Hawkwind Founder Mick Slattery Dead at 77

Unsplash/Yvette de Wit
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Hawkwind, the widely influential heavy prog band, suffered a major loss with the death of former guitarist Mick Slattery. A founding member of Hawkwind, Slattery passed away after a short illness at the age of 77, the band has reported.

Via the Hawkwind Facebook page, “We are sorry to share the sad news that our old friend, and Hawkwind founder member, Mick Slattery passed away peacefully at home yesterday, St Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2023, aged 77, after a short illness.”

Coming out of psychedelic band The Famous Cure in the 60s, Slattery and Dave Brock formed Hawkwind in 1969 along with bassist John Harrison, and then drummer Terry Ollis, Nik Turner and Michael Davies, aka Dik Mik.

Known simply as “Group X” in early performances due to a lack of band name, the group eventually called themselves Hawkwind due to Nic Turner’s habits when clearing his nose and passing gas in public.

Recorded by the band as Hawkwind Zoo, Slattery played on an original demo version of Hurry On Sundown that came out on a 1996 reissue of Hawkwind’s self-titled debut album from 1970. After his departure in 1969, Slattery was replaced by Huw Lloyd-Langton 

Dave Brock reminisces:

“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.”

Although no longer a member of Hawkwind, Mick Slattery continued to play with his former bandmates in Nik Turner’s Space Ritual and Alan Davey’s Hawkestrel.