I am absolutely gutted to hear the news from Daevid Allen, singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the legendary band Gong. If you have not seen the news yet, read it here.
As the Canterbury Yahoo Group, What’s Rattlin’, is accepting personal notes to Daevid, I thought I would add my own thoughts as well. I’ve been pulling for Daevid’s full recovery since the announcement of his illness and I’m deeply saddened to hear this news. I’m not the type to write to my favorite musicians, but I made a exception this time.
I can only assume that I’m one of Daevid’s youngest fans. I first discovered the music of Gong via a Facebook friend shortly before my senior year of High School (2010 – 2011). Someone, who recognized my interest in progressive / creative / avant garde rock music, shared a video of Gong performing “Radio Gnome Invisible” on my Facebook wall and I instantly fell in love. The whimsical Englishness of the vocals, the spacey electronics, the soprano saxophone, and the quirky lyrics about “teapots in the sky” appealed to me immediately. I loved the wit, the charm, and the surreal nature of the song and the performance.
I immediately bought Flying Teapot, Angel’s Egg, and You and played them endlessly over the following year; I just loved those records to death. Later I bought Camembert Electrique and 2032 and loved those equally. At this point, those records are engrained in my psyche and my heart and now, in my senior year of college, I still dig them out and play them, reliving that funny, jaw dropping, and inspiring music all over again.
This past year, I heard Gong’s latest, I See You, and was happy to see that they were still alive and had lost none of their bite and have enjoyed playing that one on my commutes to and from college. I was so excited to hear new Gong music and Daevid’s voice and writing in such fine form; despite his condition, I really hoped this was not a swan song. I desperately wanted to see him perform live and more records down the line, but as a swan song, I See You is a fitting cap to a tremendous career.
Daevid’s words of optimism are truly inspiring and I respect him to no end for his enduring positive vibes. It was those same positive vibes (no, different vibes than the ones in “Love is How Y Make It”!) that drew me into Gong’s music in the first place.
Thank you again, Daevid. He will live on forever through your life’s work that will continue to be treasured by future generations. What more could an artist hope to achieve?