Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:00 AM
Flying Teapot is an album by Gong, originally released in 1973. Co-titled "Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1", it is the first of the Radio Gnome Trilogy of albums, and was followed by Angel's Egg and You. The Trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology.
Recorded at The Manor, Oxfordshire, it was produced by Giorgio Gomelsky and engineered by "Simon Sandwitch 2 aided by Tom Zen" (presumably Simon Heyworth and Tom Newman).
1973's Flying Teapot is a Gong milestone. It's the first installment in their legendary "Radio Gnome Trilogy" and a transitional point between the underground psychedelia of Camembert Electrique and the artier, more ethereal sound they later developed. Teapot is more visceral, less cerebral than its successors, and the catchy ensemble riffs of Camembert are still present. The arrival of virtuoso guitarist Steve Hillage and synth wizard Tim Blake represented a great leap forward, though. Blake concentrated exclusively on ambient electronic effects and soundscapes a la early Hawkind, leaving harmonic development to the other band members. Hillage's fleet-fingered jazz-rock solos and arsenal of effects upped the musicianship a notch and reinforced the spacy jazz elements already in place. Whether you're able to follow the willfully confusing storyline or not, the elaborate mythological world created by Daevid Allen is loads of fun when wrapped around music as inspired as this psychedelic art-jazz-space rock amalgam. The key players are a group of gnomes from another planet who arrive in a flying teapot (stoner imagery plays heavily in hippie Allen's vision) to save the world (or something). Actually, some surprisingly intellectual/philosophical messages were contained in the trilogy, leavened heartily by the irrepressible Allen's healthy sense of humor.
Gong mythology is a collection of recurring characters, themes, and ideas that permeate the rock albums of Daevid Allen and Gong and to a lesser extent the early works of Steve Hillage. The story is based on a vision Allen had during the full moon of Easter, 1966 in which he claims he could see his future laid out before him. The mythology is hinted at through all of Gong's earlier albums but is not the central theme until the "Radio Gnome Trilogy" (1973-1974).
The story begins on the album Flying Teapot (1973) when a pig-farming Egyptologist called Mista T Being is sold a "magick ear ring" by an "antique teapot street vendor & tea label collector" called Fred the Fish. The ear ring is capable of receiving messages from the Planet Gong via a pirate radio station called Radio Gnome Invisible. Being and Fish head off to the hymnalayas of Tibet (sic) where they meet the "great beer yogi" Banana Ananda in a cave. Ananda tends to chant "Banana Nirvana Mañana" a lot and gets drunk on Foster's Australian Lager.
This latter development mirrors the real-life experience of band members Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth who met their saxophonist, Didier Malherbe, in a cave in Majorca.
Meanwhile, the mythology's central character, Zero the Hero, is going about his everyday life when he suddenly has a vision in Charing Cross Road. He is compelled to seek heroes and starts worshipping the Cock Pot Pixie, one of a number of Pot Head Pixies from the Planet Gong. These pixies are green with propellers on their heads, and they fly around in teapots.
Zero is soon distracted by a cat which he offers his fish and chips to. The cat is actually the Good Witch Yoni, who gives Zero a potion. This concludes the first album of the Radio Gnome Trilogy
1. Radio Gnome Invisible
2. Flying Teapot
3. The Pot Head Pixies
4. The Octave Doctors And The Crystal Machine
5. Zero The Hero And The Witch's Spell
6. Witch's Song/I Am Your Pussy