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Daevid Allen dies aged 77

Gong founder and Soft Machine member dies from cancer

Gong founder and Soft Machine member Daevid Allen has died aged 77. Allen was given six months to live when his cancer returned after a period of remission.

Born in Melbourne in 1938, he moved to Europe in 1960 and spent time collaborating with William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Crossing the channel, he played in various incarnations of his Daevid Allen Trio, and ended up renting a room in Robert Wyatt’s parent’s house in Canterbury. In 1966, he formed Soft Machine with Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Miek Ratledge, but his time in the group was short lived after being denied re-entry to the UK for overstaying his original visa. He returned to Paris and settled there, and and in the late 60s travelled to Mallorca and began work on the first Gong album, Magick Brother, Mystick Sister. In the mid-70s the extended Gong family lived in rural France. He went on to record in other groups and Gong guises, returning to Australia in 1981.