Daevid Allen was the lead guitarist for British band Soft Machine, and co-founder of the jazz eccentrics Gong died on Friday. The news was confirmed on his son, Orlando’s Facebook page.
“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.”
Allen had previously announced that he only had six months to live due to cancer. Billboard reports that when Allen was asked about his treatment plan, he said the following,
“I am not interested in endless surgical operations, and will not be seeking further treatment. The time has come to stop resisting and denying and to surrender to the way it is.”
Christopher Daevid Allen was born on January 13, 1938 in Melbourne, Australia. Allen was inspired by the Beat Generation writers and moved to England in 1961. While there, he met the famous beat poet William S. Burroughs and was inspired by him so much that he formed the group, the ‘Daevid Allen Trio’. Allen performed with his new group at several of Burroughs theatre pieces based on the novel The Ticket That Exploded. In 1966, he formed the group Soft Machine with Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge. The name for the band came from Burroughs’ novel, The Soft Machine.
In 1978, Allen and his new band Gong made their debut in New York City, headlining the marathon festival of progressive rock bands at the Entermedia Theater. According to Rolling Stone, the band did not take the stage until after midnight and played until after 3 a.m. The theater’s management decided they had finally had enough and tried to cut Allen off, eventually calling in the police to shut the concert down, but Allen continued on, playing the drums and hosting a sing-a-long.
Allen made countless contributions to music throughout the sixties, and seventies. He was inspired by the beat poets, and used that same eclectic style in music. Allen was a fan of progressive rock, punk and electronica, and showed influences of all three when he played his songs. Allen passionately played his music until the end of his life, and the music community will surely remember his style for generations to come.
[Photo courtesy of John Williams/Getty Images]