Daevid Allen, the Australian-born musician, singer and songwriter who helped forge new paths in psychedelic rock with Soft Machine and Gong before branching out into an array of even more experimental projects, has announced that doctors have given him six months to live.

Allen, who underwent an extensive round of radiotherapy treatment last year, had been given a clean bill of health; sadly, his cancer returned, and in a message posted at the Planet Gong website, he accepted the news with equanimity and grace. We've excerpted the majority of Allen's note below.

OK so I have had my PET-CAT scans (which is essentially a full body viewing gallery for cancer specialists) and so it is now confirmed that the invading cancer has returned to successfully establish dominant residency in my neck. The original surgery took much of it out, but the cancer has now recreated itself with renewed vigor while also spreading to my lung.

The cancer is now so well established that I have now been given approximately six months to live.

So My view has Changed:
I am not interested in endless surgical operations and in fact it has come as a relief to know that the end is in sight.

I am a great believer in "The Will of the Way Things Are" and I also believe that the time has come to stop resisting and denying and to surrender to the way it is.

I can only hope that during this journey, I have somehow contributed to the happiness in the lives of a few other fellow humans.

I believe I have done my best to heal, dear friends and that you have been enormously helpful in supporting me through this time

So Thank you SO much for being there with me, for the Ocean of Love
and Now, importantly, Thankyou for starting the process of letting go of me, of mourning then transforming and celebrating this death coming up - this is how you can contribute, this would be a great gift from those emotionally and spiritually involved with me.

I love you and will be with you always - Daevid

It's awfully sad news for Allen's family and fans, and an undeniable loss for the experimental rock community, which has benefited immeasurably from Allen's prolific output for more than five decades. But in an interview with the Quietus last fall, he took the opportunity to express his hopes that the music -- and Gong in particular -- would continue on after he'd gone.

"There are those who want to hang on to me as the band's founder-father, claiming that Gong cannot continue without my presence," he said. "I will die soon enough, and then if Gong dies too, I would consider that this project will have fallen short. I see Gong as a tradition, a way of living music, not just a band."