Seven more saving graces of Gong
daevid allen, 19/04/2003
Due to all sorts of complications it looks as if the <you'N'gong> project will have to be kept on hold until next Spring. So the eternal, internal Gong band dialogue of who?, what?, where? and how? - with a side order of why? is resumed once more. As so often this throws up many interesting thoughts and ideas. Such an, at present, e-mail conversation continues right now - so let's tune in and see what we can divine of the future…
1. Working with an established "name" band with a unique lyrical style & high standards & thus exposure to larger venues⁄festivals⁄tours.
2. Being able to be true to ones own musical⁄artistic identity in an established band with well written (even inspiring) material which has never sold out to commercial pressures.
3. Players get the possibility of contributing to the writing of material that has a good chance of being remembered.
4. Players often get the chance of expanded careers. Gong has often been a stepping stone to "bigger & better" things.
5. Being part of a large international semi secret society which has built its following & catalogue on personal closeness with audiences & a unique non industry presentation that surfs & survives difficult & rapidly changing music industry economic conditions & thanks to Jonny, a club membership fan base format that remains our own.
6. The chance to become part of the woof & warp of a larger musical tapestry with many great musicians weaving in & out in a self creating grand design.
7. Gong is one of the biggest longest running INDEPENDENT bands in the biz. We are possibly operating at the highest "industry acceptable level" for a band that totally refuses to accept the commercial edict.
Very few bands like Gong run for decades. It is one of a kind.
& yes, it is not financially easy but is the way it is in this business in 2003.
By our very nature, the artist⁄musician remains frighteningly vulnerable in an industry which is the purest strain of viral capitalism. An industry which is currently caving in on itself & struggling to reconstruct itself.
It seems that financially breaking-even these days is increasingly seen as a good tour. Gone are the halcyon rockstar days of the seventies & eighties.
We are perpetually poised on an economic tightrope with no net.
Thankfully there are still many lunatics like ourselves prepared to sacrifice sense for soul.
And there are all those other less material benefits which you know yourself & which each of us can only know in ourself.
In this last category perhaps are the most mysterious & profound benefits of all.
thus endeth the multiplied musings of guitar chairperson alien.
om cha cha