On The Road

With Nik Turner and Spaceseed U.S.A. 2003/2004

By John Pack

spaceseed tour pix

I had the pleasure of meeting Nik in 1994. Nik was on the road on his longest U.S. tour to date. At this time he was touring as Nik Turner's Space Ritual. The group featured Tommy Greenas,Len Del Rio and the enigmatic Helios Creed. Spaceseed was Nik's support in Atlanta and also again in 2001.

By 2003 Spaceseed had finally garnered a good mangement deal. Afters years of false starts (since 1988) the group needed something to set it apart from the ever growing U.S. scene. Nik was our man. Nik arrived at Atlanta's Hartsfield with a duffel bag and his saxaphone and stated simply "I came to play". We posted Nik in a 100 year old 300 ft circular tower building with his bed roomed styled after Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. Nik's arrival in the studio the next day electrified the group, then featuring John Pack, Gal Axy and The Subliminator. He also took a little time to impart upon many musical theories, most of which we use to this day. We sooned finished Future Cities Of The Past PT1 and embarked on our first tour.

The first date of the tour was at the famed Cullman Civic Center in Cullman Alabama. As we left the dressing wings and strode into the wings, Nik turned to us and said "Lets explore space." And that we did. Two dates later In Athens Georgia, our bassist had a meltdown and unbeknown to Nik we quickly recruited longtime Washington D.C. prog legend John Stanton to fill the void (he happened to be following the tour). The promoters had opened the doors early so the house was already packed. Nik joined us onstage and, noticing Stanton, remarked "A new bassist? Fabulous!!" At that we launched into a flawless Silver Machine and received a rousing ovation. Nik did several stateside radio specials including a in studio concert with us.

The following year saw the release of Future Cities and the onset of a tour twice as large as the past one. It also marked the arrival of The Solar Fire Light Show out of Cleveland and drummer Sam Lohman (Acid Mothers) on drums. The previous tour had been done from a rented van. This one featured full blown bus and crew piloted by Scot Kuti who was a veteran of many space rock tours and overseen by Jim Lascko. Nik did several more radio specials and numerous press interviews. The set consisted of Nik tracks from the halcyon days of Hawkwind, a couple of Nik tracks that he co-wrote with Tommy Greenas and a couple of Spaceseed originals. Boston, New York and numerous other cities flew by before we arrived in Cleveland. Harvey Bainbridge (another future Spaceseed) was set too open. Gal Axy arranged for him to come up and join us for the encore. We he stepped onto the stage and shook hands with Nik, I saw grown men cry. The grouped thundered into a world ender of Master Of The Universe and the joint went nuts. When we awoke and assembled, all were ready to push on to Chicago to conclude the tour. As we cruised down the highway all was normal. Then, with a jarring screeching sound, all was chaos. The buses rear axle had broken. It could be seen racing alongside the bus at a quicker speed than the bus was going. The smell of petrol and other noxious fluids filled the air. The groups youngest member Hank Tart raced up the aisle screaming "We're F&&$%$56!!" Through all this Nik sat as calm as if in the library. Luckily the skills of bus driver Scot Kuti saved our lives. Sadly the bus however did not survive. Members of the opening act, Billawtm and Cotton Casino (former Acid Mother now real Mother) came back and retrieved Nik and the drummer. Nik had to make it to the Chicago gig to catch his flight. With the help of John Stanton and a local guitarist the last show went off. The next day myself, Gal Axy and The Subliminator made the long trek home to Atlanta. All in all it was a great adventure. These tours also established Spaceseed on the world's space rock stage. Thanks Nik. You will always be our "Wicked Uncle Nik".

Pix

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U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004

U.S.A. 2003/2004