. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Gong – In Session for John Peel – Nov. 17, 1971 – BBC Radio 1
Hearing the very sad news today regarding Soft Machine founder and Gong leading light Daevid Allen’s emotional farewell, owing to a deteriorating Cancer condition, which doctors have given him six months to live. Allen wrote a poignant, moving and ultimately reflective note to his fans via Mojo Magazine today (you can read it here, via their site – Mojo Magazine).
Rather than wait for what will ultimately be remembrances and tributes, I thought I would celebrate his incredible artistry now and run one of his sessions with Gong, which he recorded at The BBC for John Peel in 1971. The music and involvements of Daevid Allen with Soft Machine were a life changing experience for me in 1967. Soft Machine were the first band I heard who freed everything up – turned music on its head – exploded with a riveting energy and showed a new direction for Rock to take. When he left Soft Machine and resurfaced a little while later with Gong, he took the adventure further. Weaving complex rhythms and impeccable ensemble playing with some of the most brilliant musicians of the time, Daevid Allen took music to new heights – and never stopped.
Far from being a “hit-maker”, Allen rejected the notion of mainstream music as any form of expression having any value. He pursued his individual style and carried his personal message. And he gained a loyal and devoted following as a result. His music hasn’t aged. It continues to be fresh – and will undoubtedly stay that way for decades to come.
So rather than lament what will be a terrible loss, sometime in the future – we don’t know when, I wanted to remind people who are familiar with Gong of who we still have around, for now. But more importantly, those of you who are not familiar with Gong or the music of Daevid Allen; he is someone you cannot ignore. He is someone you need to know about – his music is something you need to study and listen to over and over.
His is an indelible impression – one which will never go away.
Enjoy and leave a message on the Mojo Facebook page. I understand Mojo will be sending him notes.
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