STEVE HILLAGE reminds exclusively in eclipsed of his friend and band mate DAEVID ALLEN, who died in March...
eclipsed: What was your first impression of Daevid when you met him?
Steve Hillage: I first met Daevid in the autumn of 1972, in London, in the apartment of the hippie poet and musician Lady June, where Kevin Ayers lived. I first met Daevid as a fan of his work, but soon he seemed to me like my long lost big brother. I told him very quickly that I would love to perform with him. He in turn said that he had heard a lot of good things about my guitar playing and that he might come back to my offer earlier than I would like. And so it came: Within a few months I was promoted to a permanent gong member. I was warned against Daevid being unpredictable. But I experienced him from the beginning as rather gentle. Later Daevid told me that he wanted me to be a gong guitarist because he wanted to rejuvenate the band.
eclipsed: Was Daevid also in private the spiritual character that most of the public saw him as?
Hillage: Already at a young age I had set myself the goal of enriching my music with spiritual energy. Daevid had taken this path as well, but since he was a lot older than me, he was ahead of me. He was a charismatic person, very solid in himself. It was certainly not easy for some sensitive people to deal with him. However, I have experienced all the decades of friendship with him as a mercy. I could also learn a lot from him, he was a kind of teacher for me.
eclipsed: Daevid told us in one of his last interviews that he had met Gilli Smyth was the best thing that had happened to him in his life. Was she his great love?
Hillage: You have to know that they were separated as a couple in the late 70s, but they were closely connected until Daevid's death. They lived almost next door to each other in Australia. Which was certainly connected with their sons Taliesin and Orlando. I think Gilli Daevid's great creative partner was the muse for his lyrical spirit.