a mellifluous clash | a cobbling of posts
gare de lyon train station, may 1968. on the cusp of toppling de gaulle.
As the title suggests, this is in no small part a collision of two archived posts; from August 2008 and September of the same year respectively. I have very nearly finished an often interrupted reading of Bob Chapman\’s \”Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head\”. My own is muddied from the ill-advised combination of unhealthy preoccupation with the past and living in the here and now. Of revisiting the scene of an accident in slow motion while simultaneously avoiding pressing engagements. Clowns and Jugglers; Chinese Whispers. What makes for an excellent book is not its recounting the familiar, but the gathering of threads and dispelling of myth. An almost forensic shredding of layers of fabrication. Nobody but a dedicated obsessive could have achieved what Chapman has. So. Like several of the subjects Chapman interviews, I have often wondered what might have been had Syd managed to hook up with Daevid Allen. Not so much those members of The Soft Machine who contributed to Malcolm Jones\’ Abbey Road sessions, but the Daevid Allen of Gong, proper.
Painterly investigators of paranormal activity. Parachutists. It\’s a big \’if\’, \”Little Lib\”. Ad Libitum. \”I am full of dust and guitars\”. Whatever the pop credentials of Syd\’s Pink Floyd – before it succumbed to its architectural bent – Roger Keith Barrett burned free form jazz. In later years, constricted. Living John Cage\’s \”4\’33\”\”.
Inside a raging din. Previously, September 24th, 2008: More from London\’s Ladbroke Grove in the slightly gnarled (and bent out of) shape of original Australian Soft Machine member, Daevid Allen, a beatnik of wondrous pedigree and mischievous aspiration. Gong first chimed in early 1969 in Majorca with partner, Gilli Smyth, on the run from the police following the Parisenne student demonstrations of \’68. Smyth and Allen drafted flautist, Didier Malherbe into their game, who they \”claim(ed) to have found living in a cave on Robert Graves’ estate\”. Highly unlikely, but, in a world heaving with pothead pixies and governed by flying teapots, one can never absolutely rule it in or out. Mr. Allen is a one man lighthouse keeper. A veritable Jonah The Baptist. Written and performed by Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth. Produced by Jean Georgakarakos and Jean-Luc Young. Recorded September & October 1969 Studio ETA, Studio Europa Sonor, Paris. Plucked and pulled from the ether with intuitive guile.