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January 25, 2021

Daevid Allen, founder of Gong and Soft Machine, dies

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The late great Daevid Allen at Writers at the Rails in Byron Bay less than two weeks ago, still performing yet facing terminal cancer. Photo David Hancock
The late great Daevid Allen at Writers at the Rails in Byron Bay less than two weeks ago, still performing yet facing terminal cancer. Photo David Hancock

Byron shire musician, artist and poet Daevid Allen, a founding member of the pioneering progressive and psychedelic rock bands Gong and Soft Machine, has died, aged 77, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

The news was confirmed by Allen’s son, Orlando, in a lengthy Facebook post.

Allen recently posted a farewell message to his fans following the return of cancer in his neck.

And just over two weeks ago, Allen joined local artists, writers and poets at the Pizza Paradiso in Suffolk Park, Byron Bay to perform some of the poetry penned by he and partner Gilli Smyth (see his performance at http://www.planetgong.co.uk/)

For an account of his life see Wikipedia.

Last month, the Byron Shire Echo reprinted an excerpt from his band Gong’s website in which Allen wrote: ‘The cancer is now so well established that I have now been given approximately six months to live. 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’.

Born in Melbourne, Allen co-founded the psychedelic band Soft Machine in 1966 in England. The first Gong album was released in 1969.

He moved to the NSW north coast in 1981. Allen has published a memoir Gong Dreaming and is the ‘headmaster’ of the University of Errors www.universityoferrors.com.

Read Daevid Allen’s full message at www.planetgong.co.uk.


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1 COMMENT

  1. vale Daevid Allen

    as an avid music lover – Gong was so influential for the avante garde cultural scene – many, many years ago…

    cheers & thanks,

    craig mackey
    green pigeon

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