Live Preview: Gong

Kavus Torabi, who replaced the late Daevid Allen in Gong, checks in during the band’s current tour.

With his four sons scattering his ashes from surfboards in Byron Bay in Australia, Daevid’s funeral sounded very poignant. Were you present?

No, but I’ve got a spooky story about saying goodbye to him

Pray tell.

Daevid and I first connected when he came in to the radio show that Steve Davis [snooker star] and I presented. His ashes were scattered at 11.11pm Australian time, eleven minutes past midnight here in the UK. On that night our radio show was a tribute to Daevid. It was due to finish at midnight but, aware of what was happening all those miles away, we extended it to accommodate one final track, a song by Gong called Thank You. So there was a weird moment when I was sitting in the same chair in which I’d met Daevid, with an empty seat facing me, hearing my guitar parts on an album that we’d made together… And then, just as his ashes were being scattered, the song incorporated some old Gong samples. It was all too much. Steve and I wept.

Before he died, Daevid made it very clear that he wanted Gong to continue.

Absolutely. Gong has existed without Daevid in it, and he wanted it to become this evolving thing.

Have you experienced any negativity from fans?

Maybe just a little. But as a fan I can understand why someone might dismiss us as a tribute band. But knowing Daevid and what he wanted, I’m comfortable.

Could Gong someday make new music?

We’re already working on new songs with that idea in mind.

And what’s going on with your own band, Knifeworld?

We’re just about to begin recording album number four, and we go out on a tour in November.

Classic Rock 216: News & Regulars


Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.