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Friday, 18 July 2014

PSYCHEDELIC BABY: Daevid Allen interview

Interview:
Daevid, you were born in Melbourne, Australia and in your teenage years you decided to travel to Paris. What compelled you to go to Europe?

I wanted to be at the epicentre of the artistic avant garde wherever it was in the world.

While staying in Paris you met Terry Riley and soon the doors to all jazz clubs were open. Tell us about times in Paris?

Actually they were always closed to us because we were too weird. 

I did a poetry reading accompanied by Terry playing a motorcycle engine. It was not what they wanted. The doors remained closed. On the other hand Chet Baker was our friend so we got in at least.

Around 1961 you went to England where you met two very extraordinary people, William S. Burroughs, and Sun Ra. What do you remember from meeting them?

I met Burroughs in Paris. In London he told me to get a haircut and disappear.

I met Sun Ra in 1979 in NYC. He told me to have a cup of coffee and relax.

Out of this you formed Daevid Allen Trio, which included yours landlord's son, 16-year old Robert Wyatt. This was a free jazz outfit. You performed at Burroughs' theatre mostly pieces based on the novel 'The Ticket That Exploded'. Was Burroughs involved?

Whenever I played with Burroughs, such as on this occasion in the Montmarte Club run by Bud Powell's wife Buttercup, he only ever said one thing to me. He said:

"Keep your bags packed and ready to go at all times, Dave."


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