Watch Eric Clapton jam with space-rock vets Hawkwind onstage in the UK

British space rock vets Hawkwind are perhaps best known for counting Lemmy Kilmister as a member prior to his forming Motörhead.

But the legendary act was recently joined onstage by another longtime associate, Eric Clapton, who jammed with the band in Guildford, England on November 25 during a stop on their 50th anniversary tour.

The blues electric guitar titan came onstage to perform 1972’s Kilmister-penned The Watcher, and then hung around for the rest of the set, which included Silver Machine, Assault and Battery, The Golden Void, Right to Decide and a three-song encore of Hurry On Sundown, Master of the Universe and Welcome to the Future.

While the pairing on first sight might seem odd, Clapton has a long history with Hawkwind leader Dave Brock, having known him since the early '60s.

As Brock told MusicRadar in a 2018 interview: “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.”

Brock added that later on, Cream drummer Ginger Baker became a member of Hawkwind.

“[W]hich was strange because when I used to go busking down Portobello Road – this was when he was in Cream – he had a flat just round the corner and after I finished busking I used to pop round for a cup of tea.”

You can check out Clapton and Hawkwind jamming on The Watcher (which Clapton also recorded with the band for a 2018 orchestral album, Road to Utopia) and Silver Machine above.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.