Goa Gil is credited for having influenced the psytrance genre after relocating to Goa in the ’80s.
Fans, loved ones, and supporters are mourning the passing of Goa Gil at age 72. The influential artist died of cancer in his California home on Friday, October 7.
“Dear Global Community, words are inadequate for what we wish to communicate with you,” reads a statement published on Goa Gil’s website. It accompanies a photo of his wife, Ariane MacAvoy, at his bedside while roses and flower petals adorn his body.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share with you news of Shri Mahant Managalanand Puri aka Goa Gil has left his worldly body in the comfort of his home,” the statement continues. “Babaji was cared for in his final days by his family, devotees & friends.”
Born Gilbert Levey in San Rafael, California in 1951, Goa Gil came of age during the hippie movement of the late ’60s. He moved to Amsterdam and then Goa in the ’80s. His all-night DJ sets on the beaches of the western Indian state played a key role in what would later be termed Goa trance, and then psytrance, a style spread by European and Israeli travelers to other parts of the world in the ’90s.
Levey also participated in spiritual and psychedelic practices. “Since the beginning of time mankind has used music and dance to commune with the Spirit of Nature and the Spirit of the Universe…” reads the bio on his website. “We are using Trance Music and the Trance Dance Experience to set off a chain reaction in Consciousness…”
In February, Levey had returned to California to undergo treatment for high-grade B cell lymphoma. After two months in remission, it returned at an unexpected and aggressive rate. A series of complications led his doctors to conclude that he was too weak for surgery or chemotherapy, so he chose to spend his final days in hospice.
A GoFundMe campaign is raising funds for expenses related to Goa Gil’s passing, including the construction of samadhi temple memorial sites in both Ujjain, India and California. It has exceeded $41,000 at the time of writing.
“In his final days Babaji wished to send his love and blessings to all and wanted to thank everyone for the love and support he has received over the years,” reads the statement published on his website. “He was at peace and was ready for his onward journey. We thank you for your respect and support during this sensitive period.”