Quatermass (band)

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Also known as Quatermass II (1994–1999)
Origin London, England
Genres Progressive rock
Years active 1969–1971 (as Quatermass)
1994–1999 (as Quatermass II)
Labels Harvest
Associated acts Deep Purple
Episode Six
Past members Mick Underwood
John Gustafson
J. Peter Robinson
Nick Simper
Peter Taylor
Bernie Tormé
Don Airey
Gary Davis
Bart Foley

Quatermass were a British progressive rock band from London, active between 1969 and 1971. A related band, Quatermass II was active in the mid-1990s.


The trio consisted of bass player and vocalist John Gustafson, keyboardist J. Peter Robinson and Mick Underwood on drums.[1] Underwood had previously played with Ritchie Blackmore in the Outlaws, while Gustafson had been a member of The Merseybeats. Underwood later became drummer with Episode Six, and was joined by Gustafson after Roger Glover left to join Deep Purple.[2] The band took its name from Professor Bernard Quatermass, a fictional scientist who had been the hero of three science fiction serials produced by BBC Television in the 1950s, and were signed to Harvest Records.[3]

The group formed as a power trio with Hammond organ as the main instrument. Their first and only album sold itself through "...compactness, wealth of ideas, forceful lead vocals and complicated arrangements, enriched by pianist Robinson's tasteful use of classical strings which are on display along with spacious keyboard passages at their height in the mold of The Nice."[4] One track, "Laughin' Tackle", includes 16 violins, 6 violas, 6 cellos, and 3 double bass, arranged by Robinson, and a drum solo by Underwood. Underwood remained in close contact with Blackmore, and visited Deep Purple in the studio while they were recording In Rock.[5]

The group split in early 1971. Gustafson formed a new band, Bullet with ex-members of Atomic Rooster.[2]

The band's song "Black Sheep of the Family" was the first track to be recorded by Rainbow, having been rejected for the Deep Purple album Stormbringer.[6]

Quatermass II[edit]

In 1994, Underwood, and founding Deep Purple member Nick Simper joined in a project titled Quatermass II. Gustafson contributed two songs on their album, Long Road (1997), which also involved Gary Davis and Bart Foley on guitars, with Don Airey on keyboards.

Band Members[edit]


Quatermass II[edit]

  • Mick Underwood – drums, pervussion (1994–1999)
  • Nick Simper – bass (1994–1999)
  • Peter Taylor – lead vocals (1994)
  • Bernie Tormé – guitars (1994)
  • Don Airey – keyboards (1994–1999)
  • Gary Davis – lead guitars (1994–1999)
  • Bart Foley – rhythm guitars, lead vocals (1994–1999)


  • Quatermass (1970)
  • Quatermass II: Long Road (1997)


  • "Black Sheep of the Family" / "Good Lord Knows" (1970)
  • "One Blind Mice" / "Punting" (1971)
  • "Gemini" / "Black Sheep of the Family" (1971)

External links[edit]



  1. ^ "Quatermass CD/DVD". Cherry Red Records. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Thompson 2004, p. 130.
  3. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 170.
  4. ^ Graf, Christian "Rock Musik Lexikon" (Taurus Press, Hamburg)
  5. ^ Bloom, Jerry (2010). Black Knight: Ritchie Blackmore. Omnibus Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-857-12053-3. 
  6. ^ "Ritchie Blackmore performs his last concert with Deep Purple". Classic Rock Magazine. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 


  • Thompson, Dave (2004). Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55-022618-8.