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Van der Graaf Generator II
[Summer 1968 - autumn 1968]

xxx Personnel xxx
Chris Judge Smith: drums, perc, voc, ocarinas
Peter Hammill: voc, gtr, kbds
Hugh Banton: organ

xxx Discography xxx

They did at least one (unsuccessful) recording session for Mercury which even involved Quincy Jones at one point and later a demo tape of 40-odd songs.

xxx History xxx

chapel Judge and Hammill left Nick and university for London. They went to John Peel's (him again!) home with drums and guitar, knocked on the door and said: "We're Van der Graaf Generator". He replied "Come in Van der Graaf Generator" and they sat playing on his sitting room floor. They did the same for Lou Reizner, the head at the Mercury British office, before signing the contract with him.

Soon they found a new and superb keyboard player. Hugh Robert Banton was the younger brother of a friend at university. He was a classical trained organist, electronic whizz-kid and worked as a tv cameraman before joining VdGG. He went down from Manchester and met them in London, but very little happened apart from making lots of plans, the above mentioned session and hanging out with other musicians. They met Graham Bond (RIP) who was some sort of musical director at Mercury. Peter learned to play keyboards at Graham's Hammond organ.

When Peter and Judge went away for summer holidays, Hugh was left to find a manager and musicians to expand the group. He put an add in the underground paper International Times (IT). He also ran into the great Tony Stratton-Smith, soon to be their first proper manager.

VdGG IT ad
      Here's Hugh's infamous IT ad.
      Notice the spelling.
      How could Hugh?
      (IT/38, August 23-September 5 1968)

xxx Articles xxx

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