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.
Very nice looking double CD produced to aid the Stonehenge Festival Campaign. It features 2 tracks from the Invisible Opera Co. of Tibet, and tracks from the 1984 Festival - 2 from Here & Now, a couple from the Hawklords, one from Uncke Nik Turner, and as they say,....many more. Good looking, very reasonably priced and focused on a cause.
On 1st October daevid's course of radiotherapy was completed. During the last phase of treatment it was decided to double the level of radiation and double the number of sessions to two per day. Consequently daevid is frail as could possibly be, far below shattered, very quiet and as Turiya e-mailed, "very introverted", he has also lost a lot of weight - but most importantly the cancer is gone. Now comes the slow journey back to being a healthy, happy, independent 77 year old.
When he decided to embrace the radiotherapy course of action daevid said he would commit himself completely and utterly for the duration, and do whatever 'they' said needed to do done. Then, when it was all over, he would commit himself totally to naturopathic pathways back to wellness - as well as the daevid pictured above in 2012.