UNCON AFTERGLOW - updated Tue 28 Nov'06
"Why don't you try…come on you can try…" well we did…what do we discover? You are I and I am you…
Some Uncon pictures, reverberations and news - more very soon. If you have posted any Uncon photographs, clips or writings on-line why not let me know so we can all have a gander?
ADORED the Unconvention - a very odd, yet positively life-changing experience! Many thanks to all involved. Alistair
Many many thanks, love and hugs for what you people did those 3 amazing days in The Melkweg … ! Martin
Must say i was buzzing on the whole event, it was as much an inspiration as gong were to me when i was a teenager, and an honour to be a part of it . loved it! cheers Graham
Jonny, gang…that weekend was f****g HISTORY man! I need to do it again ASAP! Acid Mothers Gong was a fricking landmark in live shows. A right bang on of the Freenoise ethos and you are my hero promoter I can't wait to see the film. I was almost over-fried by Sunday's best ever Gong show. - moodi
What a marvelous happening and what a fantastic job you did to put the gig together! Wooly hats off to you mate. All the very best to you. Roger
I feel so lucky and privileged to have been there! Thanks a million! That was the greatest weekend of music I've ever experienced in my life! Lots of love and thanks! Rick
GONG UNCONVENTION UPDATE - updated Mon 13 Nov'06
Oh my Gawd! What was that? All the tales, photos, sound even - as soon as I've tied all the loose ends into a nice big bow. An event of future myth.MORE GONG UNCONVENTION UPDATES Updated Thr 28 Sep'06
28.9 - The very best of news! All remaining doubts about Tim Blake being able to appear at the Unconvention because of his court case are now gone - he will most definitely be there with J.P. Rykiel and of course with the THE Gong band.
08.9 - Funktion-One is bringing in a full-on 'Resolution' system to demo in the Max at the Melkweg over the week including the UnCon. We (Gong, Steve Hillage, David Id) go way back with these folks! This is widely regarded as the best, most 'transparent' live sound reinforcement system on the planet, so there is every chance of this being far and away the best Gong sound of all time. Many thanks!
If you are of a audio-technical bent you won't need telling just what fantastically good that news is (and that it will include the 'Ambisonic' surround-sound system), if you aren't, no matter, just know that your ears are in for some seriously good sound.
03.9 - It's now exactly 2 months till the first day of the Unconvention. The family's eyes and efforts are now all focused, the tickets continue to flow out around the world, expiry dates of passports are being checked, the time to take care of the details has been reached - there has never been a Gong event so carefully planned.
30.8 - Our plans to celebrate Pierre Moerlen at the Unconvention are now sadly being expanded. We will be gathering the Gong musicians Pip played with (Camembert Gong, Gongmaison, early/mid 90's Gong) together sometime during the event to sound Pip on his way.
12.8 - Planning and discussing rehearsals seem to have been uppermost of late as we move through August. Master planner Steve Hillage has the task of dove-tailing the Gong and Steve Hillage Band musicians into 10 days of rehearsals, quite a jigsawing act what with everyone's busy schedules.
28.7 - A deep and frivolous, or deeply frivolous meeting was held with Steve and Miquette on the Mayan Calender's 'day out of time' (look it up it's interesting) chez Greene, where all manner of expanded Gong Unconvention dreams 'n' schemes were scattered to the breeze to take root and grow. We'll see what has flowered come November. And I've nearly added all the attendees? Ungongsters? booked up so far to the 'Line-up' pages. Are you there? Are you there and you don't know how you got there? Spread the word - there's a planet coming.
05.7 - We are planning to have some very rare, unseen films of Gong, daevid, etc showing in a corner of the the 'Old - "phew a chill out space" - Hall'. There is some amazing, quality footage from way back which will simply blow your socks off - if you are wearing any that is.
19.6 - Very cheap flights are still happening with BMI - www.bmi.baby.com and all the other budget airlines. Check wit your local airport. The smaller the airport the cheaper it is.
15.6 - FREE FLIGHTS TO AMSTERDAM! Right now (Thursday 15th June), it is possible to get free return flights to Amsterdam for 3rd-6th November from British Midland, certainly from Birmingham, Nottingham, I've not checked other airports such as Gatwick. There will of course be airport tax to pay. BMI's website is www.bmi.baby.com. Maybe it works from other UK airports as well.
14.6 - Perhaps the only Unconvention advert, well the only one we have planned at present, appears in the new issue of Festival Eye, along with a few words on the event.
19.5 - Just over a quarter of tickets have now gone, but we would still love (and need) your help to bring the whole event into being. If you want to help you can download, print out and display an A4 Poster for the Unconvention in your favourite pub, record shop, scout hut, café, indian take-away or anywhere else that will allow.
15.5 - The artists list and ticket sales reveal that so far people from at least 17 different countries will be participating in the Unconvention. I wonder how many will be represented in the end?
14.5 - We are delighted to announce two recent additions to the Unconvention melting pot. All the way from Australia Harry Williamson, Mothergong's co-pilot for so many years. And it looks as if a certain Monsieur Venux de Luxe will be bringing his incomparable Gong experience and undoubtedly still green pointy ears to the gathering.
PIP PYLE 1950-2006 Updated Fri 07 Sep'06
We all loved Pip, everybody did. A big spirit, a big heart and a big musician. No-one who ever toured with him or counted him among their friends will ever forget the sheer joie de vivre with which he launched himself at life, and which so often sucked you along as well, I know they will all be devastated. As one of the Gongmaison musicians told me through the tears when I broke the news to him, "I had some of the best times of my life with Pip." He was at the centre and the heartbeat of so many bands and worked with so many musicians, it's like some mighty oak has fallen.
Although Pip's appearance at the Unconvention was never formalised between us (I kept putting off speaking to him because we didn't have the budget to do justice to what the Hatfields deserve), a Gong gathering without him being there was absolutely inconceivable. He was the outstanding mainstay of the 25th Birthday Party concerts in 1994, playing with nearly every band, hours of top-class drumming each day. No doubt, knowing the stature and nature of the man, he would have become central to the Melkweg event as well. Like all of us Pip had some real up and downs in his life, the past few years had seen joy of the birth of a new son and the difficulty of a very serious major back operation, but throughout it all he remained just Pip, a great musician to his fingertips, always straight with you and always genuinely a brother. It is impossible to overstate just how much he will be missed. Love to all he leaves behind.
Tributes are being posted in the Forum in the Planet Gong section, that was mine. Jonny
An assortment of Gong tour stickers, some incredibly old, were sent to adorn Pip's coffin. I sent them on behalf of all who loved the man and his music. His funeral took place on 19th September in Essex, stickers and all.
STEVE HILLAGE Re-masterS - MORE Updated Wed 04 Sep'06
A couple of old 1/4" tapes of Steve Hillage material to be considered as bonus tracks were sent off to Virgin the other week. They ended up with GAS via David Id, who had stored them in his mum's attic for 25 years. Steve didn't know, or had forgotten about them as they were trying to source the tracks from a very old and slightly mangled cassette - yikes!.
One tape, my favourite, is known in Gongland as the 'power trio' version of 'Fish Risng', and contains wonderfully, powerful raw backing tracks of that album played by just Steve, Mike and Pierre and perhaps a wee bit of Dave Stewart. Mike Howlett tells a story, probably apocryphal, of them hearing the finished mixes of 'Fish Rising' while tripping, Steve deciding it was all way too powerful for people to take, so he went back in the studio and eased it all back a bit to create the album we know nowadays. I don't know if that's true or not, but these rough mixes may be some of evidence that it possibly is.
The tape box was labelled 'Manor Sept. '74 Rough Mix' and the tracks written on the box, are 'Pentagramme S.B.', 'Salmon Song', 'Aftaglid' 'I.L.I.H.M' (I Love It's Holy Mystery), and 'Beginning To See The Light'. The tracks have no overdubs, vocals or other instruments, but they often make the hair on the back of your neck stand up with their energy. 'Pentagramme S.B. is obviously 'Pentagrammaspin' released on the Virgin 'V' sampler and the unreleased 'Beginning To See The Light' is a great riff in search of a home, or a solo, or something. For a real devotee (thee 'n' me?) it is a pity that all these tracks probably won't be released, perhaps one day we can organise downloads or something of those that don't make the cut?
The second tape, also dated 'Manor Sept. '74 Rough Mix', contains, 'Hole in the Sky', which I presume became 'Light in the Sky', 'Dither Blues', which became 'Don't Dither Do It' and 'Electric Gypsy'. I don't remember actually getting round to hearing this tape ever, perhaps it was a 'squeaker' and in need of baking to rescue it, so we didn't play it. One question that comes to mind is if the date on the tape box is correct then some of the tracks, or at least the ideas were around years before they saw the light of day in released form.
After a little initial reluctance Steve is quite taken with this whole project and has quite a few bonus track ideas and surprises which I won't spoil by revealing now - but I know you're going to enjoy it all.
"AHH PIP" - daevid Posted Fri 01 Sep'06
'Mojo' is devoting their regular 'Now To Buy' piece to Gong in the November issue (on the streets Oct 4th). This requires choosing 10 currently available Gong CDs and putting them in a 1-10 order. What would you choose? There is a thread in the Forum, in the 'Gigs and Reviews' section should you care to add your selection. The 'Mojo' article also includes 'One to Avoid', so what's the worst Gong CD?
dAEVID'S RHIZOMAZE DRAWING Posted Mon 14 Aug'06
Here's the link to my website - [defunct] http://www.big.com.au/thaishenry/surrealism
If you follow the witchy-poo symbol you get the not-essay as originally printed - when you get to the Rhizomaze, (which daevid said he has put on his website as an example of his work), click the witchy-poo again for the lead into the main body of the essay.
I did, in fact, design the map and its pathways, and choose the fonts for the different characters and movements - daevid merely (but surely) did the illustrations and altered the "surrealism" font, for which I am grateful, as it adds to the overall effect.
Apart from the witchy links, there is an embryonic section on Futurism, and an essay I did on the Internet back in 2001 (which I'm still proud of) under Appendix B.
Cheers, and hope you enjoy the read - Andrea.
In the Gong panoply of archetypes Hi-T Moonweed (the favourite) has been determindly struggling along with the 'catastrophic stone' until very recently - time to lighten the load. The end is in sight, the tide has turned and the music is flowing - Go see him at one of the gigs, and if you can't do that, wear the badge with pride.
NEW DAEVID FILM Posted Wed 09 Aug'06
There are three in total, all great stuff and the last featuring Jon Hassell. The direct links are:-
Apparently it's selling like hot cakes in France, has had loads of radio play, was made FNAC's world music No.1 CD and is nearing sales of 10,000!
DAEVID on SYD Updated Fri 28 Jul'06
A version of this story told by daevid is in the latest issue of Mojo (Sept) along with stories/tributes from Dave Brock, Cpt. Sensible and many others in the magazine's Syd article.
ORIGINAL DAEVID ARTWORK FOR SALE - updated Thr 13 Jul'06
For the first time ever daevid is offering some original poster and CD artwork for sale. They are all ink on A4 cartridge paper and represent a deeply rare chance to own an ultimate piece of Gong history, should you desire such a thing.
WHEN DAEVID MET TERRY Updated Thr 13 Jul'06
DAEVID 'n' SYD Posted Wed 12 Jul'06
Our man on the spot way back then, stepping deftly around the 'icon' to see the man he knew, says, "Syd was around for about a year and a half, then he was out of his box. I think he may have 'died' in about 1968."
Too close perhaps, too much of real a person back then for daevid? For me, and many others Syd Barrett was totally unique and inspirational, an archetype even. And though it is over 30 years since his last public creativity it is always sad when your one of your main men checks out and the world feels a little emptier. Go well.
FACELIFT LIVES Updated Wed 14 Jun'06
Commission a daevid illustration - updated Tue 07 Mar'06
massage from daevid alien 18.05.05
ART WORK COMMISSIONS
I WILL ILLUSTRATE IN B/W
this will be part of a limited series which will be exhibited on completion
cum work with me one of these… contact jonny for further details
ELTON DEAN 1945-2006 Updated Mon 13 Feb'06
Elton jammin with Gong, Paris, Oct '96. You wonder what they're playing? "You Can't Kill Me" - natch. The physical being is no more - the spirit, music and love continue. Celebrate that man, he did it so well and made it home once more. (L-R) Steffe, Didier, Elton, Mike, Gilli, daevid - also there but not visible are Pip and Tim. Thanks to Aymeric for the picture and the memory.
HOW OLD IS DAEVID ALLEN? - updated Mon 06 Feb'06
His musings on some aspects of the passing of time…
One evening Ynys and Jazzy were talking to me about current
I thought a bit and replied:
Last December near Bryon Bay
FRED FRITH Posted Thr 26 Jan'06
Spotted this part of an interesting little interview with Fred Frith on the BBC web-site. Fred, extrodinary guitartist that he is, of course has his own site www.fredfrith.com/ and label.
"But my big electric guitar heroes were all on the rock side, and I learned from all of them… George Harrison for his formal restraint, Pete Townsend for his approach to chords, Syd Barrett for the abstract sound-world, daevid allen for continuous textures; I think of myself as being more in that tradition than an avant-garde one."
Even though it is possibly more expected than David Bowie siting daevid as an influence, as we had the other year, I sort of enjoy the fact that Fred was also inspired by him more.
DAEVID GUESTS ON 'TOOTH' CD - updated Mon 23 Jan'06
Last year daevid allen teamed up with a band called 'Tooth' in Australia. "He has contributed an accapella song, many stunning guitar parts to two of the tracks as well as a guitar interlude. The first track on disc two is a yet unnamed song about the perils of believing in the system, followed by 'Harmony Brew', with daevid on glissando and elsewhere there is the tune 'Avoiding the road to Recovery' with some rip roaring lead work." The album, a double CD (and they hope vinyl) entitled 'Mudlarking', "an album of psychedelic joy," is due to be released in Australia in March. I hope to get stock copies in the Kasbah.