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flag England - Full Moon 201 - 01/27/13

Nic 'Mozart' Potter
18 October 1951 - 16 January 2013


This one was a real shock, only 61 years old. I guess Nic's most known as the very young bassist of Van der Graaf Generator of the early days (1969-70) that reunited with Van der Graaf (now without the Generator) seven years later. He dropped out of school at 15 and turned professional musician at 16. He met drummer Guy Evans at the audition for a reformed and last incarnation of The Misunderstood that lasted a few months during the summer of 1969. Afterwards Guy rejoined the reformed VdGG and brought Nic along. He played on VdGG's first "real" album The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other and the first half/LP-side of H to He Who Am The Only One. After his first stint with Van der Graaf, Nic played sessions for Peter Hammill solo, Chuck Berry and others. In fact Nic played on Chuck's only US no. 1 hit "My Ding-a-Ling", off the album Live In London (although this song was recorded at a festival in Coventry). He was the bassist in Rare Bird for an album and a tour and also played with Jeff Beck and The Beach Boys, rehearsals only. In 1974 he teamed up with old Van der Graaf-colleagues except Peter Hammill for an album project called The Long Hello.

Nic was a member of The Tigers that released at least one single and album and toured the USA in 1980. In between Tigers commitments Guy and Nic recorded the duo-album The Long Hello Vol. 2. Later they were both part of Peter Hammill's K Group, where Nic gained his nickname Mozart, a little combo that picked up quite a few threads from latterday Van der Graaf. Nic's solo carreer started in 1983 and he released nine solo albums in all (including a cassette-only live recording), most of them on his own Zomart Records label, with mainly calm and moody music dominated by keyboards, what nowadays might be labelled electronica, but with acoustic instruments, too. I bought quite a few items from him and I always received kind and quick responses in them old days when we communicated across the seas by letters. Nic signed all the records he sold, at least to me. No doubt he is the musician who has signed most items in my record collection, and one of the very few with a US no. 1 hit! Zomart's last release was Nic Potter And Friends Live In Italy from 2008. It includes Van der Graaf-buddy David Jackson and Italian musicians and the music includes compositions by Nic and a few Van der Graaf doughnuts. The Zomart home page has not been available for a year or two. Now we know it was due to Nic's illness.

Check also the messages from his old buddy, Guy Evans, and Nic's big sister Sally Potter, singer, dancer and reknowned film director.


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