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Baker's Dozen

Gorgeous: Graham Massey Of 808 State's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , March 4th, 2020 08:41

Graham Massey guides Julian Marszalek through 13 favourite albums, from Santana to Bowie, Gong, Magma, Miles Davis, and the time he went out for kebabs with Marshall Allen


Gong - Angel's Egg
My entry into Gong would've been the Camembert Electrique album, which I bought for 50p or something like that. A lot of people at school had that record and, in fact, my first entry into being in a band at school was a band that just did Gong cover versions. It was an interesting education as I was dabbling around on an electric violin, and what with all those interesting time signatures. We did a street party for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 and just played Gong covers!

Later, down the line, one of the guys who was in the band became a member of Gong in the 80s, a guy called Graham Clark, and we got to the know them quite well. We were that much of a bunch of fanboys that we would make our way into the dressing room. There was a point when Gong founder Daevid Allen was playing with Here And Now, which was like this festival-type band, and every time they came to Manchester they let us play on stage using their instruments. We had this group called Danny And The Dressmakers and we'd play the worst noise you could possibly play; it was like an anti-band. We went on tour with Here And Now in a converted ambulance and did three gigs with them.

And so we built a strong allegiance to the brand of Gong, which has carried on throughout my life. We also performed at the Gong Family Unconvention in Amsterdam at the Melkweg many years later, and Daevid Allen stayed at my house a few times. He was a very interesting character and proper musical melting pot in terms of where he comes from.

I picked Angel's Egg because it's when the band was still experimenting. There are tracks here that are real improv, while others are really composed. There are tracks where certain members take a lead on it. They recently put a box set called Love From Planet Gong and listening to the re-mastered version of Angel's Egg, it occurred to me that this music couldn't be dreamed up in most people's imaginations. It's a fascinating record.