The prog rock community has been abuzz for the last few days, since the news of the forthcoming reissue of GONG‘s “Radio Gnome” trilogy – 1973-74’s “Flying Teapot,” “Angel’s Egg” and “You” – in remastered form. Yet the band members oppose the very idea of it, giving it no credence whatsoever, and, courtesy of Steve Hillage, issued an official statement in order to urge their fans not to purchase the records and not to contribute to what may amount to further ripping the band off. While most of the prog channels seem to avoid the subject, here’s the statement and it has to be believed.
“OFFICIAL GONG BAND MEMBERS STATEMENT
We, the surviving members of GONG, do not support BYG/Charly Records upcoming reissue of the Radio Gnome trilogy.
None of the surviving members of the lineups that created those recordings were ever signed to BYG or Charly Records.
The truth is that immediately before the making of Flying Teapot in January 1973, the band learned that Daevid Allen’s once record company – BYG Records (also known as Promodisc) – had gone bust, it’s Paris office stripped bare, no phones working. The band was abandoned at the Manor Studios at the start of recording the album. Virgin – at the time just a chain of record stores and The Manor studios – was about to launch their record label.
Faced with an unpaid recording bill, they decided to cut their losses and release Flying Teapot as the second release on the new Virgin Records label. That’s the true story.
The booklet advertised as accompanying the Charly/BYG Release is full of untruths, lies and falsehoods claiming to represent Charly and BYG Records as some sort of poor victim of Virgin’s wickedness. The truth is that none of the musicians on those recordings has ever received a penny of royalty payments for the Charly/BYG releases, or even a statement. This is understandable because we NEVER signed to BYG or Charly Records as GONG.
Meanwhile, forty years later, we still receive statements from Virgin and, for those of us who cleared our advances, royalty payments, even though Virgin has since been sold to EMI and now is owned by Universal Records.
We know and can confirm as 100% corroborated fact that the Original Masters of these albums reside in the Virgin Records Archive, and that Charly has never at any time been given access to them, so Charly’s claim to have used the Original Masters is false.
Charly has been brazenly abusing our rights as artists for decades. None of us are rich or powerful enough to sue them. All we can do is to let you, our lovely GONG fans, know that we do not support this release. We will be supporting a new boxed set to be released by Universal in a few months with our full collaboration.
DO NOT BUY THIS RELEASE”