Monday night, October 19th, Steve will be on the N@ked Short Club from 8-10pm (on Resonance FM, 104.4FM in London and via www.resonancefm.com worldwide): the first hour will feature him in conversation, plus blasts from the new 'N-Port' and 'X-Port' releases; the second hour will have him join a "normal" edition of the show, focussed on markets, the economy and wider world (Why? Because he's well informed and articulate about such things).
We, the surviving members of Gong, do not support Charly Records upcoming reissue of the Radio Gnome trilogy.
None of the surviving members of the lineups that created those recordings were ever signed to Charly Records.
The truth is that during the making of Flying Teapot in January 1973, the band learned that the record company - BYG Records (also known as Promodisc) - had gone bust, it's Paris office stripped bare, no phones working. The band was abandoned at the Manor Studios midway through the album. Virgin - at the time just a chain of record stores and The Manor studios - was about to launch their record label.
Faced with an unpaid recording bill, they decided to cut their losses and release Flying Teapot as the second release on the new Virgin Records label. That's the true story.
The booklet advertised as accompanying the Charly/BYG Release is full of untruths, lies and falsehoods claiming to represent Charly and BYG Records as some sort of poor victim of Virgin's wickedness. The truth is that none of the musicians on those recordings has ever received a penny of royalty payments for the Charly/BYG releases, or even a statement. This is understandable because we NEVER signed to BYG or Charly Records as Gong.
Meanwhile, forty years later, we still receive statements from Virgin and, for those of us who cleared our advances, royalty payments, even though Virgin has since been sold to EMI and now is owned by Universal Records.
We know and can confirm as a 100% corroborated fact that the Original Masters of these albums reside in the Virgin Records Archive, and that Charly has never at any time been given access to them, so Charly's claim to have used the Original Masters is false.
Charly has been brazenly abusing our rights as artists for decades. None of us are rich or powerful enough to sue them. All we can do is to let you, our lovely Gong fans, know that we do not support this release. We will be supporting a new boxed set to be released by Universal in a few months with our full collaboration.
Steve and Miquette dropped in on Dan Donovan's Radio Soundclash on Radio Soho on Saturday afternoon to talk about the forthcoming 'N-Port' and 'X-Port' albums and preview some tracks. The S'n'M section starts around the 54 minute mark, but Dan, who is an old mate of theirs, plays some great chilled dub and reggae from the show's beginning which puts you in a very good place for Steve and Miquette's relaxed chat with him.
The glorious life-affirming and wondrous music of the Japanese band Rovo is available in the Planetgong Bazaar again. Back in stock in really small quantities are 'Nouo', 'Phase' and 'Ravo' - each album as rewarding as the next. These are joined in the Bazaar for the first time by 'Condor' and the 'Selected 2001-2004' compilation.
Oh how daevid would have so loved seeing this box set finally make it into physical reality - but it wasn't to be. First mooted over two years ago, then planned and worked on by him, the one and only Tin Man (the angel of the entire project, as he was with the 'soundbites 4 tha reVelation 2012' book) and Christian and his partner at Bracketpress, it was finished just as daevid was "leaving the building". In fact the proofs arrived on the day of his passing, 13th March.
Over the past weeks I have seen, heard and experienced the sharp daevid allen shaped hole in the lives of many, myself included. Time naturally softens the sharp edges of that loss. It will get less stark but it will always be there as part of our own story - on this early May Day morning I find that heartening.
Bell Tree drawing by daevid
daevid's 'Hospital Stories' is now in the archives. Honest, gritty, funny, sweet and touchingly hopeful - a bit like the best of daevid really.
For years if you ever asked him what kind of funeral he would like daevid always said he wanted an old fashioned fire engine to take the coffin to Bryon Bay's town square or High St. accompanied by a trad jazz band. There his body would be burned on a large funeral pyre outside the Town Hall. Then his ashes were to be placed on a little wooden boat and floated out to sea. Unlike some of daevid's flights of fancy this one varied very little over time.
In the end not too much of the above can be achieved, but I'm sure he was just fine with that.
daevid will be cremated late morning 17th March at Bryon Bay's local Crematorium, in fact as I type just before midnight in 16th here in the UK the family and close friends will have already have gathered for the ceremony to begin. We are all there in spirit.
On Saturday all four of daevid's sons will paddle out on surf boards to scatter his ashes in the sea.
daevid's last gig on 1st March at The Rails in Byron Bay. Many thanks to David Hancock for the photograph.
Local artists, writers and poets gathered at the Pizza Paradiso in Suffolk Park, Byron Bay on 27th February to celebrate daevid allen and Gilli Smyth by performing some of the couple's poetry. Sadly only daevid could be in attendence - but being there he naturally he took the mike for the performance below.
daevid tells me he was entranced and surprised by the selection of poems and delighted at how well they were all performed - "every poet should experience something that".
"For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountaintop, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."
OK so I have had my PET-CAT scans (which is essentially a full body viewing gallery for cancer specialists) and so it is now confirmed that the invading cancer has returned to successfully establish dominant residency in my neck. The original surgery took much of it out, but the cancer has now recreated itself with renewed vigor while also spreading to my lung.
The cancer is now so well established that I have now been given approximately six months to live.
So My view has Changed:
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.
I am a great believer in "The Will of the Way Things Are" and I also believe that the time has come to stop resisting and denying and to surrender to the way it is.
I can only hope that during this journey, I have somehow contributed to the happiness in the lives of a few other fellow humans.
I believe I have done my best to heal, dear friends and that you have been enormously helpful in supporting me through this time
So Thank you SO much for being there with me, for the Ocean of Love
and Now, importantly, Thankyou for starting the process of letting go of me, of mourning then transforming and celebrating this death coming up - this is how you can contribute, this would be a great gift from those emotionally and spiritually involved with me.
I love you and will be with you always - Daevid xxx -
Two weeks before Christmas the initial pressing of 1000 copies of the vinyl version of the new Gong album , 'I See You', ran out. It became impossible to secure more. The label hurriedly ordered a new pressing. However due to the increased work-load on remaining pressing plants none can be manufactured before the last week of January.
I'm told that this follow up pressing of 500 will be identical to the the initial pressing. Depending on demand a further 500 may be pressed, ultimately making a limited edition of either 1500 or 2000 in total. Then that particular vinyl layout or format of 'I See You' will be retired. At some future date it is possible that a more simpler, condensed vinyl pressing may be produced, but then again maybe not.
Apologies if you have been expecting news of an 'I See You' LP order (no cards would have been debited), it was all a bit confused for a while - the chink of light is the 27th of January when new stock is expected at the label - so I should receive more copies just after that date and be able to send any pending orders.
Steve appears on a CD that was released at the end of June in the States, 'Light My Fire - A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors', on Cleopatra Record's Purple Pyramid label. The only track I've heard is the one Steve contributed to, 'The Soft Parade' which is very good indeed, full of prime Hillage guitarisms and with Graham Bonnet handling the vocals in good Lizard King style. If you get a chance cop an earful.