We have received the following communiqué: "Van der Graaf (the one time Generator) has ceased to exist. Our decision is unanimous, without reservation and friendly. There are no differences or arguments between us. Maintaining the spirit of the group and the rigour kept us going throughout the ten years of our particularly hectic career. Now in accordance with that spirit, it seems to us that this is the right moment to stop everything. Wanting to continue to prove the force of our conviction, of our intentions, even of our existence, did not appear to us to be either necessary or justifiable. We believe that we have done this already, and more besides. To those who have kept us going, we offer our thanks and our regrets; we believe that our records will remain as a legacy. Those who want more information should write to the Pawn Hearts Society in the USA. Meanwhile we are not going to disappear from circulation as individuals. The projects on which each of us has separately embarked are taking shape. But the group, its name and this phase of its history stop here."

It was perhaps to be expected, seeing the difficulties that VdG was embroiled in (see Best 120) but it is still a heart-stopper to see a group disappear that has created some of the most beautiful jewels in all rock music without ever gaining the public adoration that they richly deserved. VdG's last album, a double, will be 'Vital', recorded live at the Marquee last January. It will come out in France in early October, about the same time as The Future Now, the new album by Peter Hammill, recorded at home. Peter will continue his solo career and he will perhaps be here in December to remind us that even alone on stage, he knows how to move us to the depths of our hearts. But that makes little difference - what a bitch life is!

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