Gong founder Daevid Allen dies, aged 77 - Articles - Soundblab

Gong founder Daevid Allen dies, aged 77

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Daevid Allen, founder of legendary psychedelic collective Gong, passed away on Friday, March 13 at the age of 77.

Allen’s son, Orlando Monday Allen, confirmed the news on Facebook:

“And so dada Ali, bert camembert, the dingo Virgin, divided alien and his other 12 selves prepare to pass up the oily way and back to the planet of love. And I rejoice and give thanks.

“Thanks to you dear dear daevid for introducing me to my family of magick brothers and mystic sisters, for revealing the mysteries, you were the master builder but now have made us all the master builders. As the eternal wheel turns we will continue your message of love and pass it around. We are all one, we are all gong. Rest well my friend, float off on our ocean of love. The gong vibration will forever sound and its vibration will always lift and enhance. You have left such a beautiful legacy and we will make sure it forever shines in our children and their children. Now is the happiest time of yr life. Blessed be.”

In February, Allen had announced he had just six months to live, after cancer for which he had previously been treated had spread to his lung. He said: “In fact it has come as a relief to know that the end is in sight.”

Born in Australia in 1938, Allen moved to the UK in 1961. He was a founder member of seminal Canterbury scene band Soft Machine in 1966 and a year later founded Gong after he was denied re-entry to the United Kingdom because of a visa complication.

After spending time a short time in jail, Allen settled in France, where he formed the first iteration of Gong. After that line-up fell apart during the 1968 student revolution, he moved to Deià in Majorca where he allegedly found saxophonist Didier Malherbe living in a cave.

Back in France, they put together a more stable line-up of the band and went on to record a string of utterly bonkers albums, which ranged from psychedelic rock to avant-jazz, including Camembert Electrique (1971) and Flying Teapot (1973).

Gong were one of the first acts signed to the fledgling Virgin Records, along with Krautrockers Faust and Tangerine Dream. The label’s early policy of releasing albums at budget prices meant that underground bands such as Gong could sell large quantities in the UK.

Allen left the band in 1975 after refusing to go on stage during a gig in Cheltenham. The band continued without him, perusing a more conventional, if no less musically impressive, jazz-rock direction.

He went on to record a prolific stream of solo albums of collaborations, including the punk-influenced New York Gong in 1980. In 1991, he resuscitated Gong and continued to play with the band on and off until he became too ill in 2014. 

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