Ron's vocals! It's a major bummer for us, but we carry on.


As everyone gets the equipment together Thursday, we begin to think the unthinkable. What if Brock can't get in? What were we going to do? Scrambling into action, we start to formulate an alternate plan. Luckily for us there are a few hard core Hawkfans in Cleveland who are also good musicians. One is Steve Taylor, a guitarist who guested with Nik Turner when Nik toured Cleveland with the boys from Pressurehed. The other one is Steve Hayes, Hawkwind's stage manager on their '97 US tour,a keyboardist and a recording engineer. His Salad Farm Studios recorded last year's Strange Daze '97. They were together in the short lived Cleveland band named Sun Machine. Both are good men, tried and true. They offered their services to help in any way they can and Richard, Jerry and Capt. Rizz readily accepted. Because of the absence of Ron (and possibly Dave) a new set list had to be devised. Most of the new material Hawkwind had planned to play at the festival would have to be back shelved for the time being. It was time to bring out some old favorites and possibly even come up with something new for the occasion!

While hoping that we wouldn't have to actually use plan "B", we felt much better knowing that we wouldn't be caught off guard if things took a turn for the worst.


Friday morning dawns! The first day of the festival and we prepare to leave for the campground. Calling Dave in Toronto we discover he was informed that the visa waiver was not in that days mail back home. We tell him about plan "B" and he agrees that there really is nothing else to do. There was a slight possibility that the waiver could arrive in Dave's postal box on Saturday morning and, thanks to the time difference with England, if rushed to Dave immediately there may be time for him to drive by car to the Niagara Falls/Buffalo border. Crossing there, he could drop down into Ohio (about 4 hours away) and arrive at the campground just in time to play Saturday night. It was truly a slight chance, but it WAS possible! With nothing else to do, we leave for the festival knowing that whatever was going to happen, we wouldn't know for sure until Saturday.


Come Saturday afternoon we discover that Dave will not be there. His waiver didn't arrive on that mornings flight from London and our last slim thread of hope was severed. We now know what must be done. The Spaceship will have to lift off without Dave Brock and Ron Tree! More determined than ever, we press on with our preparations. It's decided that nothing is to be gained by announcing it any earlier than necessary, so nothing is said to the festival goer's who were enjoying themselves blissfully unaware of the problems. "StrangeWind" (my personal favorite out of Hawk Sun, Wind Machine, etc.) was about to be born! With the Sun going down and The Solar Fire Lightshow busily setting up for Hawkwinds set, anticipation and tension was running high!

Electricity was building in the air and the already large crowd was swelling as people from all over the campground gathered around the stage. Families and friends, communing with the Spirit and with each other, were sitting peacefully in lawn chairs with coolers by their sides while others walked around mingling! A few people were hollering and whistling for the show to start. It was a beautiful night!


The time had finally come and a StrangeWind (Richard Chadwick: drums, percussion - Jerry Richards: lead guitar, synths, vocals - Capt. Rizz: noisemaker, vocals - Steve Taylor: bass - Steve Hayes: keyboards) began to pick up, growing stronger as the Spaceship was ready to lift off! Lights dim and moiré patterns gently pulsate onto the stage and white canvas backdrop while Capt. Rizz advises everyone to "control your own minds... if you can! Or shall we control it for you? We really don't mind! One Tribe, one Spirit!". In a firm voice Richard Chadwick announces that he has a message for all who have come here tonight in memory of Robert Calvert."Dave Brock and Ron Tree cannot be here tonight. They were stopped at the border!". Momentary disbelief and stunned silence from the crowd of Hawkfans as the words sink in. "We are the Ones who are Left" roars Richard, real savage like, as the crowd goes crazy cheering their approval, fists held high in the air! Rizz tells them "YOU will come with US..... they will not be able to stop it. WE'RE IN CONTROL! Customs? Ha ha hahahaha! Well? We're still here....and you're still here, so they didn't stop it, did they? DID THEY??".


After promising that Dave and Ron will be back next year, they urge everybody to do what they would have us do. Yelling "Let's Party!" they launch into "Wheels" off of their "Distant Horizons" CD. A classic sounding Hawkwind song about modern society's dependence on oil, the pollution it causes, and the apparent dead end road the Human Race is treading. A real cruncher as Richard urges the rest of the band to keep up with him. "Come on!" he yells as the nuclear drive revs up and the Spaceship starts to lift off. "How long?" Rizz intones.. "how long do YOU think the wheels will keep on turning? Nuclear radiation leaks through your lands. Your rivers are gone. Your ozone is gone and the Sun just burns! And it's like you don't..... really!" he accuses. "DO you really care? It's your world people, come on!"

The Solar Fire Lightshow (Scott Kuti, Jim Lascko, John Merk and Greg Stacko) comes alive with strobes flashing like lightning and swirling moiré effects washing over the stage layered one over the other in constantly moving, throbbing patterns. Looking at all of their equipment earlier while they were setting it up, I was reminded of the Great and Powerful Oz's words - it was indeed "a clinking, clanking, clattering collection of collagenous junk!" How wonderful! No common, off-the-shelf, expensive, high tech wizardry here. No way! They are adept at using something that most lightshows seem to lack. Their IMAGINATION!

With film loops, slides, strobes, smoke, and 6 overhead projectors, they were a study in organized CHAOS and made for some very heavy COSMIC PSYCHEDELIA! Space scenes, solar flares, swirling stars, distorted checkerboard patterns, moon flower effects and kaleidoscopic colors made for a sensory overload.... it was a very lush, 3D, psychedelic feast for the eyes. A very unique and one-of-a-kind lightshow. Who else does something like this, utilizing so many different elements?

After a mostly spoken "Warrior on the Edge of Time" they continue onward into "Assault & Battery", complete with film projected solar flares rising up and engulfing the back of the stage as they slide into space, riding on the edge of time. As Jerry's guitar rises in the mix, we find ourselves gliding weightless through space for a moment, before dropping gently back to Earth. The song fades away and you can hear the distinctive beginning of "Spirit of the Age" grow louder and louder.. "I wish you could have been deep frozen, too" laments our intrepid space traveler for his long, lost love, "and waiting still as fresh in your flesh for my return to Earth!". It seems that even more complicated relationships await us in the Future!

After this classic Hawkwind song, Richard says they are going to do a new composition they wrote about "this place" called "Starfire Mountain Dreaming". "Nice people here, nice place!" compliments Rizz. "It's in your mind, in your heart and in your souls. Starfire Mountain!" Steady bass, droning guitar as the drums pound it out, high hat ringing. "It's YOU! It's all because of you. It's for you.... you're the reason. You made it all possible. Let's all dance for joy!"

The lights and projections became a spinning whirlpool. A giant doomsday meteorite is tumbling through space towards you as planets and stars go by carrying you ever forward into the future..... into space! Eleven minutes (or eons) later it's over as they announce it's "Time We Left This World Today!" They proceed to play that old favorite, following it up with a strange, reggae tinged "Space is Deep". Rizz delivers the lyrics in a singsong fashion as galaxies explode in the swirling background.

Then off into "Brainstorm" and a unique "Camera that Could Lie" where Rizz admonishes us, "Don't let technology rule your life! You can rule your own selves, you can rule your own minds! I hope you're all ready to fly 'cause we're on the runway and we're waiting for take off..... and you don't want to be left behind! Are you ready? Let's fly, let's fly! We're all going to fly with the Hawklords!" As the song builds to a crescendo they advise everyone to: "Leave technology behind. Leave it! Leave your computers! Fly with the Hawklords!" and then back again to the familiar chorus of "Brainstorm". As the song ends on a high note, they express their regrets to anyone who may have missed the flight. "Bye-bye! See you later! Sorry for the ones who were left behind but you're too late...... we're gone!"

Almost 75 minutes long, it seemed like only a moment! You could hear Rizz's noisemaker humming dissonantly, sounding wounded as they make their way off the stage. The hard work paid off! A great show, all things considered. Captain Brock was surely missed, of course, but with Richard in the drivers seat the ship was able to lift off.

The vocals were spread thin with Jerry and Rizz singing unfamiliar parts (and twice as much as normal) while covering for Ron and Dave. Steve Taylor's' bass and Steve Haye's' keyboards were both played on the safe side with a few bright spots from each. Nothing fancy, but solid!They filled in just fine for having to perform on such short notice.

The crowd was chanting for more. "One more" they plead... "just one!". Unfortunately, there will be no more that evening. Thom the Poet explains the sticky situation with the neighbors of the campground who had complained to the authorities the night before. "You as enlightened creatures of the future want to come back next year, don't you?" asks Thom. "These are the Strangest Days we have ever lived in and you will be back and we hope ALL of Hawkwind will be with you next year.... not stopped at the border!". With that the people gave one last round of cheers and applause and then left the stage area for a night of spirited partying.

The next morning everyone gets up looking a bit ragged out. Going into the third day it's starting to show around the edges. Drumplay (Joe Tomino: drum kit - Warren Levert: congas - James Onysko: xylo-marimba) get the day moving with some robust percussion. Recalling the "ancient way" when drums were used for communication and healing they remind us of the power of the drum and the importance of it in the music. They are ever changing, as they love having different musicians sit in on gigs with them. Today they were joined by Christopher Burge on saxophone, and Chet Santia on shakere while Thom the Poet added his stream poetry to this improvisational quintet as only Thom can do. I started feeling rejuvenated and I swear I could hear the new buds popping out on tree branches all around the park. Talk about drum magic!

It was ANOTHER beautiful, sunny day and the temperature begins to climb again as Architectural Metaphor (Greg Kozlowski: guitar - Paul Eggleston: keyboards - Deb Young: drums) set up their equipment. "I don't know about you all but I'm feeling pretty gnarly around the edges" says drummer Deb Young.... "why don't we go with that feeling!". That being said they took off! Great guitar effects layered over some very spacey keyboards with Deb's unique drumming and vocal style added to the mix. After a rough weekend of traveling, a rip off and more traveling they were determined to play! The set may have been shortened a little, but it was still very good in spite of the bad vibes they had experienced from what happened to them. Real SpaceRock troopers!

Next up were Born to Go (Marc Power: bass, vocals - Mark McClemens: drums, percussion - Greg "Fingers" Florko: guitar - Carl "Nomuzic" Howard: synths & audio generators). Sitting in with them was Doug "Dr. Synth" Walker, on the ARP Odyssey synth filling in for their previously mentioned hospitalized keyboardist Louis Boone. This band has to be one of the fastest growing SpaceRock bands we have in the US. Classic in their approach they lift off like the space shuttle fusing their music with great lyrics and very appropriate sci-fi themes such as navigating through space, an android falling in love with a human being which causes it's temperature control to run amok, or the rise of the robo-sapiens who are now starting to populate the earth.

During their cover of Hawkwind's "Orgone Accumulator" they remind us of the story of Wilhelm Reich, inventor of the Orgone Accumulator. With his inventions confiscated and his published works banned by the US Government, he was arrested and thrown into jail where he took sick and DIED! Just another horror story that mirrors what is happening now to people all over this country who dare to disagree with or oppose our most benevolent "democratic government"! Computer's are abused!!

Marc Power has a very good rapport with the audience as he introduces the different songs. This is something that the other bands can learn from. Many times there are awkward silences on stage while the bands fumble with settings or something else that needs attention. I come from the days when bands would come out and play a seamless set with rest for different members built into the show so that the momentum doesn't flag. And what's wrong with working a little solo performance into the context of the whole set while the others take a little breather?

It was a nice moment when Marc's young daughter Arianna bravely joined him on stage to do back-up vocals on the song "Radio Calvert", a musical nod to the influence of Hawkwind's legendary front man/songwriter. This reminds us that the Strange Daze Festival and SpaceRock in general IS a family affair. We believe in family and all are welcome at all events. It's becoming increasingly rare to see one that hasn't been torn apart by the anti-family propaganda so inherent in our decaying society.

The closing act of the festival was Nucleon (Paul Resnik: space bass, keys, lead vocals - Rich Troha: guitar - M.L.: drums). They are a hard working Cleveland favorite. On the rockier side with plenty of space mixed in they pounded out a high energy fast moving set. Paul Resnik was busily adjusting his knobs while furiously singing and playing a keyboard slung over his shoulder like a guitar. Their song "Green Acid" was an apparent crowd pleaser, getting a good reaction from the already SpaceRock saturated crowd. As they had promised earlier... we were destroyed! A perfect closer for a great weekend of music.

Well, that's about it. Everyone who stayed to the end began to pack away their last few things. After saying farewell to friends they may not see again for another year they began their journey home, tired but happy!

Many, many thanks to Hawkwind and all of the fine SpaceRock Bands who participated, Steve Hayes and Steve Taylor for coming through when needed, The Solar Fire Lightshow (Scott Kuti, Greg Stacko, John Merk, Jim Lascko), Rob Jacobs and his Midnite Sun Lightshow, Jan, Elizabeth and Lisa Lascko, Jerry, Maryann and Jerry Lascko Jr., Brian Feather, Jim Onysko, John & Lisa Moroso, Ian Souther, Chris & Mary Bruce, Chef Jeff and his Merry Band, Vicky Blubaugh, Stewy, John Lascko, Jim & Carol Collins, Thom Marianetti, Dave Hess, Evan Kelly and Nelson Ledges Park, all who labor unknown and everyone who came. We couldn't have done it without YOU!

A special thanks to all of our wives, families and friends for putting up with us. Remember..... Future Generations are Relying on Us!

Everlasting thanks to the Eternal One who sits upon the Throne and shows us The Way to Life!



Strange Daze 1998 Review as reported by Strider News

I had the highest expectations for this festival that I perhaps ever had for a music event in my life. I planned on attending for almost a year and remember talking about wanting to go on the ride home from last years Strange Daze. I thought about carrying around a pad and pen writing detailed notes and thoughts while the show was going on, etc. but as this was a three-day festival I really wanted to relax and enjoy myself. Laying back in the shade and just listening to the music, that is really what this is all about. So you will not read a blow by blow description of the proceedings. Rather these are my recollections of Strange Daze '98.

We arrived in the late afternoon of Friday August 14th. I was happy to see that so many people had already arrived. After shaking some hands and dropping the last edition of StriderNews on some of the vendor's tables, I watched a portion of the trio Kid From Cleveland's set, I can't say I was overly impressed, but I think with some more practice they will be ready for Strange Daze '99! The group is comprised of Craig Schultz, guitar, keyboard, vocals; Curt Schultz, drums; Gary O'Brien, bass guitar. Many SpaceRock elements are incorporated into their sound. Though I could do without the Joe Satriani influence.

Originally, Architectural Metaphor was slated to play next, but a change of lineup occurred, and the east coast's Canis Minor, an offshoot of Finally Balanced, was given Arc Met's original slot. Those of you that remember our review of Hawkwind's performance at Coney Island High will recall Finally Balanced was not a group that thrilled me. At that performance I remember there being like eight members in the group. Canis Minor is a duo involving Thom "Sasquatch" Karshish on Chapman Stick and Joe Silver on keyboards. For this performance, fellow Finally Balanced member Billy "Capt. America" Capozzi joined them on vocals and spoken portions. I believe two other members also joined them for this performance. I found this to be much improved from the show I saw a year earlier. I really enjoy Sasquatch's use of the Chapman stick. I still feel they restrain themselves unnecessarily and I am much more satisfied when they stretch out on improvisations. They have avery thorough web site which includes a wealth of sound clips.

The first night's headliner was Pressurehed. I am very much a newbie to this group. I did buy a copy of their most recent release, Explaining the Unexplained, and chatted with Tommy Grenas briefly. I still prefer the group's recorded output as opposed to the live experience; something that surprises me. Mainly this is due to the muddied vocals. I feel it really detracts from the band's sound, on the aforementioned Pressurehed CD the vocals are much clearer and I have been quite pleased with this album. Another CD I will mention comes from one of many offshoots, Anubian Lights. This group gets me going, no problem at all with the vocals; they are virtually all instrumental. The newest release, Let Not The Flame Die Out (Cleopatra) is of the same high caliber as the two previous releases. I personally feel that Anubian Lights has succeeded at what Hawkwind has been attempting for most of the nineties, via their forays into a more techno/ambient sound. For further info on Pressurehed and Anubian Lights check 'em out the web site.

Pressurehed did however, have a fantastic light show. I love a good light show and that was the best part of Pressurehed's performance, and a highlight of the entire festival. In fact, I can say this was hands down the best light show I have ever witnessed! On top of the stage roof a screen was set up that had a variety of moving images projected on it. Behind the group was another screen with more moving images. It really made this performance for me, and I would recommend the live performance for the light show alone. I wish that more of the bands had access to these lights. I love the festival atmosphere and having such a wonderful opportunity to mingle with the performers and audience cannot be equaled. However, I do think that the next Strange Daze should take place indoors. Pressurehed and Hawkwind were the only groups that performed in darkness, and I think the other groups would have benefited greatly from a light show. A possibility would be to have the music continue later into the night, but there are all those pesky curfew ordinances. An interesting indoor event that took place last year, the Orion Space-Rock festival was helped enormously by the light show. This event is scheduled for October 3rd, our review appears in this issue.

That was the end of the musical festivities for the first night, and anticipations for Saturday were very high. I spent some time wandering the campgrounds and carousing with the other attendees. This again is what these festivals are about, and my above statements concerning indoor venues, etc. would not provide this atmosphere. I estimate that there were almost twice as many people present compared to last year's fest, perhaps more. I received a transmission from coordinator Jim Lascko stating the figures at 850 paying attendees and 150 or so band and staff members.

Saturday was a rather hot day and began for me with the arrival of my twenty-sixth year on earth. I could not think of a better way to spend it. The musical activities began with Quarkspace. This is a group I have been really absorbed in, and live this group turns up the throttle. Quarkspace's most recent release, Live Orion, a much-welcomed live album, is much more consistent and gets a StriderNews stamp of approval.

I don't think readers will be surprised to hear me say that I enjoy when a group adds less predictable elements, and I was more then a little stunned to hear them sample the intro of Funkadelic's "Free Your Mind." Still I wish there were a more organic drum. Paul Willams, a talented and skillful drummer, plays an electronic percussion kit and utilizes a wealth of electronic doohickeys. Mostly this provides a distinct sound, but ultimately I would prefer to hear Paul on a more traditional kit or at least employ a real bass drum. I don't doubt that electronic percussion kits will continue to make their presence felt in the upcoming years and I am interested to find out how much customizing Paul does on his kit. Another very important release comes from a Quarkspace side project, National Steam. The self-titled CD by National Steam (our review appears in this issue) is something that I also have been enjoying since Strange Daze. This outgrowth of Quarkspace is composed of Paul Williams and guitarist Dave Wexler. It is much more free-form music and less structured compared to Quarkspace and worth investigating.

There were many groups I had high anticipations for, but F/i was the biggest. I am frantically looking for the bands back catalog, as everything I have heard is surprisingly intriguing. Unfortunately this is far from easy. A live performance from F/i is a rarity and so I won't be moving to Milwaukee anytime soon, but I was amazed that their set comprised a rather diverse offering of their material. A couple tracks off last year's Helioscopium release, the title track from their recent 7" release, and some past nuggets. We have spent a lot space praising this group to the heavens, and personally they are one of my favorite American SpaceRock bands. Further info on the group can be found at their web site.

The second group I had the highest expectations for was ST 37. They also delivered a pounding set that surprised me too. Anytime a group puts out a new album you would expect to hear mainly songs from it. I believe less than half of the set was material from the groups latest release, Spaceage, and many of the songs were unfamiliar to me. I recently purchased the split album Derobe (one side is F/i co-founder Richard Franecki's Vocokesh the other ST 37). This is a captivating release and much different form what I expected. Sounding much more like Vocokesh or F/i, I even thought I had put the wrong side on at first. It contains an interesting use of electric guitars and synths. It has caused me to start looking at getting my hands on the earlier releases. ST 37 performed some wonderful versions of "Heather Catherine Tallchief" and "Concrete Island." I think the crowd received them well too.

Next up was a late entry to the fest, Melting Euphoria. Ii could only listen to a portion of their set as the heat was beginning to take its toll. Even in the quarry while swimming the sound was quite good. Also, I really needed some time away from the music to soak in what had already transpired. I have heard and enjoyed their material on the King Crimson tribute and various other Cleopatra compilations. I especially enjoy "In Aquarian Dream" from the Space Box release.

The day was off to a magnificent start and one of my principle tenets of SpaceRock had been met: diversity. Quarkspace with a more subdued subtle approach, F/i with it's industrial electronic massive experimentation, then ST 37 utilizing a harder edged style, and then Melting Euphoria exploring a more psych filled area.

The only reason I wasn't as eager for Alien Planetscapes stems from my living in New York City. I have access to this group and have heard a fair portion of the groups' material. Having seen them perform a half-dozen times since last years Strange Daze festival, I already know they're gonna knock me out. I missed their New York City show two days earlier due to my not wanting to miss the first day of Strange Daze. I think I have expressed my fondness for this group almost to the point of exhaustion in our past issues but I still cannot restrain myself. I feel that currently this is the greatest of the American SpaceRock groups. They combine such a wide array of styles and sounds and perform with such an admirable musicianship that they make this assertion an understatement. As all of the groups on the bill are underground, groups that tend to have a tough time getting gigs, it was a joy to hear this group stretch out longer than normal. Extending well beyond the standard forty-five minute set, imposed by most of the moron club owners of New York (bastards, cast your heads down in shame). I have said before that every version of their songs sounds new and fresh, but producing (I believe) three new songs shocked me. I personally feel they were the best group that performed at this year's fest. My only complaint is that a new CD has not been released. Hopefully by the end of the year. Also I should mention that their set closed with my favorite song "Gravel" and I could've sat next to the speakers for an eternity.

I usually steer clear of picking a favorite moment but then the following was so perfect it was obvious. The actual greatest moment of the festival came for me on Sunday morning. I was just waking up in the tent and could not believe my ears. I was hearing Alien Planetscapes play "Gravel." This had to be a dream. I did not move for fear I would awaken from my slumber before the end of the song. It closed and then I heard Dr. Synth thanking the audience. It was a tape of the previous day's performance. This is undoubtedly how all my days should begin.

Now in its second year, this event again exceeded my expectations, I have tried not to compare the two festivals as they had a much different feeling and I don't really think that trying to figure out which event was better really matters. First though, I must address the Hawkwind issue. Original member Dave Brock and bassist and vocalist Ron Tree were not admitted into the country. I do not feel the need to go into lengthy explanations as to why this occurred, as I personally feel many questions remain unanswered, and ultimately there is really no one to blame. Suffice it to say that if Hawkwind were not the underground band it is and had a major label supporting them there would be no problem getting into the country and performing for their fans. I do think that in the aftermath some people have expressed a justified sadness that the event's headliner was not truly present. I really don't have any suggestions, and just wish that there were more the fans could do to help. I personally feel Hawkwind would have an easier time of these things if they exploited the die-hard fans. That's right! We want to be exploited! Offer us merchandise we will buy it, sell inexpensive tapes of past concerts and videos we will buy it, tell us what needs to be done to get you guys in the country and we will do it. I do not want to even think about the possibility that Hawkwind will not perform in this county ever again. At last year's festival the greatest and most inspiring moment for me was Nik Turner telling the crowd that "We all are Hawkwind and that he is a big fan too."

So for the first tme in I believe seven years, Hawkwind played without Dave Brock. Two members of a Hawkwind cover group, Sun Machine with Steve Taylor on bass and Steve Hayes on keyboards, were added to the lineup. Jerry Richards and Captain Rizz would basically be the group's frontmen and from behind one of rock music's larger drum kits Hawk veteran Richard Chadwick led the group through the set. While I will say this was not up to the caliber of other Hawkwind performances, I have heard and seen, it very much retained the feeling of Hawkwind. For me the highlight of the set was theversion of "Spirit of the Age." This song was a big unexpected surprise and being a personal favorite, I was smiling ear to ear.

In the past performances I have heard, Hawkwind presented a well thought-out, well-rehearsed detailed set. Obviously this could not be accomplished, and I understand that the set was put together only several hours before the show. In hindsight I really wish some of the festival's other players had hopped up on stage or rather been approached with a possible jam concept. This would have been a great solution to the problem of not being able to plan out a real formulated set. Furthermore, when was the last time this many musicians were assembled and so well versed with Hawkwind material. Just speculating at combo possibilities for a super jam makes me salivate. Nonetheless, Jerry Richards really exhibited some formidable musicianship. Captain Rizz is still not my favorite Hawkwind member but he certainly does not lack enthusiasm or an energy level in his performance. Ultimately the most disappointing thing about Hawkwind set was that it did not last longer, an unavoidable problem due to the imposed 11pm curfew. I mean no offense by this statement but Hawkwind is much bigger than any one musician. It is bigger than any specific band lineup. It is as large as we make it!

This was a wonderful day of music that surpassed my high expectations. Seeing how much these groups have improved over a year was a delight. Most of the people that I spoke with who had attended solely for Hawkwind's set expressed virtually no disappointment. Many people were emphatic about being amazed by the variety of the groups, and that is what this festival is about.

Sunday began with my above-mentioned favorite moment of the fest. Also, Sunday contained the biggest surprise group in Drumplay. In the past I have found that three to five hours is about the most I can consume of live music in one sitting. Wandering down to the stage early on Sunday after hearing a portion of the set from the quarry I was more than somewhat intrigued. The only group that did not have an electric guitar player and also featured a horn player, they were definitely the most different from any of the other groups. Rounding out the group was a conga player, a drummer on a kit, a vibe and marimba player, and a bassist. Chet Santia of Quarkspace played on a portion of the group's set and even Master of Ceremonies Thom "The World Poet" got into the act. The audience in front of the stage was rather small but received the group with sheer delight.

Architectural Metaphor was up next, but as the heat had fully taken its toll on me I retreated to a shady environment and heard very little of the set. I was also watchful of BØRN to GØ warming up. The group's synth player Louis Boone had not been able to attend due to ailment. Thankfully I can report he is in much better shape and performed with them at the Orion Space-Rock gig. BØRN to GØ took the stage and more than flattered me with a birthday wish.

My favorite thing about BØRN to GØ; had to be the opportunity to witness No Muzic a.k.a. Carl Howard, perform with Doug Walker. I have already expressed a fondness for this duo's recording, The Greenhouse Effect, but to hear them play in a much more solid rock based format was a thrill, and Carl Howard was certainly one of the more animated performers at Strange Daze. Last year one of the more memorable and charming moments of the festival occurred with Marc Power bringing daughter Arianna on stage for a rendition of their ode to Calvert opus "Radio Calvert." I feel that BØRN to GØ posses the most thoughtful and caring attitude toward the crowd of any of the groups. Indulging in several Hawkwind covers, something they have mainly dropped from their set, to satisfy the appetites of the crowd, was a very nice gesture. Though I maintain that no band should ever cover a song of the headlining act, it did seem rather appropriate. Check out the web site and be sure to inquire about the free video Robots On The Rise.

The heat did not effect me much on the first day and I didn't really feel it on Saturday either, however by Sunday I felt a need for constant shade and wondered if I should have purchased a mobile air conditioner. The last band of the festival was Nucleon. I really wanted to hear their set but even if I had stayed I was beyond the point of consumption. I understand that most people had left by this point, but the ones that remained have expressed a real enjoyment of the group's set. Some even saying that they were their favorite.

I obtained a video of Nucleon's set and will engage in some armchair remarks. Taking the stage and stating "We are Nucleon. You will be destroyed," the group casts forth a hard rock sound that is analogous to none of the other Strange Daze performers. When I say heavy I mean it. The group that first sprang to mind was Metallica. This is first heard via the lead vocals, but is more apparent in the intriguing rhythms the group develops. Perhaps a lysergic Metallica will suffice.

Paul Resnick leads Nucleon manning a strap-on keyboard and delivers the vocals along with some added synths. Completing the power trio of American SpaceRock are impressive guitar lacerations and some trebuchet drumming talents. Nucleon, should prove most acceptable to any that enjoy a dose of metal. I have high hopes and expectations for an upcoming release. This group was fantastic live and I think the recording studio will be to their liking as well, especially if Resnick uses some multi-tracking so concentration can be focused on one instrument at a time.

So without a doubt, a splendid time was had, and all prospects were exceeded. Which is not an easy thing, as I expected theworld and instead got the universe. I am fairly positive this event will continue next year, and you all should consider attending. My hope is this event will occur two or three times a year, possibly in different cities or maybe several bands doing mini tours together. I think all the groups really showed an awareness and professional demeanor. I am very interested to see how many people were turned on to new groups. The community is growing, and hopefully SpaceRock will continue to gain acceptance and recognition. I wish to express our ardent love and devotion to Strange Trips and the Lascko family for making such a wonderful event possible.

-Adam Strider