Keith Ellis
(R.I.P. 1978)
Bass guitar
"Along with Strat, in something of a free transfer - the first of several, as it was to turn out - came Keith Ellis (RIP). Keith had played in The Koobas, a late-era Liverpool group with some track record of success... albeit in Switzerland. They had recently disbanded and Keith - with, I suspect (in retrospect) some mistrust, but egged on by Strat - joined us. Hands up again: I do owe Keith a lot. He was not, perhaps, the greatest musician; he was, however, the one who taught all of us the teeth-gritting it takes along with the open laughs; what the life of a musician is. He was, in short, a Pro, and although only a year or so older than the rest of us he was streets ahead in his life experience. I don't know what he made of us at all at first... but he bore with it."
- Keith Ellis joins in October 1968, by Peter Hammill (from The Aerosol Grey Machine CD sleeve notes)
Keith Ellis joins
Van der Graaf Generator
from the Koobas
"But we all loved Keith because he was a great guy, he was an experienced pro and had toured a lot with The Koobas. He looked like a rock star. He’d been around, so he taught the band a lot about the rock life. I liked him. I thought he was really nice, an easy-going, fun-loving guy who really liked playing and doing his best. I remember Peter saying that he’d been influenced by Keith’s ethos – you do the gig, you give it everything. That’s why you’re up there, to give it 110 percent. And he was like that, a really lovely guy."
- Judge Smith in an interview
In October of 1968, the band which at this time included Keith Ellis and Judge Smith, recorded a single, People You Were Going To / Firebrand. The single was released on 17th January 1969 on Tetragrammaton and distributed by Polydor but withdrawn after a few days due to legal difficulties with Mercury.
This incarnation of Van der Graaf Generator split up in May/June 1969 after their "final" appearance at the 1969 Pop and Blues Festival, which took place at Notts County Football Ground. This was performed with borrowed gear after the group's equipment was stolen from outside the Speakeasy Club in London.
Subsequently though, the band, together with Keith Ellis, joined Peter Hammill on what was intended to be a solo album, The Aerosol Grey Machine. The recording took place on the 31st July and 1st August 1969.
"Keith Ellis meanwhile joined Juicy Lucy, went to America for a while and is now in Boxer with Mike Patto and Ollie Halsall - a star band if ever there was one."
- Zig Zag November 1975
This picture is taken from a Sounds article that appeared in 1975, showing Keith Ellis second from left.

See also Early Van der Graaf Generator pictures with Keith Ellis.