by daevid allen

A benefit for Planet Gong
published by Bracketpress in association with Tin Pot Productions 21 June 2015

The idea for this project was first mooted up at a System 7 / The Orb all-nighter in Manchester a couple of years ago. Our friend, The Tin Man, had three pieces of work with him that Daevid was keen to see published, and after the work we did with him in 2011, wondered if we would be up for it. Of course!
It was great to have the opportunity to work with Daevid on soundbites 4 tha reVelation 2012, and was another one of those occasions where I ended up working with someone who’s work I’d first come across over 30 years ago when the Gong LPs Magick Brother and Floating Anarchy 1977 were being passed around the school yard.
Work on Error Australis began just as Daevid went off on a tour of Japan with You Me & Us. After a lengthy period of radio silence we heard Daevid had been diagnosed with cancer, and was in hospital having intensive treatment.
We never had the pleasure of actually meeting Daevid – 10,500 miles aside – we were away when he was in the UK, but his funny playful emails were a joy.
We are gutted that Daevid never got to see this box set published – the book proofs were delivered to The Tin Man on Friday 13th March, the day Daevid passed. Work to complete the project continues, and will be a benefit for Planet Gong to help them towards tying-up Daevid’s extensive musical estate.

Limited to 100 copies only, the box set comprises of:

Daevid Allen’s University of Errors Australian tour diary, May 2011. Written in his idiosyncratic style, full of humour and word play. Full-colour throughout, featuring band photographs and those they met on their way.
48 page, square-format hardback

A poem concerning the consequences of having a broken tour bus toilet while suffering a chronic attack of the trots. Gong European Tour October 2009
12-page pamphlet with coloured card cover and letterpress printed title plate.

“PHP – The Remarkable Story of The Pot Head Pixies”
Originally published in 1966, before the formation of Gong, this text features the first appearance of the Pot Head Pixies who would become key characters in the Gong mythology. The pixies are green with propellers on their heads, and they fly around in teapots [©]. Pe-published here for the first time in over four decades.
8-page, square format pamphlet, card cover. With reproduction of Daevid’s 1966 PHP illustration.



Daevid Allen biog from soundbites 4 tha reVelation 2012
Born in Melbourne 1938, Daevid Allen was a pioneer of poetry & jazz in the late 1950’s at the Jazz Centre 44. In 1960, inspired by the Beat generation he discovered whilst working in the Melbourne University Bookshop, he left for Europe. In Paris he stayed at the infamous Beat Hotel in a room freshly vacated by Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. Hereafter he worked with William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in a groundbreaking mixed media show called ‘Machine Poets’ at London’s ICA in 1962 and at the Paris Biennale. His first collection of poems If Words Were Birds was published in 1963 by Outposts Publications UK followed by A Book of Chloroforms in 1965. Whilst living in Deya, Majorca, Robert Graves introduced him to Idries Shah, the painter Mati Klarwein and Spike Milligan, a clear influence on his poetic style. The following year with a young Robert Wyatt, he founded the psychedelic jazz-rock band Soft Machine, its name taken from the title of a William Burroughs novel. In 1967 he played London venues with Gilli Smyth, Michael Horowitz and Pete Brown as ‘Pop Poets’ at a time when Soft Machine were regulars at London’s legendary UFO club. Following the arrest of its founder, John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, he composed a ‘Poem for Hoppy’ which can be seen being performed at the time on YouTube. Following his near arrest for performing his surrealist poem ‘I don’t smoke the banana’ in front of a troupe of paratroopers during the Paris riots of 1968, he founded the psychedelic communal band Gong. This in turn produced some of the wondrous music with which he is inextricably linked such as Camembert Electrique and the trilogy of The Flying Teapot, Angels Egg and You. His poems surface in many of his recorded musical works, including ‘Poet for Sale’ on his 1977 solo album Now is the Happiest Time of your Life. In 1981, after a period in New York working with Bill Laswell, he returned to rediscover Australia. Here he worked with Thom the Poet & the Melbourne Street Poets thereafter pioneering performance poetry in Mullumbimby, Nimbin and Byron Bay with David Hallett and Russell Hibbs. He published a further collection of poetry in 2003, Poet for Sale, and two books charting the history and mystery of Gong, Gong Dreaming Vol.1+2 (SAF). His last collection of poetry, Soundbites 4 tha reVelation 2012 was published by Bracketpress in 2011. He continued to tour worldwide with his various musical incarnations, and perform regularly at local poetry performances around Byron Bay, Australia. He passed peacefully at 1.08pm AEDT on Friday the 13th March, surrounded by his sons.

daevid allen 13.01.38 – 13.03.15



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