Gong and the Gong family

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Planet Gong

Gong is more of a family than just one band. The Gong Global Family, a huge collection of musicians, artists and poets which was the brain child of its visionary Daevid Allen who came up wit the idea on a Easter full moon. Daevid Allen, originally from Austrialia, was a member of the first Canterbury Scene band the Wilde Flowers and then was one of the founding members of Soft Machine. Daevid left Soft Machine after one album as he was looking for a more spiritual band and thus began the beginning of Gong. The first album, Magic Brother/Mystic Sister(1969) was Daevid Allen on Glissando guitar along with his wife Gilli Smyth, space whispers and Didier Malherbe's on sax and flute along with a drummer and bass player. These three made up the core of Gong signature sound which spanned over 4 decades.

Gong-Pretty Miss Titty


"Daevid Allen used the bizzarre Glissando Guiar a technique that produces an eerie ethereal, droning sustained synthesizer-like sound. It is created by bowing the strings, violin style above the frets, with a smooth, metal, dowel-like object, such as a guitar tremolo arm. It is then fed thru various effects such as an echo-delay. Thought to have been originated by Syd Barrett(Pink Floyd) using a Zippo lighter, the technique was perfected and taken to new hights by Daevid Allen. Daevid's guitar is complimented by Gilli Smyth's unique space whispers representing the Goddess, The Witch, The Earth Mother, Priestess and other characters that she personifies in the GONG mythology."

In 1971 Gong's album Camembert Electrique solidified this signature sound as the three were joined by Pip Pyle on drums.

You Can't Kill Me


The next phase of Gong, The Gong Trilogy, includes another revamped lineup which replaced Pip Pyle with Pierre Moerlen and added Steve Hillage, guitar, Mike Howlett, bass and Tim Blake, sythesizer. The Trilogy expanded the Gong sound from a psychodelic sound to one that wasn't afraid to dwell in any form-Rock, Jazz,fusion,electronic,funk, ambient, jam band,avant, spoken word,world music and mythical mantras. During this period Gong toured throughout the world.

Gong-Outer Temple / Inner Temple



The band took another turn and Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth left the band and turned the reins over to Steve Hillage for a short stint in which he used the band to record his first solo album, Fish Rising before leaving them. Gong had now taken a turn towards fusion. Pierre Moerlen's Gong had added several musicians for and mixed and matched musicians for different songs-guest members included Alan Holdsworth(session), Mick Taylor( Rolling Stones), Darryl Way(curved Air), Mike Oldfield. Pierre Moerlen's Gong did several fusion albums:

Gong-Heavy Tune



Once again Gong changed it sound. Reintroducing Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth the band followed the trends and changed into a New Wave/Punk band. Still following Daevid's bizarre Gong world that joined forces with the space/New Wave band Here & Now featuring Steffy Sharpstring on guitar to form Planet Gong.

Planet Gong-Opium for the People



which lead to another Allen project called New York Gong. Once again all new musicians with Daevid.

NEW YORK GONG - MUCH TOO OLD / BLACK SEPTEMBER / MATERIALISM


Allen and Gilli also joined forces with a Japanese psychodelic space rock band called "Acid Mothers Temple" to create Acid Mothers Gong.


Various reunions and different bands thruout the years led to the rejoining of the original Classic Gong trilogy in 2006. The Gong family thru a festival in Amsterdam called the Gong Unconvention it was a three day festival that I attended. The Bands were a mix of all phases of Gong including Classic Gong, Steve Hillage Band, Acid Mothers Gong, Here & Now Band, System 7 (Steve Hillage's Techno band), Gliss Orchestra(10 guitarists together playing Glissando Guitar), Mother Gong(Gilli's band), Hadouk Trio(Didier's jazz band), Tim Blake's Crystal Machine, Daevid & Friends(acousic solo Daevid and Gong), David's Secred Geography and Univ. of Errors plus several other bands with former gong members.

Steve Hillage Band



Hadouk



System 7



The reunion was such a success that classic Gong went back in the studio and recorded a new album and tour. The album came out last Sept called 2032.

Here is the video



pictures to come :)

Discographies:

(Daevid Allen's) Gong albums

1970: Magick Brother
1971: Camembert Electrique
1971: Continental Circus
1973: Flying Teapot
1973: Angel's Egg
1974: You
1976: Shamal
1992: Shapeshifter
2000: Zero to Infinity
2004: Acid Motherhood
2009: 2032


Mother Gong albums

1979: Fairy Tales
1981: Robot Woman
1982: Robot Woman 2
1986: Robot Woman 3
1988: Fish In The Sky
1990: The Owl And The Tree (with Daevid Allen)
1991: Wild Child
1993: She Made The World Magenta
1994: Eye
1994: Tree In Fish
2005: I Am Your Egg


Pierre Moerlen's Gong albums

1976: Gazeuse! (Expresso in North America)
1978: Expresso II
1979: Downwind
1979: Time is the Key
1980: Pierre Moerlen's Gong Live
1980: Leave It Open
1986: Breakthrough
1988: Second Wind
1998: Full Circle Live '88
2004: Pentanine

New York Gong

1980: About Time


Gong Maison

1989: Gong Maison
 
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Tattoo'd Lady

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love Gong, thanks for starting this thread. Angel's Egg is probably my favorite album from the Gong family but they have a lot of great stuff. Gazeuse is probably a close second
 

Sox

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Brilliant just caught them in sheffield at the back end of last year. Steve Hillage was awsome. Flying Tea Pots as far as the eye could see.
 

LG

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I have 7 of their albums...my favorite changes all the time though. Definitely a unique sounding band, you either like them or leave them.

I have 2032, but haven't listened to it yet AK.

Nice thread, I had a feeling this was coming after reading your top ten bands post.
 
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LOU/REALM

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the second album i ever bought was "Camembert electrique" by GONG. i even had their logo on my school bag.Ive seen them live twice now and have always been entertained. The last time was special because the man himself Steve Hillage was on guitar [ to many he was the pioneer of the delay pedal }. He was in fine form so too was Daevid Allen who wore some wacky outfits, a top evening was had by all,indeed a capacity crowd..........who else was in the crowd?.......yep you guest it.....sweaty and sox !!!
 

LG

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You three could form your own "Bike Gang", Lou...:heheh:

I bought a solo album by Steve Hillage in the late 70's but I didn't like it much at all. I do enjoy his work in Gong though, and you have seen him live which I doubt I will ever experience either.
 

LOU/REALM

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the hillage albums that come to mind are "L" and the bizarrely titled "fish rising" i know a few that would recommend them... he also did a version of "its all too much "[ beatles ]which was pretty good. Getting back to GONG I remember the look on my freinds face when they changed musical styles...around the "shamal"" gazeusse" era..........what glockenspiels!!!!the horror:mad::wtf:
 

LG

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I love Glockenspiels...:heheh:

Yeah the Hillage album I bought was "Fish Rising", and I just couldn't connect with it. Maybe I'll sniff around and give some of his solo stuff another go, that was over 30 years ago and I have Grown up a little since then when it comes to music.

I absolutely love Gazeuse!:rock:
 

Aktivator

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Judging from your tastes now LG you should give Hillage another try. Fish Rising, L, Green and Motivation Radio are awesome albums. The album Rainbow Dome Musick was discovered several years later by The Orb and Hillage formed a techno band called System 7.
 

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