reply to Donald W
I agree with you entirely and I have long been a supporter of this idea. Some Gong freeks/musicians feel that it could not go on without Gilli or my originating influence but that to me is nonsense. As Gilli puts it, we launched the boat and off it went down the river with a constantly changing crew.
As an example, Steve Hillage has been the undisputed captain throughout the last four years. Clearly that has been a great success. But like everybody, Steve has many projects on the go and he makes it very clear that the circumstances need to be right for him to be involved with Gong. I hope the wheel will turn for him to have another period of engagement before too long.
It seems Gong revels in a cyclic renewal energy that means "all change" every three to four years. That is why I feel it is best served by a loose collective of musicians with multiple projects some of whom find themselves in the Gong bus when each tour begins.
This is one reason why I have invited my son Orlando to sing and play drums with Gong this year. He is after all a part of my blood family and one of his greatest drumming inspirations was Pierre Moerlen. But he would be the first to say that he has absolutely no sense of entitlement because of this. He has waited patiently for his moment and here it comes. Now in his late thirties his drumming has reached a peak that we both believe will serve a younger and refreshed Gong well this year.
For Gong I believe the ideal leadership requirement is somebody with a facilitator mentality allied with the correct spiritual/humanist/absurdist attitude to guide the group without becoming a control freak. (Thats probably one step beyond what I have been able to realise.)
It's also vital to be a collectivist, to listen and share the visions and choices of fellow musicians. It's important also that members of the collective can agree/disagree and turn the other cheek while remaining friends. History shows that it takes an awful lot of negativety to be finally externalised by the Gong collective.
But finally, while i can do everything I can think of to prepare for my last tour, beyond my watch, the continuation of Gong as a spiritual/musical vehicle will always remain in the hands of fate. Ultimately I am not attatched to the outcome. I am just deeply grateful to the fates that Gong has been what it has been up to now. And I wish with all my heart, whoever has the crazy wisdom to step up to the planetary plate, the very best of luck!
Cheers my friend, here's hoping… daevid