Nik Turner, a well-known musician and founding member of the space rock band Hawkwind, died on November 10, 2022, at the age of 82. The announcement was made on his social media profile, which stated:
“We are heartbroken to announce the death of Nik Turner, The Mighty Thunder Rider, who died quietly at home on Thursday evening.” He has progressed to the next stage of his Cosmic Journey, led by the love of his family, friends, and admirers. Keep an eye out for his arrangements.”
Turner’s death cause is still unclear. He used to be a saxophone and flute player. His abilities, though, saw him serve as a singer and composer. He rose to prominence for his experimental free jazz stylings and stage persona, which included full makeup and appearances in ancient Egypt-inspired costumes.
Twitter users pay homage to Nik Turner.
Nik Turner was well-known for his work with Hawkwind and his appearances at various music events. When word of his death spread, Twitter was inundated with tributes:
HAWKWIND – SPACE RITUAL
PLAYING THIS IN MEMORY OF NIK TURNER
WHO HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY AGED 82 pic.twitter.com/84DVQcPtnn
— The ‘Ronster’ (@BerisfordRon) November 11, 2022
Nik Turner of Hawkwind and Inner City Unit has died.
Rest in Power. pic.twitter.com/PO2JJctj3d
— Sir Norman of Nowhere, KBE, CSE.🏴☠️ (@Normanjam671) November 11, 2022
Nik Turner was an accomplished saxophonist and flutist.
Nik Turner’s family moved to the Kent coastal town of Margate when he was 13 years old, and he worked at the local funfair during the summer months. He finished his engineering program and served a year in the Merchant Navy. He met guitarist Dave Brock in 1967 while doing several menial jobs across Europe. Details about his family members are yet unclear. However, before his family relocated, his father apparently worked at a weapons plant in Oxford. During the early 1960s, Nik Turner studied clarinet and saxophone for two years and met a few jazz performers in Berlin who taught him the value of expressiveness above technical skill. Turner also had a vehicle and volunteered his services as a roadie to Hawkwind. This happened shortly after the band’s formation.
When the group discovered he could play the saxophone, they invited him to join them. He contributed to a handful of their tracks. Not everyone in the band, however, was thrilled with his approach to music, since he allegedly had a penchant of playing over other members of the band. Turner appeared on live albums such as Zones, This Is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic, and others. In 1976, he departed the band.
Nik Turner returned to England and formed the Sphynx band with Alan Powell, Mike Howlett, Tim Blake, and Harry Williamson in 1978, releasing the album Xitintoday. He appeared as a guest on Fairy Tales by Williamson and Mother Gong by Gilli Smyth. With Mo Vicarage, Ermanno Ghisio Erba, Trev Thoms, and Dead Fred, he established another group called the Inner City Unit. The band recorded albums such as Pass Out and Maximum Effect before disbanding.
Nik Turner’s Fantastic All Stars was his next endeavor, a saxophone and Hammond organ-driven jazz and rhythm and blues combo. They played for a few years before releasing an album called Kubanno Kickasso! In 1993, he was asked by Pressurehed and Helios Creed to record a version of his Sphynx project with original flute-based tunes. Sphynx, the album, was released the same year. They continued to tour in the United States and released another album, Prophets of Time, in 1994.
Hawkwind members reformed in October 2000 at the Brixton Academy and eventually agreed on the moniker Space Ritual. Nik also performed at Wales’ inaugural Reggae Festival in 2003. Furthermore, he revived a version of the Inner City Unit and continued to play at other festivals.
Nik Turner was welcomed as a guest member to the Space Mirrors collective in 2008, and he played flute and saxophone on three Space Mirrors releases: Majestic-12: A Hidden Presence, Dreams of Area 51, and In Darkness They Whisper. He also performed on the flute for Dodson and Fogg and was requested to participate in Mr. H’s fourth album, Poets, Balladeers, and Cheats.