Martin Griffin, former drummer of Hawkwind and spin-off project Hawklords, died Monday following a short illness. Both bands confirmed his death on Facebook.
“A true gentleman and friend who we will all sorely miss,” Hawkwind wrote of the “legendary” musician, who died “peacefully” while “surrounded by his loved ones.” “He was quite simply the most wonderful human being and will be deeply missed by so many.”
Meanwhile, Hawklords expressed their “great sadness.” “Martin was a fine officer and gentleman of the old school and a terrific drummer, with a style as thoughtful and equally laid back in its approach as he was,” they wrote. “He will be very much missed by those of us that knew him, by Harvey in particular and by the Hawk-Fraternity around the world. Our thoughts are with his son Jack and family at this sad time. Fly high, Wing Commander. We love you.”
Griffin and bassist Harvey Bainbridge, his bandmate from Ark, joined Hawklords in 1978, rounding out the initial lineup with Pilot keyboardist Steve Swindells and various members of the then-inactive Hawkwind, including singer Robert Calvert and guitarist Dave Brock. (Drummer Simon King appeared on some tracks, with Griffin handling the others). Together, they released one album, 1978’s 25 Years On.
Hawkwind reformed in 1979 and continued to cycle through drummers, including King and former Cream member Ginger Baker. Griffin then joined the official lineup in 1981, appearing on that year’s Sonic Attack and a pair of 1982 LPs, Church of Hawkwind and Choose Your Masques.
A revamped Hawklords lineup appeared in 2008, and Griffin joined the band onstage for multiple performances. “A complete and irresistible force of nature, he was a very welcome participant at several Hawklords shows over the last 10 years and always a splendid guest when attending the many shows that we have played in the Plymouth area of the U.K.,” the band wrote.
In their note, Hawkwind praised Griffin’s two stints in the band, noting that he joined them at the Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid stage in 1981.
“As is apparent from social media and the outpouring of emotion, Martin has touched many peoples lives and was loved and respected by all,” they wrote, detailing his life “in and around the music industry.” The band noted that, in addition to his performing career, Griffin also “recorded many rising talents such as Elvis Costello and ABC at his recording studio in Cornwall, and pioneered a successful music sponsorship company working with major artists around the globe.”