Daevid, you were born in Melbourne, Australia and in your teenage years you decided to travel to Paris. What compelled you to go to Europe?
I wanted to be at the epicentre of the artistic avant garde wherever it was in the world.
While staying in Paris you met Terry Riley and soon the doors to all jazz clubs were open. Tell us about times in Paris?
Actually they were always closed to us because we were too weird.
I did a poetry reading accompanied by Terry playing a motorcycle engine. It was not what they wanted. The doors remained closed. On the other hand Chet Baker was our friend so we got in at least.
Around 1961 you went to England where you met two very extraordinary people, William S. Burroughs, and Sun Ra. What do you remember from meeting them?
I met Burroughs in Paris. In London he told me to get a haircut and disappear.
I met Sun Ra in 1979 in NYC. He told me to have a cup of coffee and relax.
Out of this you formed Daevid Allen Trio, which included yours landlord's son, 16-year old Robert Wyatt. This was a free jazz outfit. You performed at Burroughs' theatre mostly pieces based on the novel 'The Ticket That Exploded'. Was Burroughs involved?
Whenever I played with Burroughs, such as on this occasion in the Montmarte Club run by Bud Powell's wife Buttercup, he only ever said one thing to me. He said:
"Keep your bags packed and ready to go at all times, Dave."
In this show he was trapped in a giant syringe. Brion Gysin was dressed as a nun.
You met Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge and out of this Soft Machine was born. Robert Wyatt was before playing in Wilde Flowers. How did you all came together and decided to form Soft Machine?
Roberts mum kept making us large cups of tea.
'Love Makes Sweet Music' / 'Feelin' Reelin' Squeelin' was a single you released. You must have carried your love of jazz to other guys from the band?
We all equally loved jazz apart from Kevin who was more 50-50.
When you were again in Paris you had some problems getting back to England and this was the reason for your departure from Soft Machine. Out of this there was another project born called 'Gong'. You remained in France where you met professor, Gilli Smyth. She joined your project and other members were added including Ziska Baum on vocals and Loren Standlee on flute. Because of problems with student revolution you moved to Majorca. What happened there?
They sent in the sunday papers to scandalize us so that we would be forced to go somewhere else... Fortunately the local priest stood up for us. He had seen me meditating on the side of the church hill. We`stayed.
Gong's debut was 'Magick Brother' back from 1970. What are some memories from writing this album? What influenced you the most?
In the middle of doing my vocals, I tried to strip an electric cable of its insulation with my teeth and a front tooth broke off. Bad idea.
A bit later you started working on your solo album titled 'Banana Moon'. It contains a really strong psychedelic sound. What can you tell us about it? If I may ask, did the halucinogens had any impact on making this album and possible also other Gong's albums?
Hallucinogens are best used for listening to music.
'Camembert Electrique' was for an example released the same year as 'Banana Moon'. Why did you decided for a solo project?
Gong was a band. I was just me.
'Continental Circus' and 'Flying Teapot' followed. Would you like to tell us what was the main concept behind these two releases?
'Cont Circ' was about a motorcycle racing man called Jack Finlay.
Flying Teapot was the first in a series of three records called 'Gong Trilogy'.
'Angel's Egg' was a bit different and more jazzy oriented. Why did you choose this approach?
Between 1973 and 1974, Gong, now augmented by guitarist Steve Hillage, released their best-known work, 'YOU'. It was the third and final LP in the 'Radio Gnome Trilogy'. I would love if you could take us back and talk about the concept and backgrounds of 'Radio Gnome'?
'Radio Gnome' is a secret frequency by which people of like mind can tune in instantly to each others ideas.
You were very active in late 70's as 'Planet Gong' and you are still very active. What are you currently up to? It has been hinted that you may be creating a record label to release a new material?
I have a radical new CD out called 'SOUNDBITES FOR THE REVELATION 2012'.
The new record label is 'FLAMEDOG' and run by my son Orlando who plays drums in GONG on this tour.
'Gong' always had various of lineups and changes in content sense. Would you pick one lineup, that in your opinion worked the best.
The current one.
You lived a long time in somehow called 'musical commune' and I want to ask you how did typical days looked like?
9.36am Shopping therapy
10.45 Huge argument.
Why the name Gong?
Balinese gongs. One sound. Ommm.
Is there any particular concert, that happened and you just thought to yourself: ''well this is IT''?
Seeing Paco de Lucia play in Palma de Mallorca 1976.
I'm sure you experienced plenty of crazy events. Would you please share one?
They rushed on stage during the last number screaming THERE IS A BOMB UNDER THE STAGE.
I kept on playing thinking: What better way to go?
Thank you very much for taking your time. Would you like to send a message to your fans and to the readers of It's Psychedelic Baby readers?
Keep listening and keep taking halucinogens!
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2012
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