Daevid Allen: Now Is The Happiest Time Of Your Life

Poetry, prog, pixies and pot.

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By 1975, with the Radio Gnome trilogy just behind him, Gong founder/commune dweller/counter-culture icon Daevid Allen appeared to suffer a cosmic mid-life crisis, complaining of a ‘’wall of force’’ which prevented him from taking the stage.

This 1977 solo release saw a more introspective and mildly irate Allen wrestling with the injustices of an artist’s life, tempered by his perennial sanguine disposition. The glissando-driven Why Do We Treat Ourselves Like We Do? and I Am hark back to Steve Hillage-era flying teapot voyages, given a more Eastern folky vibe with a chorus of tablas.

More interesting are Poet For Sale and Crocodile Nonsense Poem, two spoken-word scat raps invoking the ghosts of Allen Ginsberg and the 50s beat poets. Wildly eclectic as a whole, it’s as quaint as it must have been 30-odd years ago and just as charming.

Tim Batcup

Tim Batcup is a writer for Classic Rock magazine and Prog magazine. He's also the owner of Cover To Cover, Swansea's only independent bookshop, and a director of Storyopolis, a free children’s literacy project based at the Volcano Theatre, Swansea. He likes music, books and Crass.