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Daevid Allen RIP

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Those of us lucky enough to have seen Daevid Allen with Gong in their hey day will never forget the experience. Theirs was prog rock with jazz overtones, humour, madness and all round freakiness, at a time when to be a Freak was the way it is.

Sadly Daevid Allen has passed away as confirmed by his son, Orlando Monday Allen; the innovator, and all round musical eccentric was 77 years old.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then

Just a few weeks ago Allen had announced he had been given six months to live, after cancer had spread to his lung. “I am not interested in endless surgical operations and in fact it has come as a relief to know that the end is in sight. I am a great believer in ‘The Will of the Way Things Are’ and I also believe that the time has come to stop resisting and denying and to surrender to the way it is.”

Allen, an Australian national, born in 1938 was refused entry back into the UK from France in 1967, and this ended his brief tenure in Soft Machine. Undaunted he formed a new group, Gong, and the first album under that name was Magick Brother, released in 1970. Allen and his partner, the poet Gilli Smyth, intoned their pithy observations and countercultural calls-to-action like ‘Change The World’, over an organic stew of largely acoustic instruments and percussion.

A year later along came the brilliant, Camembert Electrique, more psychedelic and progressive vein than its predecessor, it included the first mention of Radio Gnome Invisible and its broadcasts from the Planet Gong. The album was originally released on the French label BYG Actuel in 1971, but the newly formed Virgin Records acquired the rights in 1973. And in a move that gained the group considerable exposure, Virgin sold it for £0.49, then the price of a single. Gong came to the notice of John Peel and recorded sessions for his influential radio show.

Allen let his imagination run riot on Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 – The Flying Teapot, also released on BYG and later leased to Virgin. Guitarist Steve Hillage, who had played in Egg and Khan, was drafted into the band along with synthesiser player Tim Blake (aka Hi T Moonweed), adding a more ‘cosmic’ feel to the music.

Angel’s Egg, recorded later in 1973, was more eclectic than its predecessor. It included elements of be-bop and gallic soundingchanson. This dazzling sound world was explored more fully on You, the final instalment of the trilogy, released in 1974. While Allen offered fewer, but still telling, vocal and lyrical contributions, the band’s collective playing had reached new heights. Hillage, particularly, was on stunning form, adding searing solos to the full throttle space-rock of ‘Master Builder’, and the majestic, synth-led instrumental ‘A Sprinkling Of Clouds’.

Daevid Allen left Gong after You in 1974, but the group carried on, playing old favourites and selections from Steve Hillage’s recent solo album Fish Rising in concert. Allen himself recorded under a number of aliases, including Planet Gong, New York Gong and Gongmaison.

In 1992 Allen reunited with saxophonist and flautist Malherbe for the album Shapeshifter, recorded simply as Gong. Over most the next two decades Gong with Daevid Allen at the controls along with a largely revolving cast of musicians continued to record and release the occasional album.

It was while on tour in 2014 that Allen became ill and sadly could not continue to challenge our perceptions of what music and entertainment are all about.

Planet Earth is the poorer, Planet Gong the richer.

Listen to Gong on Spotify

Format: Union Jack flagUK English


  1. Davey Carter

    March 13, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Sadly one more of the All time Greats had left in our midst I’m certain that His Music and Memory will live on in hearts and minds until we all meet again Good Night sleep well God Bless

    • uDiscover

      March 13, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Davey, we’re with you

  2. Douglas Kaucz

    March 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

    A great loss to the music world. Rest in peace Daevid.

  3. Mike Godwin

    March 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Only saw Daevid Allen and Gong a couple of times, but they were magnificent. Once was at a London college gig with an inebriated Kevin Ayers; another time was at Bath Pavilion in 1974, when they were simply flying.

  4. Patrix Legaulois

    March 13, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Daevid is shapeshifting, See ya Zero the hero

    • Patrix Legaulois

      March 13, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Un vendredi 13……hasard?…je ne pense pas 😉
      All Hail !
      Bon voyage!

  5. Heartpump

    March 13, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I saw Daevid with Gong and many other incarnations …I once gave him a tape of my music at a concert in NYC …a few months later he sent me back a postcard with his feedback…He liked it!
    Very few would take the time to do that…RIP Bert…You are truly one of a kind…an original…

  6. Geoff Welch

    March 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    You have left us in this everchanging peice of rock to a better place.Take care my friend and thanks 🙂


    March 13, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Voici plus de 40 ans que j’ai découvert Gong et David: j’écoute encore cette musique parfois et je continue à l’aimer. Aucun autre groupe n’a pu rivaliser jusqu’à présent cette alchimie de sons et de recherches. Gong n’est pas mort dans nos esprits, contrairement au titre d’un de leurs albums.


      March 17, 2016 at 1:34 pm


  8. bruno saint laurent

    March 13, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Adieu Daevid!….tu m’a fait decouvrir la Vraie musique.Ton travail etait magnifique.Je t’ai decouvert,il y a plus de 40 ans.J’ai tellement aime!………………..repose en paix……………je te verrai plus tard!

  9. matt bean

    March 13, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    In 95 at the Adelphi in hull uk I saw him with another incarnation (without gilli) and during the half hour half time break had a very interesting and enlightening chat for most of the half hr. He was unassuming truly dignified without any allusions to fame etc..he was a serious zero the hero to me and I love the music.and there was I chatting as one human to another. He was a major part of one of the most influential psychedelic bands, and a person who gives us pride in our possibilities as human beings.i was lucky enough to be in the same venue eight months later and chat to gilli in the same veign while in a break playing in a three piece with Orlando. Also I later met my mate jack, a blues harp player who had recorded with Orlando and stayed at their place in oz. Funny these cyclic serendipitous events. I do not mourn his passing. I celebrate that such a being existed, and shared his soul through some of the most important and beautiful music. And also his life. My sympathy goes to those who were close and will miss him. R.i.p. Zero my hero

  10. rchie

    March 13, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    A musician that truly pushed musical boundarys a sad loss RIP on ze planet gong

  11. Mixahel DeLeon

    March 13, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Farewell, you Big Pixie you. May your beautiful soul flow back to its source in peace and harmony. See you again sometime.

  12. roberto

    March 13, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    se fue a tocar con pinchevsky

  13. katherine parrish

    March 13, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    What a talented man. Glad I saw him with gong amazing

  14. ivan music

    March 14, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Truly sory with this notice.
    It was a symbol of his times and an unique artist,madman,player poet,musician and many more gifted atributes that will never be seen again.
    So long dear and beloved Daevid!

  15. ivan music

    March 14, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Truly sory with this notice.
    It was a symbol of his times and an unique artist,madman,player poet,musician and many more gifted atributes that will never be seen again.
    So long dear and beloved Daevid!
    We Love You!

  16. henderson

    March 14, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Merci M. Allen

    Pour ces années passées avec l’univers GONG
    Qui resteront pour moi certainement les plus heureuses de ma vie…
    condoléances à toute votre famille et proches…je commence à me sentir
    bien triste et seul avec tout ces musiciens qui partent petit à petit et qui ont marqués
    à jamais mon coeur et leur époque… “tu veux un camembert”…

  17. Doug Olias Vencill

    March 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Ah, Daevid…can’t help feeling a twinge of sadness at knowing I will no longer be in your physical presence in this dimension again. Our world is a tad bit darker for your departure, but my GOODNESS, look at that banana moon up in the sky–it seems noticeably brighter, more cosmic, more like an observatory. I feel blessed beyond measure to have had the chance to sit and chat with you at your solo gigs in Kansas City in the early 90s, and seeing you & Gong on your 25th Anniversary Tour in ’96, also in KC. What a gentle soul you were, so kind & giving of yourself, treating your fans like dear old friends you’d known all your life. I imagine you, Pierre & Pip are catching up on old times by now. Thank you for all the great music, the interstellar luv of the Octave Doctors & Pothead Pixies, and for taking it upon your grand old self to remind us that NOW is INDEED the HAPPIEST TIME OF OUR LIVES. Fly on in sparkling splendor, my Magick Brother. <3

  18. TOMENO

    April 16, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Salut à toi Daevid ALLEN

    tu as ” bercé ” mas jeunesse ( Soft Machine et Gong ) , vous étiez des OVNIS musicaux , j’ ai révé sur ” prostittute poem ” et ” Sélene ” et le fameux chorus de Steve Hillage zr que dire de “flute salade ” avec Didier Malherbes : tu veux un Camenber ???
    bref , salut l’ artiste t

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