Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters

Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters is a 1974 satirical concept album by Robert Calvert, the former frontman of British space-rock band Hawkwind. It consists of a mixture of songs and comic spoken interludes.

Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters
Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters.jpg
Studio album by
RecordedMarch 1973 - January 1974
GenreRock, proto-punk
LabelUnited Artists
ProducerRoy Thomas Baker
Robert Calvert chronology
Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters
Lucky Leif and the Longships
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

The concept was based on the German Air Ministry's purchase of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, colloquially known as the Widowmaker. In German service these planes had a poor safety record, with 262 out of 916 Luftwaffe Starfighters lost in accidents during the aircraft's time in service, which lasted from the early 1960s until the mid-1980s.[2]

Musicians who appeared on the album include members of Hawkwind, The Pink Fairies, Brian Eno (although not credited as Eno), Arthur Brown and Adrian Wagner. The spoken sketches are primarily performed by Calvert, Viv Stanshall and Jim Capaldi.

"Ejection" (coupled with "Catch a Falling Starfighter") was released as a single, although both songs are slightly different versions to those on the album. "The Widow's Song" was included in the libretto and Calvert had hoped to record it with Nico singing. It wasn't recorded at the time but it was eventually recorded in 1984 with Calvert's wife Jill Riches on lead vocals and included on the Hawkwind, Friends and Relations Vol.3 compilation.

The album has been re-released in the late 1990s by BGO Records and is currently available on Eclectic Records (ECLCD1056) with bonus tracks.

Track listingEdit

All songs by Robert Calvert except where stated.

  1. "Franz Josef Strauss, Defense Minister, Reviews The Luftwaffe in 1958. Finding It Somewhat Lacking in Image Potential" – 1:40
  2. "The Aerospaceage Inferno" – 4:35
  3. "Aircraft Salesman (A Door in the Foot)" – 1:41
  4. "The Widow Maker" (Dave Brock, Calvert) – 2:42
  5. "Two Test Pilots Discuss the Starfighter's Performance" – 0:41
  6. "The Right Stuff" – 4:23
  7. "Board meeting (Seen Through a Contract Lens)" – 0:58
  8. "The Song of the Gremlin (Part One)" (Arthur Brown, Calvert, Adrian Wagner) – 3:21
  9. "Ground Crew (Last Minute Reassembly Before Take Off)" – 3:17
  10. "Hero with a Wing" – 3:20
  11. "Ground Control to Pilot" – 0:52
  12. "Ejection" – 3:35
  13. "Interview" – 3:55
  14. "I Resign" – 0:27
  15. "The Song of the Gremlin (Part Two)" (Arthur Brown, Calvert, Adrian Wagner) – 3:10
  16. "Bier Garten" – 0:38
  17. "Catch a Falling Starfighter" – 2:54

Bonus tracksEdit

  1. "The Right Stuff" (extended version) – 8.07
  2. "Ejection" (single version) – 3.47
  3. "Catch A Falling Starfighter" (single version) – 3.00

Hawkwind has incorporated some of the songs in their live set through the years including "The Right Stuff", "Ejection", "The Widow Maker" and "The Song of the Gremlin" and they have also been recorded and included on several of their live albums and compilations.

Monster Magnet did covers of "The Right Stuff" on their 2004 album, Monolithic Baby! and "Ejection" on their 2018 album Mindf***er.




  • Vivian Stanshall - most leads (e.g. Ground Control, Bright Mechanic)
  • Jim Capaldi - American Salesman, Recruiting Officer, Dim Mechanic
  • Robert Calvert - Pilot
  • Tom Mittledorf
  • Richard Elen (mis-credited as "Richard Ealing")



  • Concept: Bob Calvert
  • Art Directions: Pierre Tubbs
  • Illustrator: Stanislaw Ferdandes


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "[2.0] F-104 In Foreign Service (1)". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-02-09.

External linksEdit