Hawkwind guitarist and founder Mick Slattery dead aged 77

(Image credit: Liberty Records)

Former Hawkwind and The Famous Cure guitarist Mick Slattery has died, aged 77, after a short illness, Hawkwind have reported.

The band posted on their 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."

Slattery and Dave Brock had both been in psychedelic band The Famous Cure in the 60s and went on to form Hawkwind in 1969. The band formed out of Brock and Slattery meeting up with bassist John Harrison, and then drummer Terry Ollis, Nik Turner and Michael Davies, aka Dik Mik.

The band originally performed at All Saints Hall in Notting Hill, a lack of band name meaning they were initially known as Group X, soon settling on Hawkwind, allegedly due to Turner's unsavoury habit of clearing his nose and breaking wind.

Slattery played on an original version of Hurry On Sundown, recorded by the band as Hawkwind Zoo during some initial studio time to record demos that eventually surfaced on a 1996 reissue of the debut album Hawkwind (originally released in 1970). Slattery left Hawkwind in 1969, and was replaced by Huw Lloyd-Langton.

"Me and Mick played together in a band called Famous Cure in 1967, touring Holland before going on to form Hawkwind in 1969," Dave Brock recalled. "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."

Slattery continued to make music, notably on the fringes of Hawkwind, in Nik Turner's Space Ritual and Alan Davey's Hawkestrel.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.