I read this paperback early in college, so '82 or '83 time frame.


The cover was jumbled but had (at least) a woman, a guitar, and spaceship on it.


Something evil was putting out rays that, like, really bummed everybody out. But the music of this rock band could counteract it. So, there was a long concert. But the band was getting tired. At the last moment, a dude shows up in a starship and the band "levels up" and saves the day.

I'm sure there was more to it, but I don't really remember. I think the starship shows up because they manage to summon it.

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    Vaguely reminiscent of War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, although a) that one was first published in 1987, b) I don't remember any starships showing up at the climax (but it's been a very long time since I read the book), and c) the original cover doesn't seem to have any guitars or spaceships. So it's probably not the book you're describing. But if you're curious, you can see a scan of the cover if you go to scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/144929/… -- that's where I once described this book as a possible answer to another question.
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 23:26
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    Me again! I searched around a bit, and found another answer already posted on here, regarding a trilogy from the 1980s, with the front cover of Book 1 including the following elements: 1) A guy with a guitar. 2) A woman over on the right. 3) A starship behind them. First volume was published in 1985. I suggest you follow this link, and look at the scan of the cover, and see if you feel the sudden shock of recognition. Your question could be a "duplicate" of that old one. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/171594/…
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 0:41
  • @lorendiac - As you point out, those are both too new. Though, "Starclippers" looks like it would be a fun read.
    – mhhollomon
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 9:56
  • I said all along it wasn't likely to be the first one I mentioned, but I still had hopes for the second one when I stumbled across it. Woman, guitar, and starship on the cover, and the first volume was only published 2 years later than the timeframe you had estimated, which seemed to be within a reasonable "margin of error." I felt there was a serious possibility that you'd recognize the cover when you saw it -- but I'd never even heard of that series before, so I had no idea whether the plot matched up with what you remembered. I hope someone else can pin it down for you!
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


I think this may be Time of the Hawklords, credited to Michael Moorcock and someone called Michael Butterworth, but apparently written mainly by the latter. The cover is indeed jumbled up, with a woman, a guitar, and a spaceship.

The Time of the Hawklord cover

I admit that I only ever read a few pages of it, so I don't have much detail on the plot, but I do know that whatever good is done in the book (including any "saving the day"), the band Hawkwind and the music they play are integral to it. I also know that there is at least one live event with them performing, or about to perform before the alien invasion interrupts things.

The cover blurb said:

From a ruined London on a burnt-out Earth, the Hawkwind group beams out its last, defiant concert. The Children of the Sun, the tattered remnants of the Hippies, gather to listen. But when the music ends, withdrawal symptoms begin—a dreadful, retching illness only the Hawkwind sound can allay.

This new malady may be more than debilitated mankind can withstand. Desperately the rock group begins research: first, with the few electronic instruments miraculously still intact; then with a book whose existence is an even greater miracle—an ancient, magical tome, The Saga of Doremi Fasol Latido, whose prophecies seem to be coming true.

It had two sequels

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    Hah... I never read that book, but I remember that band showing up in an X-Men fanfic. It makes a lot more sense now. I assumed the author had made them up.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 12:01
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    I'm starting to think that, once upon a time, there was a whole slew of SF/Fantasy novels about rock bands heroically saving the world with their music. Who knew?
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 12:35
  • Yes! Definitely it! Wait ... there were sequels??? I'm scared.
    – mhhollomon
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 15:55
  • @FuzzyBoots - You didn't miss much. I was reminded of this book when I was chatting to a friend about the worse book we actually read all the way through. This was my choice, but I coudn't remember the name.
    – mhhollomon
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 15:57

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