|Pop Rock Magazine 30th October 1976 (In French)|
|Monday October 4th 1976
The Van der Graaf Generator crew arrive at Mirabel airport. Gordian Troeller (manager), Pat Moran (sound engineer), 2 roadies, and evidently Peter Hammill (electric guitar, piano and vocals), Hugh Banton (organ), Dave Jackson (sax) and Guy Evans (drums).
Scotty McDougall from the record company GRT will join them for the first part of the tour (Sherbrooke, Quebec and Montreal) and will oversee the numerous activities of the group (coordination of concerts, radio and press interviews, and also control of the backstage passes). Without him, Pop Rock via this journalist would have never been able to follow the band so closely, be it at their hotel, backstage or during warm ups and soundchecks before each show.
For Van der Graaf fans, especially their older fans, their coming to Quebec has been the culmination of many long years of waiting, long years that only added to the myth surrounding the band. For almost 10 years now we have been following VdGG but without them ever coming to Québec. So even though I saw Van der Graaf in flesh and blood, the myth was still there in my head. That causes certain communication problems because we tend to start discussing things that the band cannot really comprehend. For example, I wanted to speak to them about what an album like Pawn Hearts represented to me, particularly the lyrics to A Plague of a Lighthouse Keepers. But Peter Hammill and his friends were completely uninterested whenever I brought up the subject. For them, Pawn Hearts is a part of the past, and to talk about the past is to ignore who they are today. Van der Graaf do not pretend to be celebrities so it's difficult for them to fill the myth that they are victims of. That was the impression that persisted throughout the Quebec tour. Even with all the public attention, the press and various producers, the members of Van der Graaf remain simple, timid and magically immune to the ill effects of stardom. I had to readjust my expectations of the Van der Graaf myth to a much more human level. The humility of Van der Graaf had stunned quite a few journalists much used to confronting the vanities of stars.
And to prove the availability of Van der Graaf, it was possible to invite them to a small party in a private residence in Ville St-Laurent just before the concert at the Centre Paul-Sauvé despite a hectic schedule and the required soundcheck. The manager and the 4 members accepted our invitation and stayed for 2 hours.