Daevid Allen, the Australian born member of prog rock bands Soft Machine and Gong, has died at the age of 77.
Allen left Australia in the early 1960s to initially travel to France and settled in the UK. In 1966 he formed Soft Machine in England, then Gong in France. Soft Machine featured a 16-year old Robert Wyatt on drums.
Soft Machine’s first single ‘Love Makes Sweet Music’/ ‘Feelin’ Reelin’ was produced by Chas Chandler (The Animals) and was rumoured to have featured a guest appearance from Jimi Hendrix on the b-side. Hendrix was in the next studio recording ‘Hey Joe’ at the time.
Allen announced he had six months to live on 6 February, 2015. In a statement he said, “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 vigour while also spreading to my lung.
“The cancer is now so well established that I have now been given approximately six months to live”.
Just a few weeks ago on February 27, Daevid gave this final reading at Pizza Paradiso in Byron Bay. His poem went:
“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.”
Never miss a story! Get your free Noise11.com daily music news email alert. Subscribe to the Noise11 Music Newsletter here