Quatermass was an English hard-rock trio that released a self-titled album on Harvest in 1970. They were an offshoot of ’60s pop-psych band Episode Six, which splintered when vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover departed to join Deep Purple.

Along with ELP, Van der Graaf Generator, and the initial lineup of Atomic Rooster, Quatermass helped launch a guitar-free wing of maximalist rock in the UK. 

Members: John Gustafson (bass, vocals), Peter Robinson (keyboards), Mick Underwood (drums)

Quatermass emerged in 1969 from the final lineup of Episode Six, a revolving-door pop-psych band that, toward the end of its run, included veteran drummer Mick Underwood (b. 1940) and bassist John Gustafson.

Underwood’s career stretched back to the early 1960s, when he served as a touring drummer for Jet Harris, Sam Cook, and Little Richard. Between 1962 and 1965, he cut seven singles as part of The Outlaws with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Following brief stints with The Herd and The Doves, Underwood received two invitations: a new band being assembled by Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page (which would turn out to be Led Zeppelin) and the established act Episode Six. Underwood took the latter offer.

With Underwood, Episode Six cut the 1968/69 singles “Lucky Sunday” (b/w “Mr. Universe”) and “Mozart Versus the Rest” (b/w “Jak D’Or”). Soon thereafter, bassist Roger Glover and co-vocalist Ian Gillan left the band to join Deep Purple. They were mutually replaced by Liverpudlian bassist/singer John Gustafson, who’d recorded earlier in the decade with The Big Three and The Merseybeats. They briefly tried to keep Episode Six going with guitarist Tony Lander and singer/keyboardist Sheila Carter-Dimmock. However, by late 1969, Underwood and Gustafson formed Quatermass with keyboardist Peter Robinson. They took their name from Professor Bernard Quatermass, a fictional character in three ’50s-era sci-fi serials produced for BBC television.

Quatermass singed to EMI’s fledgling Harvest division and released their self-titled album in 1970.


  • Quatermass (1970)
  • “One Blind Mice” / “Punting” (1971)


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