Psychedelic Rock Pioneer Daevid Allen Dead at 77

Daevid Allen
Daevid Allen

Australian musician, composer, singer and poet Daevid Allen passed away today, March 13, 2015. He had been battling cancer.

Christopher David Allen, better known as Daevid Allen, was born January 13, 1938. He was the co-founder of groundbreaking psychedelic progressive rock groups Soft Machine and Gong.

With Gong he recorded iconic albums in the eary 1970s, including Camembert Electrique, Flying Teapot, Angel’s Egg and You. His most recent release was I See You (Madfish, 2014).

Daevid Allen was the kind of mercurial, inspiring individual whose free-thinking nature positively touched the lives of all who came into his orbit. When the Australian-born Allen first arrived in England in late 1960, he ended up as a lodger in the home of Robert Wyatt’s parents; the first Beatnik to be seen in the Kent countryside.

Allen brought a glimpse of a different world and way of living to Wyatt and his friends, and later, as a founder-member of British psychedelic pioneers Soft Machine, added his unique vision to British rock music at the time,” said his US publicist Anne Leighton in a press release.

It is as a founder-member of the sprawling collective Gong that Allen will be most closely associated; born out of the Paris Spring Commune of 1968, their debut album Camembert Electrique was memorably released in the UK in 1974 on the nascent Virgin Records label for the price of a vinyl single.

Gong were never blessed with a stable line-up; Allen left the band in the mid-seventies, but reformed Gong in the early nineties. The latest Gong album – I See You – was released late in 2014, and was greeted with universally glowing reviews, a brilliant restatement of Allen and the band’s enduring musical and lyrical values.

Although Daevid Allen’s death at the age of seventy-seven is a sad loss, his lasting legacy – an unapologetic desire to live, explore, entertain and inform through his remarkable body of work, outside of the world of the everyday – will live on.”

The link below is a February 27 video of Daevid performing a piece from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet in Bryon Bay, Australia where poets and artists gathered to help celebrate his life and work.

    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

One thought on “Psychedelic Rock Pioneer Daevid Allen Dead at 77”

  1. Still a bit sad that he’s gone onwards, to The Oily Way – but am equally glad that his Spirit has detached itself from his corporeal body, freed to get back home….bon voyage, Old Chum!

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