Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

13. GongMagick Brother

I love this album. This is their debut album and part of a series of albums. Where do I start about my love of Gong? It was probably about the same time I got into Hawkwind, during the ‘free festival’ period of my life. I was listening to bands like Ozric Tentacles and my friends and I would hitchhike all over to see music festivals. We’d go with just a fiver and run out of money and have nowhere to stay. Our love for Gong, and primarily Daevid Allen at that time, was born out of those days. Although that time was a bit of a blur. We’d see lots of gigs in a very short space of time. So, my love of Gong started then and I associate it with being a free spirit.

My love for this album is probably down to it being pre-electronic Gong – it’s just guitar, bass and drums. Lyrically, it is completely out there. I also liked the fact that it had a European psychedelia vibe. It’s hard to describe why I love this album. It’s about me being 17 and hanging out with a load of hippies.

Gong formed after fleeing the Paris riots in 1968. They then went to Deià in Majorca. I have been to the Gong house in Deià. Andy and I decided to try and find it. It was hilarious, we got to Deià and Andy had some sort of idea of the whereabouts of the house from a book he’d read. It was 11 o’clock on a Sunday morning and we found the house. The house was called the Bananamoon Observatory. All the shutters were down and Andy knocked on the door and these young 18 year-old Spanish lads appeared. Andy said, "Sorry to disturb you, do you know that this is a famous house?" and the boys just shook their heads. We told them that it was the Gong house and they were like "No way!" Their friend’s mum owned the house so they had no idea of the history. They invited us in and we sat round with our kids and loads of Spanish lads in their underpants.

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