Drummer Pip Pyle had been involved with so many Canterbury scene bands that one interviewer asked the entirely valid question, "How is it you never managed to play with Soft Machine?" ("Well, I never got asked, I guess" was Pyle's reply). He wasn't there at the beginning, but Pyle was Gong's drummer when they solidified a lineup around 1971. A year of the communal life with his Gong bandmates was enough for Pyle, but the drummer would occasionally drop in on the band throughout his career and has always had kind things to say about Gong's leader, Daevid Allen. In 1972, he formed Hatfield and the North with Richard Sinclair and Phil Miller. Critically loved but without any commercial success, the band ground down to a halt in 1975. After the short-lived Shortwave with Hugh Hopper, Miller and Pyle started a new band with Alan Gowen, the beloved National Health. Although the proggy band was slow with the output, National Health had a loyal following until they dissolved in 1982. Pyle and Gowen had also taken a break from the band in 1979 to reunite with Hopper for another short-lived band, Soft Heap, while later Pyle rekindled his musical relationship with Miller for his '80s-and-beyond band, In Cahoots. The early '90s found Pyle back in Gong for the "Shapeshifter Gong" era and its resulting Shapeshifter album. By the end of the decade, the drummer looked to front his own band and ended up with two. The 7 Year Itch album from 1998 was a solo Pyle affair, but 2000's Equipe Out was released under the name Pip Pyle's Equipe Out with Hopper, Elton Dean, Didier Malherbe, and Sophia Domancich rounding out the group. His other band, Pip Pyle's Bash!, with Patrice Meyer, Alex Maguire, and Fred Baker, premiered with 2004's Belle Illusion on Cuneiform. Equipe Out returned in 2005 with Instants on the Canterbury-loving label Hux. 2005 also saw the reunion of Hatfield and the North. The group toured up until Pyle's death on August 28, 2006. ~ David Jeffries~ Rovi
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... read moreDrummer Pip Pyle had been involved with so many Canterbury scene bands that one interviewer asked the entirely valid question, "How is it you never managed to play with Soft Machine?" ("Well, I never got asked, I guess" was Pyle's reply). He wasn't there at the beginning, but Pyle was Gong's drummer...