The great Daevid Allen – one of the key psychedelic rangers, amazing guitar players, leader of Gong and key influence on Syd Barrett and all round good bloke has died of cancer.

One of the great psychedelic pioneers and the definition of rock eccentric and plain brilliant guitar player and our favourite loon and frontman of the fantastic Gong Daevid has died of the cancer he announced last month.

LTW once had the please of hanging out for an afternoon with the madcap genius at Beautiful Days festival where Gong had stolen the show with a mind and body bending set that saw the guitar genius dance around in a spandex silver suit like a pixie on space dust.

All afternoon he was side stage watching the bands and we talked of everything from the tripped out sixties to his old mate Syd Barret and the glissando guitar technique that they both shared to modern music and the world as it is now. He was brilliant company – combining the enthusiasm of a teenager with the wisdom of a tribal elder and the madness of a witch doctor.

See you oWe have always loved your madness and your records. Shine on you star spangled genius!

LTW quite him in an interview about Syd Barrett here

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. I waited 30 plus years to see the classic line up reunite…due to Overdosing on my mates cookies, I remember nothing…somehow came home with a T shirt though…Sad Day

  2. This is very sad John – I ‘ve followed Gong since 1973 when Camembert Electrique came out as a cut price album on Virgin.

    Such a pioneer, an original member of The Soft Machine and as you say all round good bloke. The Planet Gong trilogy from Flying Teapot to You was just so beautifully put together and the musicianship, which included of course Steve Hillage, Didier Malherbe and a whole host of talented jazz infused artists, was out of this world.

    He had a simple passion, whether it was singing about tea, cheese, or pot head pixies and always had a smile on his face! Unknown to most, but so influential – he taught Syd Barrett his glissando guitar technique. At the Gong reunion in Paris 1977 ‘Strotium 90’ was formed with Gorden Sumner on Bass, Stewart Copeland on drums, Mike Howlett on vocals and Andy Summers on guitar they became ‘The Police’ of course!

    I had the pleasure of seeing them at the Gong 25th year reunion at The Forum in 1994 which is available on CD and Spotify if anyone would like to reminisce.

    A super talented maverick and genius, he will be sadly missed and my heart goes out to all other Gong lovers, Gillie Smyth, Pierre Moelern, pip Pyle, Tm Blake and all the other ex-members of the Gong family.



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