Pierre Moerlen died unexpectedly in his sleep in the early hours of Tuesday 3rd May 2005, aged 53, in the mountains near Strasbourg. He was in the middle of rehearsal sessions for a new "Pierre Moerlen's Gong" band, which were going well and with which he was very happy. Pierre's funeral took place on Monday 9th May, in Colmar, Alsace-Lorraine, the town of his birth.
Tributes - daevid's Pierre poem - Aymeric on Pierre - other band members
I have received many, many e-mails from around the world, and postings on the Forum expressing love and support for Pierre's family and honouring the man and his music, which I will pass along. Thank you all. Here are just a few… Jonny
Pierre was a true friend and an awesome drummer. In the world of Musical Theater he also brought such an innovative, natural and and fresh groove to any production that he was a part of. We'll all miss you Pierre! - Dov Michael Schiller
i would like to offer my condolences to all his family, friends and colleagues - he was one of the finest percussionists of his time - i especially loved his inspired playing on angel's egg, you and fish rising, respects - neil cottom
To me he was an integral part of Gong and I loved his solo albums, particularly Time Is The Key. May perpetual light shine upon him and may he rest in peace - Patrick MacColl
Please send my sincere condolences to the Gong family for me, as I am deeply saddened by the loss of Pierre. It is obviously a terrible loss of one of the finest percussionists in music. His contributions to the 'trio', Flying Teapots, Angels Egg and You were extraordinary, let alone the rest of his great work. God bless Pierre Moerlen! Sincerely - Robert Kramer
World, please wake up!! We are losing great spirits like Pierre Moerlen, who dies too early. I have seen him in the 80's with Gong and Tribute. Around that time he was also playing the hit with Mike Oldfield. I was 15 at that time and will never forget these concerts and the spirit that was in it. I am missing this music so much - and the life in it! I still have the same ride cymbal, that Pierre was playing in these days. He impressed so much!! I talked to him for just maybe 1 minute, remember being very afraid of doing that. I would have loved to know him.
The world has not gotten better since that time - People, stop listening to that bullshit that is surrounding us everyday and go back to listen to good music, support musicians that try to get a tour together, which is already a big fight against so many obstacles. These last years have destroyed so much - but… flowers still can grow!!!!
Pierre left us good music and so much more… it was his talent and the spirits that surrounded him. I am crying but I want to smile again - let's never forget the good things in life and in music - Wolfgang Roggenkamp, 12.Mai 2005
This was terrible and shocking news. Although Pierre Moerlen was a supreme technician, he created a magic that went beyond technique - and I don't use the word magic lightly. He was a joy and an inspiration to so many people, and I hope he knew it. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends - Simon Russell
We have lost one of the best drummers in the world… I remember seeing Mike Oldfield live in 1979, the Moerlen brothers ruled! I've never been so exited with the rhythm section ever. And his work with Gong. Love from all your friends in Sweden! - Hans-Peter Thorson
Expresso II gave me a greater impact than Mahavishnu or KC in the 80's. Just only rhythm sections, no front man, they generated kaleidoscopic, innovative but emotional tunes. Someone said that there's no rock drummer in the Chanson-melody-flowing country. He may be short of knowledge. Pierre was one of the gifted drummers in the world absolutely. J'adresse a sa famille et Benoit mes sinceres et respectueuses condoleances - Hatsuki NISHIO
Pierre Moerlen's tunes and his drumming on Expresso II are what moved me towards the Planet Gong. Being a drummer I always felt a special appreciation for him as a drummer, composer and as a performer with every sort of percussion. Music misses a real Master now. We have his music, and that's what will keep his memory alive. R.I.P. Pierre - gianmariaeluca
Recieve a big hug from Colombia. Sad news and we are with us about Pierre - Jacobo
Transmit all my friendly thoughts to his family and the gong members. I think to him, his masterpiece work, his talent, his vision of music, his contributions to the world. I wish also to thank him one last time to the good musical moments he gave to us through his career. Bye pierre… - geraud bec
Pierre Haut Lunaire, When you stroked your gong, Our middle eye came on. Love to everyone - Serge Dahane
Today i know that pierre is dead. today is a sad day for me. i remember the long days passed listened the magic touch and the magic times of pierre's drum. i can't believe that he is dead. one part of my music heart is broken. hi pierre, you are the magic in my music soul - Fabiano
I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and dear friends: grief is brief; memories eternal. When challenged to summarize the man in one word, I look beyond his many accomplishments, and can only muster 'considerate'. You have your word, and that is mine - Allen
I luv you Pierre..you will always be in the music of the universe… the heartbeat of the pixie dreams… RIP good brother, you will be missed - catbootz
Please pass my condolences to his family and friends - Fabio Golfetti
Pierre's drumming is very inspirational, and his passing so early greatly diminishes the music on this planet. It's been a hard time on drummers--Jim Capaldi, Spencer Dryden, and now this - but I can only imagine the drum session they're having now!
My deepest sympathy to those who knew and loved him, especially the Gong family and Benoit. Play his spirit home! - Bear Some peoples have a special spit of light in their eyes. Pierre was one of them. Passion was his rule, rhythm was his world, he gave us both of them. Thanks Pierre, wherever you are… Look Pimplemaya
I am very sad to read that Pierre passed away monday night exactly six years (minus one day) after he played what turned out to be his very last gig with "classic" Gong in Fabrik, Hamburg. I happened to be there & remember being very impressed by Pierre's energy, technical surplus & good spirit. Much more powerful than any record I have heard. Life was not always that easy to Pierre but the music he gave us will live on forever. Now he has passed away to the next life - the "eternal jam-fields" I imagine - hopefully he will form a great band there. Love - Ulrik
Very sad news. I received your e-mail at the same time as a photo of my mates showing a picture of their new baby. Thus the Great Wheel turns round. God bless Pierre and his family - Paul Williams
This is indeed sad news. My condolences to all - Craig
I have always spoken of him as the absolute best drummer in the world. I am deeply saddened by his passing - Don Williams
Mes condoléances à la famille de Pierre Moerlen et à la famille GONG. Pierre Moerlen nous avait remplit de joie et de plaisir avec ses EXPRESSOS…. Claude RICHARD
It's a sad news. I want to join you in remembering him and in sending love and blessings to his loved ones. Pierre est mort vive Pierre - Jean Luc LEFRANC
Sincerest condolences to the Moerlen/Gong family - Steve Hill
I went out of my way to see Gong play the Bataclan in Paris in 1998. I'm glad that I did because after seeing Pierre perform, I understood his reputation. A great musician, and phenomenal entertainer - Rich W
A great privilege to have worked with Pierre on the one Gong USA tour he accompanied in the late '90s… whether reserved offstage or illuminated in performance, his sincerity shone seamlessly throughout - Wolf Thandoy
What can I say that has not already been said? Love, Hugs & Condolences to his family & friends. Peace - Kev
RIP Pierre the world should miss you. I will still keep playing your records and taking inspiration from you. Lets give pierre to the world. play a record to your family friends and anyone who will listen. let people know that pierre was a "GOD" among drummers - Scott Armstrong
Very sad news indeed, your beats live on in our hearts.
He'll be remembered every time we listen to his music. Merci beacoups, Pierre bon nuit - rob laurie
Pierre was one of the great drummers/percussionists. My condolences to his family and friends - Panananda
I'm very sad to hear about Pierre Moerlen's death. Pierre, I received a lot from your music. Thank you very much - Tommaso
I'm really stunned by this news. One of my all time fave drummers. Very sad news indeed - Daven
a true master drummer - Brian Zero
A sad day indeed, i have always believed Gong has some of the best musicians on the planet and now we are one less-a truly marvelous musician. thanks for the music Pierre the world was a better place for your sounds - Johnny H
My condolences to all of his family and loved ones. May they be comforted by the love which I'm sure he is sending out to them from the heaven world - Alan S
Sad news indeed. Super drummer and to think he was only in his early 20s when he performed so brilliantly on "You" - Ian Fraser
I never saw him play live but love his playing on Angel's Egg and You- what an amazing drummer he was. He was one of the main reasons I started playing drums myself. I never got anywhere near his level of technical brilliance but always tried to play from the heart as an expression of joy which is how I hear his playing. Love and blessings to his loved ones and indeed to all you fabulous Gongsters - Duncan
First concert I ever went to….. Gong at the Liverpool stadium with Pierre on drums….fantastic! please pass on my best wishes and sincere condolences to Pierre's family and friends - Alex Malone
I was very saddened to hear this news. He will be well remembered as one of the finest drummers on the planet - Pierce
Some more sand is pouring out of our hands…
As a drummer for over thirty years and a huge gong fan for over thirty years, I am devastated to hear of the passing of one of my "Drum God's". Although I had already started playing drums when I became aware of Flying Teapot and Angel's Egg, I was then , and continue to be a huge fan of his style and technical expertise. His solos were as good , if not better than any I've ever heard.Unfortunately, I never had the honor of seeing him play live, but will always cherish the recordings I have. IT'S A SAD DAY FOR THE MUSICAL UNIVERSE - Ms. Jody Mallory
My thoughts are with him, and his loved ones. May he rest in peace - J Clague (the manxmann)
I was exploding
Out of the frying pan
A reborn headhunter,
Too perfect his Chalice,
then down the back stage tunnel
a tunnel channel
They dance with the shadows of an ancient alchemy
But now my brother
I bet yr playing with
AYMERIC ON PIERRE
Hugely detailed and almost certainly definitive overview of Pierre's wide-ranging career.
English translation of Aymeric's Pierre article
Steve Hillage & Miquette Giraudy
"Hello", he said I'm Pierre, the New Drummer! "I've just driven down from Strasbourg…"
The band took off again meeting a variety of bassists before Mike came to join. It was a golden age of Gong, and most of the "feel" of Angel's Egg & "You" grew from this time together.
It was a time of real friendship, real sharing, real music .. real Gong, & not so 'Para'
Keith tha bass
shyamal maitra and michel