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Tony Pagliuca: my Gardone experience

Among the audience of the 18th July show at Vittoriale theatre, the last date of the VDGG italian tour, there was a special guest: Tony Pagliuca, the ex keyboard player of the mighty italian progressive rock band Le Orme. Pagliuca also teamed with David Jackson last year for the Re-Collage italian tour.

To describe what I felt during the Van der Graaf Generator show is not an easy task, but I will try nonetheless. I was very anxious to attend the gig. I loved VDGG music back in the ’70s: I used to listen to all their records but I never got a chance to listen to the band live. I met Peter Hammill in 1973 in Italy, when he was the opening act for Le Orme, and I played with David Jackson last year, as he was the special guest during the Re-Collage tour. But I completely missed VDGG “other half”, namely Guy Evans and Hugh Banton. On 18th July evening, they were all in Gardone Riviera, and I couldn’t miss it. So I decided to go and I brought along my “other half” as well: my wife Tatiana and my two kids. I really wanted them to share the event with me. I sit on the left of the stage, and after the second song my mind was already enchanted by the Generator’sound. My son Emanuele (13 years old) says: “Dad, that’s the best drummer I’ve ever heard!” I ask to the little one (8 years old): “Do you like this kind of music?” And he replies: “Yes, I like it a lot!”

What a pleasure it was to see Peter, jumping as a child on the “Regenerator”deck, while David at the helm pushed from time to time the sirens button to make clear that the four man were still on planet Earth. Inside the computer room, scientist Hugh was fastening to the Dolby desk one of the new robots, who was homesick and wanted to go back to his galaxy. Outside, tied with a big rope to the station, there was Guy, who was checking the landing damages. During the brief visit to Earth, the light went on and off, always with clocking precision, on the sound velocity delay, like physical science commands. When the movie was over, one thing immediately came to my mind… why can’t we ask for a favour to the G8 of the music (Bono, Paul, Elton…): please let VDGG stay on Planet Earth forever!

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