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The Live List The Book
(Kindle)
Forthcoming Gigs

Stop Press!!!
All shows have been postponed to 2021 (some venue links not yet updated).
Whilst we wait, why not read The Book on Kindle?
We Persuade Ourselves We Are Immortal by The Amorphous Androgynous and Peter Hammill is out today (20th November 2020).
Buy it Here.
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Image Check out Katy Carr's great rendition of 'Afterwards' on her new album Providence.
Buy it Here.
Jim Christopulos has interviewed Jakko Jakszyk about his new album Secrets and Lies which features Peter Hammill.
Read it Here.
Buy it Here.
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Image David Jackson appears on Fish's new album Weltschmerz
Buy it Here.
Paolo Carnelli has released the English version of his book about Pawn Hearts. Click on image for details. Image
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As of Monday March 2nd 2020, VdGG spent the week in the West Country rehearsing for the upcoming tour. Hopefully we'll see several numbers from DnD plus a couple of novel revivals...
It also seems that HB has an entirely new organ set-up (incorporating HB3).
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PH on Twitter: "The view from the gtr mic"
Image PH posted this photo of VdGG on 6th June 2019 with the words "We 3, still..." - Is something afoot?

Interview in Good Times mag

Jim Christopulos, co-author of Van der Graaf Generator - The Book, interviewed for a Greek webzine. Click on image to read. Image

PH recorded an album with the Swedish band Isildurs Bane called In Amazonia which was released on 10th May 2019.

Two boxed-set releases:
1) PH released an 8 CD box of live performances on 29th March 2019. The songs were recorded in Europe between November 2017 and May 2018 and the set is called "Not Yet, Not Now".
2) Cherry Red released a 50th anniversary Aerosol Grey Machine box on 26th April 2019.

Image Hugh Banton has a new classical album out: Hugh Banton plays Johann Sebastian Bach on HB3.
Click on either image for details and to buy.
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PH: "Last time I posted something here I was in the process of working through live recordings from the last set of tours. On the 30th of November the (first) fruits of these labours will be released. It's a somewhat unusual set of songs. The tracklisting is, of course, identical to that on the original album. In a nod to that first CDR, the title is X/Ten". Buy here.
Image PH posted these photos of VdGG at lunch on 31st July 2018... Image
M.I.G. Music have released (25th May 2018) a DVD and CD set of the Leverkusen show from 5th November 2005. Buy Here. Image
Image King Crimson Meets Van der Graaf Generator!

David Cross & David Jackson Release New Album
"Another Day"

OUT NOW!

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Van der Graaf Generator were given the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2016 Prog Awards
(1st September 2016).


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Image The K Group Rockpalast show from Hamburg Markthalle on 26th September 1981 was released on DVD on 26th August. Click on the image to order from SofaSound.
The hardback version of Van der Graaf Generator - The Book has sold out but a text version remains available on Kindle UK and Kindle USA.
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Forthcoming Gigs:

VdGG in Milan

VdGG in Scandinavia
Van der Graaf Generator:

26 Apr 21 England, Manchester, Bridgewater Hall (Info)
03 May 21 England, London Palladium (Info)
04 May 21 England, Birmingham, Town Hall (Info)
05 May 21 England, Bath, The Forum (Info)

06 May 21 Scotland, Edinburgh, Queens Hall (Info)

06 Sep 21 Italy, Genoa, Politeama Genovese (Info)
08 Sep 21 Italy, Milan, Auditorium – Largo Gustav Mahler (Info)
10 Sep 21 Italy, Padua, Gran Teatro Geox (Info)
11 Sep 21 Italy, Brescia, Gran Teatro Morato (Info)
13 Sep 21 Italy, Rome, Auditorium Parco dello Musica/Sala Sinopoli (Info)
14 Sep 21 Italy, Bologna, Teatro Celebrazioni (Info)

16 Sep 21, Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Rockhal Club

17 Sep 21 Germany, Reutlingen, franz.K (Info)
19 Sep 21 Germany, Frankfurt, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Info)
20 Sep 21, Germany, Nürnberg, Hirsch (Info)
21 Sep 21 Germany, Dresden, Tante Ju (Info)

22 Sep 21 Czech Republic, Prague, Archa Theater (Info)

24 Sep 21 Poland, Krakow, Klub Studio (Info)
25 Sep 21 Poland, Warsaw, Palladium (Info)

26 Sep 21 Germany, Berlin, Columbia Theater (Info)
28 Sep 21 Germany, Hamburg, Fabrik (Info)
29 Sep 21 Germany, Köln, Kantine (Info)

30 Sep 21, Holland, Amsterdam, Paradiso (Info)

02 Oct 21 Germany, Karlsruhe, Tollhaus (Info)

03 Oct 21, France, Paris, Le Trianon (Info)

24 Oct 21 Finland, Helsinki, Savoy-teatteri (Info)
25 Oct 21 Finland, Helsinki, Savoy-teatteri (Info)

27 Oct 21 Sweden, Stockholm, Lilla Cirkus (Tickets)
28 Oct 21 Sweden, Gothenburg, Brewhouse (Tickets)
29 Oct 21 Norway, Oslo, Cosmopolite (Info)


PH Gigs
Peter Hammill:
Nothing announced...

Recent releases:

A K Group box set was released on 8th February 2019.
"X", the new live album from PH, was released on 30th November 2018.
Live At Rockpalast: Leverkusen 2005 was released on DVD and CD on 25th May 2018.
PH's new album "From the Trees" was released on 3rd November 2017.
"Do Not Disturb", the new VdGG studio album was released on 30th September 2016.
K Group live in Hamburg 1981 DVD was released on 26th August 2016.

I am pleased to accept photographs and scans of artefacts for the website, but I would be grateful if you would contact me first before emailing very large attachments. I classify anything over about 10Mb as very large. Please keep sending stuff in, but bear this in mind. Thankyou.




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This was not intended as a comprehensive PH/VdGG site but is rapidly becoming one. It started out as a personal journey through some very enjoyable times with my friends from the early to mid/late seventies but I have now incorporated much material donated from other sources to fill in gaps. There is material from 1967, when the band first formed, and onwards to 1978, when they finally split for what appeared to be the last time. If you are a Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator fan then you may well find something of interest here.

early picsEarly Pictures (1968 to 1969)

The original band had actually split up by the time I got into the music and in fact the first album that I heard was "68-71", a compilation. The disappointment of not being able to see the band live in 1972 was tempered by the fact that Peter Hammill was by then a solo artist and performing around Europe, albeit sporadically. Often Dave Jackson, Hugh Banton or Guy Evans would support him, but long gone were Nick Pearne, Chris Judge Smith, Keith Ellis and Nic Potter.

The band's first release was the single People You Were Going To, released in early 1969.

IT AdThe Early Days  Read articles from the Manchester Independent and other publications from 1968 and 1969, and Hugh Banton's advert in the International Times of August 23rd 1968. Also Caleb Bradley and The Lost Demo Tape!

Aerosol Grey MachineAerosol Grey Machine  The album entitled The Aerosol Grey Machine wasn't originally released in the UK. It was the band's first album, recorded in 1969, but it only became obtainable in Britain in 1973 as an import, through Virgin (I think). I can't remember if I got it from Virgin in Brighton (the first Virgin store which was a great place to hang out until they pulled the building down to make way for Boots) or by mail order. Either way it was the final brick in the wall and a great album as well. It has a good feel to it and is so late 60's. This album, among others, was produced by John Anthony.
The CD, released in 1997, contains some interesting sleeve notes, penned by Peter Hammill, about the early history of the band; "you should get some flavour of the times". That sentiment fits well with the object of this site.

Early Press Release (1970)          The Mechanics of Van der Graaf

Pictures from 1969 to 1972

68-71 Compilation albumVan der Graaf Generator 68-72

6 bob gigs In the early part of 1971 Van der Graaf Generator embarked on a tour of the UK with Lindisfarne and Genesis, fellow Charisma Records artists. The ticket price for the Charisma Package Tour was 6 bob (6 shillings - 30p) and it was a risky venture for Tony Stratton Smith...

See also other pictures and live reviews from 1971 and 1972.

During 1972 Van der Graaf Generator toured extensively in Italy, had a Number One with Pawn Hearts and appeared twice in Ciao 2001 magazine, firstly in the 27th February 1972 edition and then later in June 1972.
Peter Hammill also appeared in Ciao 2001 Magazine in December 1972.

First Generation SplitFirst Generation Split in 1972

Today's History Lesson

In the interest of man's thirst for knowledge and for those VdGG fans with an enquiring nature I provide you with this link to Boston's Museum of Science. If you ever wondered where the band's name came from or where the inspiration for many of the early album cover designs originated then pay it a visit. There are some stunning pictures, even of Robert himself! You can cut straight to the photo's by clicking here.

Whatever would Robert have said? ("They spelt my name wrong" maybe!)

Hammill on Playaway? Can this be?

I don't remember all of the solo gigs but reckon that the first that I went to was at the Commonwealth Institute in 1973. Also in 1973 whilst at Brighton Poly, I introduced my room-mate, Richard McBride (Where are you Richard? - It's so easy just to slip away...) to Van der Graaf and to begin with, like most people, he found the music difficult to get into. One day I returned from college and heard "Refugees" wafting down the stairs. A new Hammill afficionado born. We went to several gigs together and had a habit of trying to get back stage to meet PH. On several occasions we succeeded and obtained the requisite autographs. The person to talk to of course was Gordian Troeller, Peter Hammill's manager (and later Van der Graaf's).
(Peter Hammill's brother Andrew was at Sussex University in Brighton at the same time but we didn't meet despite efforts on the part of my Sussex Uni housemates (inc Richard) to contrive for us all to be at certain parties)

Autographed bookAutographed Killers...

Killers, Angels, Refugees, Peter Hammill's first book published in 1974, contains lyrics for all the songs up to "Silent Corner", poems, drawings and other interesting stuff.

Solo concertsSolo performances attended

Richard could be quite funny and sent me this Christmas card many moon's ago that I came across recently. We, like many daft people still do, found PH/VdGG lyrics to suit any occasion. We knew all the songs by heart then, which would be difficult now with 40 albums to learn, and annoyed everybody with never ending renditions. In 1974 Richard moved to Hove to a 4th floor flat. Whenever we returned there from the pub just prior to staggering onto the final staircase we would chant "So onto the familiar top steps! in cloud-scud moonlight glow...the tower reels....". A bit silly really!

Richard's cardRichard's card


Peter Hammill's solo albums of the timePeter Hammill's solo albums 1971-1976

Interview with Paul WhiteheadInterview with Paul Whitehead, cover artist.

During 1973 the band, without Peter Hammill, but including Nic Potter, released an instrumental album called The Long Hello. The album wasn't released in the UK until 1976.

The Long HelloThe Long Hello

Melody Maker article

Peter Hammill answered some questions from a Melody Maker reader in the March 27th 1976 edition which included comments about The Long Hello. Click on the paper to reveal.

VdGG Reunion

Jubilation abounded when in 1975 the band reformed with the classic line-up of Peter Hammill, Dave Jackson, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans.

See Geoff Barton's interview of May '75.

VdGG

Following a couple of secret gigs in Wales, the band played in France and Belgium in mid-1975, then their "debut" in the UK being at the Victoria Palace theatre on the 27th July and a little later at the New Vic on August 30th. Great concerts.

See also Antony Thorncroft's review in the Financial Times.
Not quite as I remember it! It just shows how subjective reviews are. "There is a musical barrier which keeps out the trivial and the commercial, but also most of the threads that make for a worthwhile musical experience". Well, it was a worthwhile musical experience for me!

The Charisma press release announcing the Oct/Nov 1975 tour also contained a VdGG biography and an article that appeared in The Times Educational Supplement entitled Defying Classification.
The front cover sported an unusual picture, entitled "Band of Millions of Years", which was used to publicise the Godbluff tour and appeared on a compilation album cover.

UEA ConcertUniversity of East Anglia concert

At this time I was studying at N.E.London Polytechnic along with several friends from home, one of whom was involved with the union at the Barking (mad) precinct. He was a budding journalist and set up an interview with the band. I went along as photographer and there appears below previously unpublished photographs of the band and the text of Tim's article.

NEPAM ArticleMagazine article

Other photographsOriginal photographs

"The Machine that Cried" - Geoff Barton's piece in the Sounds of 25th October 1975.

An event that has become part of the Van der Graaf legend was when their gear was stolen in Italy.

BadgeVdGG Badge

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Pictures from 1975 to 1976


Albums released in 1975 and 1976Van der Graaf Generator albums 1975 and 1976. Follow this link for Tim Locke's review of Godbluff and some photo's of the Still Life tour in 1976 with memories of the Sheffield concert, courtesy of Nick Huckle.

Reading FestivalVan der Graaf played at the Reading festival in 1976. I was a regular frequenter of festivals at that time but for the first time I summoned up some energy and fought my way to the front. I was worried that they wouldn't prove popular with the crowd but I was wrong. Reading at that time was undergoing a transition between quiet hippy scene and bottle throwing football hooligan mayhem and anything could happen. The band played brilliantly and went down well. I heard Killer played live for the first time. I should have taken my camera.

(Interestingly since I wrote the above words I found an interview by Geoff Barton, which mentions "old" Van der Graaf songs and in particular Killer, and whether the band would play them. The article has a certain relevance to Reading and you can cut straight to that section).

Various people have reminded me that the band had a false start at Reading. Water had got into the electrics and the sound system didn't work. See Reading Festival for more details.

Van der Graaf Generator gigs attended 1975-1978.

ImageThen in early 1977, disaster struck! Hugh Banton and Dave Jackson left the band. All was truly lost....but no, they were to be replaced by long-term VdGG stalwart Nic Potter (on bass) and new-comer Graham Smith (ex-String Driven Thing) on violin. A short while later Charles Dickie, a cellist, joined the group.

Pictures of the band from 1977 to 1978

VdGG third waveVan der Graaf albums from 1977 and 1978

The band also underwent a name change to Van der Graaf. Well, I suppose we used to call them that anyway.

And that's about it really.
After Vital became the best selling Van der Graaf Generator album, in July 1978, the band split up and Peter Hammill resumed his solo carreer.

Whilst putting this site together I came across a few mistakes that might amuse you, but Nobody's Perfect.


PHS

... but then on November 29th 2004, Van der Graaf Generator announced their reunion...

Site maintained by: Phil Smart 

"Pretty keen - yes, my hobby keeps me busy"

vdggmatters_at_vandergraafgenerator.co.uk
(Insert "@" in place of "_at_" and please put
something sensible in the subject line like "VdGG".)

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Copyright exists on EVERYTHING within this website.
Do not reproduce ANYTHING without express permission.
- thanks!

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