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Van der Graaf Generator is a British rock band from Manchester, England. It is usually attached to the progressive, although this name (like any other) is regularly contested by Peter Hammill, founder and main member of the group, whenever the subject is discussed during press interviews.
The name of the group, suggested by its first drummer Chris Judge Smith, is that of an electrical apparatus designed to produce static electricity: Van de Graaff's generator (Van der Graaf Generator) , misspellings (addition of an r and loss of a f) being accidental. We can also see the fact that there are several triangles of Penrose on A and V, many in the name of the group.
The group was born in 1967 with the meeting of Peter Hammill (guitar and vocals), Nick Pearne (organ) and Chris Judge Smith (vocals, drums and saxophone). The trio quickly wins a deal with Mercury Records. The following year, Pearne is replaced by Hugh Banton, and the group is strengthened by the arrival of Keith Ellis (bass) and Guy Evans (drums). The band released a Polydor single, People You Were Going to / Firebrand (considered by Melody Maker as "best single of the week>" ), which is removed from the protests of Mercury. The first incarnation of Van der Graaf Generator dissolves in mid-1969, victim of financial problems.