|An interview with David Jackson by Mick Dillingham
|Broccoli Terror - We played everywhere that year and were happy to do it. We used to play with the Soft Machine quite a lot - that was always interesting, watching bands like that at the Lyceum and places; it was a great time to be playing. At this time we met one Cubby Broccoli via Tony Stratton-Smith. He asked us to perform the soundtrack to his film 'Eye Witness' (also called 'Sudden Terror') which starred Susan George. We went into a very flash film studio and recorded loads of stuff, most of which was considered "too sinister" and wasn't used as far as I can remember. A couple of short instrumentals remained, and some abstract bits like some screaming sax mouth piece stuff as one hapless man gets a hatpin through the neck...
The Second Album - In December 1970 the band were given short breaks from our constant touring to go into the studio to record our second album, 'H to He, Who Am The Only One. We'd already had a rehearsal break, things went well and we were all totally committed to the band. None of us had wives or children, some of us had girlfriends but they didn't make any demands other than that you be brilliant musicians and go off and do brilliant musicianing so we could disappear off to somewhere nice and rehearse. The ideas were already there, it was just a question of knitting it all together and finding various themes.
|More and more though the music was getting too weird for Nic Potter. I don't know why he decided to leave, but he was never deeply involved in arranging the music like the rest of us were. It was more like letting us sort it all out and when it was finished he would do a really good bass part under it which would hold the thing together. He has a gift for intuition, he can play superb bass over something he's never heard before and knows where it is going, even with VdGG material. But, he took a step back from all the hassling in the band, he'd just sit around in the background until eventually he decided to fade away altogether. He left at a very awkward time, half way through recording the album. It was all very disjointed, we were given two days here and two days there in between all this touring.|
|So we had gig commitments, we were writing and we were recording and we had no bass player. We were great mates with the band Brinsley Schwartz, they had a big house and we used to hang out there socially a lot. One of their mates, Dave Anderson, was a bass player and we had a week-long rehearsal with him, but it all proved too much for him - the music was too impenetrable. At that point we realised that finding a replacement was not going to be easy. We'd already committed a week to Dave, we had no time left and loads of touring commitments and the chance of finding a bass player who could handle Van der Graaf's material in the next week seemed remote. By then though I'd got a big electrical system built around myself for live work, and Hugh was the same with his keyboards, so suddenly it seemed feasible that just the four of us could go out on the road with myself and Hugh covering the bass parts between us. So we booked ourselves another rehearsal session and tried it, and by golly we did it! We were quite excited about that, especially since it meant the four of us could now fit into one car. For quite some time afterwards it was like that, just the four of us in some hired car around Europe - we really had some great times.
The Six-Bob Tour - In 1971 we did the now legendary 'six-bob tour' - three Charisma bands for 30p. We topped the bill, Lindisfarne next and Genesis at the bottom. The tour really helped break Lindisfarne in this country, while ironically Van der Graaf Generator with it's less commercial sound were starting to ceiling out. We had to look to the Continent for support more and more.