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Daevid Allen and Friends

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Daevid Allen and Friends Biography

Australian poet and musician Daevid Allen, born in 1938, moved to Europe in 1960, inspired by the writings of the ‘Beat Generation.’ After a year or so in Paris he arrived in the UK in 1961. After meeting William Burroughs, and discovering the peculiar music and philosophy of free-jazz maverick Sun Ra, he formed The Daevid Allen trio with his landlady’s son Robert Wyatt. Some years later they teamed up with Mike Ratledge and Kevin Ayers to form Soft Machine (William Burroughs’s name for the human body). After a European Tour in 1967 Allen was refused entry to the UK because of a visa irregularity and moved back to France where he became involved in the famous student insurrection of 1968.

He then moved to Deya, Majorca, where he and partner Gilly Smyth began to assemble a loose-knit collection of musicians who began recording under the name Gong. One of these musicians was Didier Malherbe (latter dubbed Bloomdido Bad-De Grass by Daevid), a tremendously gifted saxophonist and flautist, who Daevid claimed to have found living in a cave on the estate of poet Robert Graves. In 1971, in Daevid’s own words...'It was now three years since my deportation from the mum country so I was now able to legally re-enter England for the first time since 1967.' One of his first appearances when he returned to the UK was a performance at a benefit concert at The Roundhouse in aid of Release. Release was founded in 1967 by Caroline Coon and the late Rufus Harris. It is a charity that provides assistance to those people who have been charged with drugs offences.

According to Wikipedia: 'Today Release is the oldest independent drugs charity in the world and continues to provide a range of services dedicated to meeting the health, welfare and legal needs of drugs users and those who live and work with them'.

The line-up of the concert included Daevid himself, Gilli Smyth, Didier Malherbe, Christian Tritsch, Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean and Gerry Fields. The event was one of the most important British hippy actions of the time and we at Gonzo Multimedia are overjoyed to be bringing it out into the public arena.


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