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Van Der Graaf Generator in the 1970s


Steve Pilkington
UK retail price: £15.99
US retail price: $22.95

There were many very different bands in progressive rock’s ‘golden age’ of the 1970s. Some tended toward symphonic grandeur, others towards jazz fusion, and yet others ploughed the more immediate end of the spectrum, not to mention the left-field eccentrics and the ‘difficult’ bands. Apart from it all, however, there was Van der Graaf Generator. In a decade stuffed with a wild array of influences and styles, there can be few that pushed so clsoe to the definition ‘unique’ as the four musicians who made up the ‘classic’ line-up of Van der Graaf.

For a start, there was the astonishing songwriting and vocal skills of Peter Hammill. But there was much more behind the band to set these men apart. Their unparalleled instrumental configuration saw little or no guitar while organist Hugh Banton handled the bass parts on pedals. David Jackson pioneered an astonishing saxophone style, sometimes playing two instruments at once and using a full effects pedalboard. Drummer Guy Evans filled in everything else. It was and remains a sound quite like no other. Discussing all the band’s albums and Hammill’s solo work at the time, this book documents their incredibly influential first decade as prog’s ultimate ‘outsiders’. It’s quite a ride.

The Author

Steve Pilkington is a music journalist, editor and broadcaster. He was Editor in Chief for the Classic Rock Society Magazine and is now co-administrator of the rock website Velvet Thunder, as well as presenting a weekly internet radio show called A Saucerful Of Prog. As well as writing CD booklet notes, his previously published books include Led Zeppelin On Track, Decades: Uriah Heep In The 1970s, Iron Maiden On Track, Deep Purple and Rainbow On Track,and The Rolling Stones On Track, all for Sonicbond. He has also written the official biography of legendary guitarist Gordon Giltrap, entitled Perilous Journey. He lives in Wigan, Lancashire, UK.

Number of Pages: 176
Number of colour pictures: 44
ISBN: 9781789522457
Ebook ISBN:
UK retail price: £15.99
US retail price: $22.95


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