Talk:Gong (band)

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Untitled[edit]

I noticed Gilli Smyth didn't have a wikipage. I've created a small stub atricle, contributions welcome. --Salix alba (talk) 18:11, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Merger of Gong mythology into Gong (band)[edit]

I suggest this. Any objections?--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 15:25, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Why would such a move be advisable? I don't actually see what the benefits would be, but perhaps you could explain. -- Antaeus Feldspar 16:16, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
It's completely unreferenced, and many Wikipedia editors would not agree that it merits its own article - they would call it fancruft of a sort. A third opinion might be nice.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 20:15, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, "completely unreferenced" is a reason to start referencing (starting with information from the official website would be a good idea), rather than a reason to merge. As for whether many Wikipedia editors would call it fancruft, doubtless many would -- but many Wikipedia editors make such decisions poorly, so it behooves us to make our decisions logically, rather than defer to the (hypothesized) judgment of other editors who might not be looking at the issue closely. So, let's look at this situation. Gong is a band (actually, a whole family of related bands) which has been recording and touring and maintaining an audience for about four decades. Somehow I don't think it qualifies as excessive for them to have two articles rather than one. In this case, since the meat of each article exists in a totally separate plane (the facts about the real people in the band(s) vs. the fictional mythology told over several albums) I think it makes more sense to keep them separate, as they are. -- Antaeus Feldspar 04:08, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

What about the Music?[edit]

There is a big gap in this article that I don't know how to fill; it doesn't describe Gong's music. Neither does it explain the incredible level of talent and proficiency of the band members. The loose, improvisational, chaotic natuire of Gong'c music only works because the individuals playing it are actually highly skilled musicians, 'letting go'. The best example I saw of this was a Gong/Here and Now double bill. Same musicians, wildly different music. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.49.6.17 (talk) 16:11, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Songtitles[edit]

I think it's rather pointless, chaotic and confusing to add the songtitles and line-up of the albums to the discography-list. This information should be listed on the appropriate album-pages (which should be created if necessary). Mark in wiki (talk) 12:33, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Reorganization suggestions[edit]

Much of this applies to Template:Gong, but I'm suggesting changes here because it probably gets more views; these suggestions also apply to the discography section and others. I'll put this in point form and sign here, to invite responses to individual concerns. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 15:54, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

  • The "live albums" section appears to include all Gong related bands, but it would be better to put them with those bands, or perhaps subsections so that Mother Gong for example would be split into Mother Gong studio and Mother Gong live.
  • Acid Motherhood is an album by Acid Mothers Gong which is described as a separate band in the article; their albums should be separated as per other spin-off bands.
  • Where spin-off bands have their own article (i.e. Pierre Moerlen's Gong), their name should be wikilinked in the template.
  • The article for the new album Gong album 2032 says: "While later Gong albums in the 1970s onwards did refer to elements of the Gong mythology, they were not seen as succeeding the Radio Gnome Trilogy", which contradicts the main Gong article. In fact the new album is not adequately covered in the main article. I would also suggest that claiming Shapeshifter was "subsequently dubbed Radio Gnome part 4" is misleading ("subsequently" implies unofficially, and therefore, dubbed by who?) (it's also labelled "episode four" later in the article) and it (along with Zero to Infinity and 2032) would be better described as a continuation of the story, without trying to give it an unofficial subtitle. Also, the album's article title should be changed to 2032 (Gong album), and it isn't wikilinked in the discography section.
  • Gong est Mort - Viva la Gong! should be renamed; there is no "la" in the title, and it's Vive, not Viva.
  • The discography and Gong template for Pierre Moerlen's Gong is very incomplete; see Pierre Moerlen's Gong#Discography.
  • Greasy Truckers and Glastonbury Fayre are various artists albums, and should either be omitted or moved to their own section of "significant appearances on non-Gong albums" (any ideas for a shorter heading?)
  • Obsolete is an album by Dashiel Hedayat where Gong acted as the backing band; this should also be removed or moved to a "significant appearances" section.
  • Hmm, if we're going to create a "significant appearances" section, there are some solo albums that contain Gong material, and should probably be added: Good Morning and Death of Rock (CD edition only) by Daevid Allen, Mother by Gilli Smyth, probably others.
  • Live at Shffield is undoubtably a CD era album of older material. Should it be identified and sequenced by release date, rather than recording date? (Recording date could also be mentioned in brackets.)
  • Daevid / Gong's first 2 albums, and their original artist credits, were Magick Brother Mystic Sister by Daevid Allen / Gilli Smyth / Gong, and Banana Moon by Daevid Allen / Gong. Reissues have changed the credits to Gong and Allen respectively, but since these were not the original credits, should Banana Moon be listed among Gong albums? (What a conundrum!)
  • Here's a compilation missing from the discography: The Histery and the Mystory of the Planet G**g which I believe is an official release, despite the asterisks. It was issued by two different above-ground record companies, Demi-Monde (on vinyl) and Thunderbolt (on CD). Any reason we don't include it?
  • A review of the infobox chronology links for each album article is needed; they do not form a proper chain or series of chains.
  • There is also a need to reorganize Daevid Allen#Discography, which presently blends a large series of restrospective "official bootleg" releases in with older albums.
I agree with all your points that I know something about (and I guess you're right on the few others as well). Please make all those changes, as far as I'm concerned. Also, I'm in favour of separate articles for Mother Gong, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Acid Mothers Gong, etc. and to list their discographies on those pages, not here in the Gong article. Mark in wiki (talk) 16:41, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Members[edit]

Personally I never thought of Bill Bruford as a (former) member of Gong. He just happened to fill in a live-spot at a time when Laurie Allan was arrested. But was he made a "member" of the band? What makes someone a member of Gong? Does http://www.planetgong.co.uk say something about this? Or Daevid Allen? Mark in wiki (talk) 11:32, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I didn't know Bruford played in Gong, and when I saw the edit (to put him in the infobox) and looked at the body of the article, it really only mentioned his name, without any date or context. Your reply on this page told me more than the article did. My opinion is he should come out of the infobox, but at the same time, we might expand the article to tell more about the situation. (And now I want to know why Laurie Allan was arrested!) --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 13:58, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I have a live-recording of a gig they did with Bruford. In the info.txt file that came with the recording is the following quote: "An instance of lucky synchronicity, the untimely break-up of King Crimson in September 1974 happened just a few weeks before Gong, while on a European tour, were once again left without a drummer. The drummer in question, Laurie Allan, hadn't left of his own accord to join the Percussions de Strasbourg, or been kicked out - he was arrested while crossing the French-German border in the possession of illegal 'substances'. Why he was the only one in the band thus convicted remains shrouded in mystery, but although Laurie was able to perform on the band's German tour in early November, a replacement had to be found pronto.
A recommendation by journalist and mutual friend Steve Lake put the band in touch with Bill Bruford, who agreed to join for the remaining dates. Of course Bruford was something of a star, but Virgin were evidently willing to pay him what he required - allegedly a salary five times higher than what the regular members were getting paid (which probably explains why the arrangement was shortlived). Anyway, Bruford caught up with Gong in Germany, rehearsed with them for a couple of days in Orléans and the 'all-star' Gong toured France, more Germany, Holland, more France, through to Norway, coming back home just in time for Christmas!"
Also, I have this note from the calyx.club.fr site, which is a comment added to the recording mentioned above: "Laurie Allan got busted for dope on or around the 9th or 10th November 1974, and Bruford jumped on for the 12th Strasbourg thru the 19th December." A quick check with the Planet Gong website (under Gigs - past) tells us that these were no more than 21 concerts in total...
I agree that Bruford should not be in the infobox. But who else shouldn't be in there?
And if I interpret correctly what Daevid Allen says and writes about the band and its history, it seems that playing with Gong equals being a part of the family equals being a member. :-) That seems to me to be the spirit of Gong... and that makes it difficult to write an encyclopedic article about them. If we want to do Gong justice, we shouldn't write about facts and dates and figures, but more about moods and feelings and unity. Easier said than done. :-P Mark in wiki (talk) 14:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and in Bruford's autobiography (early 2009) there will surely be some paragraphs about Gong, I presume... but I haven't read it. And the book is not mentioned as a source in the Bill Bruford article here in Wikipedia... Mark in wiki (talk) 14:55, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Based on your point about Daevid's critera for Gong membership, I'll reverse my opinion and agree to keep Bruford in, especially since it was a proper hiring for a small tour (21 dates is a good number), and not just a one-time event. As for "we shouldn't write about facts and dates and figures", I'm not sure I agree, as confining the article to "moods and feelings" appears unencyclopedic. Deliberately writing in a non-encyclopedic fashion because the subject matter appears to call for it, is going to look like an invitation to fancruft. I do realize you were speaking tongue in cheek, and nobody is saying the article in general has problems. (I like to quote Daevid from the spoken bit at the end of "See You in/on the Moontower": "You don't want to take this too seriously ... because... it's very serious!", which is a good explanation for the whole philosophy behind Gong.) I was just saying it's insufficient for the article to just say Bruford was in the group, and not say even approximately when. I would like to see some of this information added, but I realize that a "liner note file" attached to a bootleg recording falls a wee bit short of a reliable source. Though you did quote other sources which could be used. Oh, upon learning the reason for Laurie Allan's arrest, I am truly shocked, and never would have guessed. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 15:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Early years[edit]

Part of the "Early years" section appears to be wrong, or misleading, or is the result of assumptions made. I'm going to need help and verification before I edit, because I am not certain of some of the facts, and don't want to make similar assumptions! Here is the current state of the text in question, with my coments in ((italics within double rounded brackets)), as any other kind of brackets are likely to be interpreted as Wikicode.

They were subsequently (late 1972) one of the first acts to sign to Virgin Records, getting first pick of the studio-time ahead of Mike Oldfield. ((This looks like a prime candidate for a "citation needed" tag, if not an outright removal if nobody else has heard of this. Opinions please?)) By that time, a regular line-up had established itself and Gong released their Flying Teapot album. (("By that time" refers to "late 1972", the only time mentioned. The album was released in May 1973. The way the article is worded, it sounds like they signed with Virgin, changed their lineup, went in the recording studio, finished the album, and released it, all within a few days!)) After the band signed with Virgin subsidiary Caroline Records, ((I don't believe any artists actually signed with Caroline; it was Virgin's imprint for budget releases, and all its artists were signed with Virgin)) Camembert Electrique was given a belated UK release in late 1974. ((I'm sure this is wrong; Virgin released this album 3 times: as Virgin VC-502 in summer (possibly June) 1973, which is when it sold for 59p, then reissued in 1974 as Caroline C-1505 at a higher price, then in 1977 (never been able to get that date nailed down for certain, but it seems right) as Caroline C-1520, possibly with a different price again, but not anything like 59p. Caroline had a "C-1500" series and a "CA-2000" series with different price levels. I'd like to quote what those prices were, but they changed over the years, and we should be quoting 1973 prices, which I don't have. Daevid's Banana Moon on Caroline in 1975, C-1512, was priced at 1.49 according to an RRP sticker on my copy, which makes me think the "C" series was cheaper than "CA" but I'm not certain. It would also be helpful to state what the retail price of a normal album was in 1973. I'm not from England, so I wasn't there at the time!)) It was priced at 59p (that is, the price of a typical single rather than an album), ensuring that sufficient numbers were sold for the album to chart had it not been barred from the charts for being so cheap. ((Now is it really true that Virgin were trying to get it to chart, and is "barred" an appropriate word? Or is it that the album just didn't qualify because of existing rules, and Virgin was aware of this, but priced it cheap for promotion, hoping purchasers of CE would also buy FT? By the way, going back to those cheap 59p albums, there were only 3 releases in the Virgin VC-500 series; the other two were The Faust Tapes by Faust (VC-501, June 1973, also 59p), and The Front Line reggae compilation, issued as VC-503 in 1976 and sold at 69p, still the price of a single, which had risen by 10p between 1973 and 1976; that album was also reissued on Caroline in 1977 (again, date is not 100% certain) as C-1521 (note this number is adjacent to the CE reissue, so both were probably reissued at the same time).))

There used to be a website with a lot of the info I'm seeking (including Caroline's price structure), but it's long gone. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 15:16, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Follow-up: The article about Faust (band) says CE was released in 1974 after all, and their explanation makes sense. But they also state that The Faust Tapes' "low price tag rendered it ineligible for a chart placing" (which is the kind of better wording I was looking for), and since that happened a year before Virgin issued CE, they must have known it could not chart at that price, and therefore it must have been so priced for the reason I gave. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 15:40, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Well then, now that I've figured that out for myself, I have enough to do the edit! --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 15:57, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

A great start at improving the article. Thanks, and keep up the good work, Knight! Mark in wiki (talk) 07:14, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Mother Gong article[edit]

Would anyone care to write a start for an article about Mother Gong? The band deserves it, and the discography for Mother Gong, now in the Gong-article, could be moved there. I don't know enough of their history. Nothing, actually. Mark in wiki (talk) 17:29, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I don't know enough about them to write an article. But looking at the current article, I question the statement, "Smyth formed a separate band with Jean-Paul Vivini: Mother Gong" - never heard of him, and he doesn't appear at all on the first two albums by MG. Gilli's main musical partner (and new life partner) from the start of MG was Harry Williamson.
Also questionable (but off topic) is the sentence which follows: "Allen delighted in this proliferation of groups and considered his role at this time to be that of an instigator, travelling around the world leaving active Gong-related bands in his wake". Aside from Planet Gong and New York Gong, what other Gongs did he create, and where is a citation about his intentions? As far as I know, PG and NYG did nothing further under those names after Allen left them. I suspect this is misguided POV, and should be removed.
Regarding moving discographies to separate articles (I see you removed Pierre Moerlen's Gong's list of albums), I would like to see album lists retained in the Gong article. In articles where a band has a detailed discography requiring a separate article, a short list of albums typically remains in the main article with a hatnote to the discog article (see Pink Floyd#Discography). A short album list should not be difficult to keep in sync with a similar or expanded list in a related article. My reason for wanting this is I think many readers would not bother clicking links to all the related band articles, and would miss the scope of "Gong family" albums. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 21:59, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
According to this page in the Planet Gong website the statement about Vivini might be correct. Harry Williamson didn't join Mother Gong until Mother Gong 3 in Oct 78 (and by that time Vivini had left).
I very much agree with you that the sentence about Allen being delighted is questionable. At the very least it needs a reliable citation, but I wouldn't mind a removal either. It was done in this edit and the following one, which makes me think it's not very reliable. Having found this, I'm now leaning towards removal.
Finally, you are so right about the need for a separate discography-page. I believe that should simply be called Gong discography, with the first sentence being something like: "This is a (yet incomplete) discography for all Gong-related bands." I believe it should include as many Gong-related discographies possible, at least those of Gong, Daevid Allen, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Mother Gong, Here & Now and University Of Errors, but also Didier Malherbe, Steve Hillage (?) and more. Then, after its creation, only the regular studio albums would stay in the Gong article. I am willing to try and set up this discography, using this and other pages on the Planet Gong website, but it will take me some time... if anyone else wants to do it - please do so! It would be a very long article...! Check for instance Didier Malherbe's discography page on Planet Gong. Meanwhile, I've put Pierre Moerlen's Gong albums back where they belong.
It's good to have these talks on the talk page. It forces me to reconsider and to put the article in a broader perspective. Thanks. Mark in wiki (talk) 10:22, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
A few times I've offered to do some work on this article, then backed out. I know a lot about Gong in the 70s, but not enough about their work since then to be able to do any major work on this. I can spot things that don't look right, but don't necessarily know how to fix them. Thanks for your help. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 01:11, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Unreferenced text about band split[edit]

The text Daevid Allen has hinted that the group maybe be signing to a new label. But in late 2009 it was stated the other current members may have a interest in leaving the band, meaning by default the band would have to split. was added to the subsection "Early years" of the section "History" by Dizzal-2010. In my view, 2009 is not part of Gong's early years. So I moved the text to the subsection "Reunions and Acid Mothers Gong" where it appears at least less misplaced IMHO. Also, I added {{fact}}, since the text is unreferenced and therefore at least questionable. Wwwhatsup undid my edit with the simple summary Conjecture. I think that rather matches the edit before mine, so I have just restored my edit. BNutzer (talk) 21:15, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Not only is your move correct, but this really needs to be cited as it's a signficicant assertion about the group's future, based on a rumour. We can leave this here as a courtesy until Wwwhatsup comes back and finishes his contribution by adding a citation stating where this information came from. A reminder to editors posting things they've read somewhere: you really need to include a citation to say where you read it, otherwise the info often can't be used on Wikipedia. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 22:43, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
It was Dizzal-2010's contribution that contains the "assertion ... based on a rumour", to be precise. Wwwhatsup only restored it, undoing my move. BNutzer (talk) 22:52, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Wwwhatsup's edit summary says "conjecture", possibly he was trying to remove Dizzal-2010's edit rather than restore it. Dizzal is a new user and may not be using his watchlist, so I will leave a note on his talk page. (I need to talk to him about his other edits, too!) --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 23:07, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) I have also had the impression that it may have been a removal attempt by Wwwhatsup gone wrong. I hadn't wanted to remove the text without offering the chance for citation by tagging it ... it would be fine with me if it was removed, though. Time will tell ;) BNutzer (talk) 23:48, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Indeed I meant to remove it. Wwwhatsup (talk) 04:58, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Since everyone posting here seems to agree that paragraph should be removed, I removed it. It's easy to restore from the history page, if the editor who added it comes back to work on it. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 12:16, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Mythology section[edit]

This section is inappropriate for an encyclopedia. Furthermore, it is unsourced, besides the one introductory sentence. It should be removed entirely.Cosprings (talk) 16:11, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you if you feel that the section is imperfect. But I do feel mentioning the Gong mythology is important in an encyclopedic article about the band. Knowing what the mythology is about is an important part of knowing what Gong is about. But if anyone would like to shorten this section somewhat, and preferably provide some extra sources for it as well, in my view that would be an improvement. Mark in wiki (talk) 18:56, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Gabe Rogasner[edit]

Following Wikipedia infobox guidelines, I arranged all members by order in which they joined the band, and added those who were missing (See: Template:Infobox musical artist for reference). However, one name in the infobox, Gabe Rogasner, I can't find anything about. Was he actually a member of Gong, and if so when? Burbridge92 (talk) 11:40, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Members section - Member timeline[edit]

I've noticed that this page has no proper members section or timeline, only the chart thing on the right side of the page. What are people's opinions of this? Do we feel that the the chronology on the page is sufficient? Furthermore, does that chronology show the names of every musician who was ever an official Gong member? If so then there are many names which need to be removed from the infobox, if not then we definitely need a new members section of some sort on the page. Any answers/thoughts to these queries will be much appreciated. Burbridge92 (talk) 17:10, 11 April 2012 (UTC)