New Edition of Bill's Autobiography

Date: 21.04.2013

"Bill Bruford -The Autobiography" continues to go from strength to strength. A second edition of the paperback has just been published by Foruli Publications with different photographs and layout, and an additional 1100 word Prologue from Bill. Signed copies are on pre-order from Burning Shed online shop. Unsigned copies available at or

Bill filmed interview.

Date: 30.03.2013

A fresh filmed interview with Bill has just been posted at the excellent online magazine iDrum here.

The stories behind history's greatest rock bands.

Date: 27.11.2012

YES men Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman,Steve Howe and Bill Bruford get Close to the Edge On It’s 40th Anniversary ‘InTheStudio’.

The full interview can be streamed now.

Dallas, TX - Nov 26, 2012. North American syndicated Rock radio show InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands gets a first hand account from YES current and former members Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, and Bill

Bruford about perhaps the pinnacle moment for progressive rock with the release forty years ago of YES Close to the Edge. Coming off the breakthrough success of the band’s Fragile album just nine months earlier, YES had now gained a level of

commercial capital that they intended to spend. It wouldn’t come in the form of three and a half minute pop songs, instead appearing as an album of only three songs. Close to the Edge would debut at # 3 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and crown YES as progressive rock royalty for decades to come. Jon Anderson tells In The Studio host Redbeard that the band did not intentionally aspire to create complex lengthy songs.

Second shop opens!

Date: 24.11.2012

Bill has opened a second multi-currency online shop stuffed to the hilt with all things Bruford, signed and unsigned. What with currency, exchange rate, shipping and tax hassles, the thinking is that this one may be more convenient for European and customers from the rest of the world outside North America. The North American shop continues to thrive, and wishes all its customers a happy holiday season. Not all items are necessarily in permanent stock in both shops all the time, but if you can't find what you want in one, it's probably in the other! Admin

All hardbacks now despatched

Date: 03.11.2012

Just to advise that all the When in Doubt, Roll! limited edition (blue) hardbacks, autographed and inscribed with your dedicated messages, have now been despatched from Los Angeles, CA. They're on the way! Many thanks to the folks at Foruli in the UK and to Amy who runs the shop in California, for making this happen.

If you missed the special edition, not to worry, the basic (red, pictured) paperback is available and in stock here.



Bass players, odd-time signatures, and remote hi-hats…

Date: 04.06.2011

This picture at Duke University, Raleigh, N.C. in late 1971 shows Bill sound-checking his complete two-floor tom Hayman kit. Note the Hayman snare has been demoted to spare in favour of his ‘Roundabout’ Ludwig snare. Pic courtesy of Michael DeAngury.


Questions from Mike Yocum, Robert Howie and others, answered below, make me think it might be a good idea to point you to the interviews and articles pages on this site. I go into many of the more frequently asked questions in some depth, and the stats indicate it’s a relatively lightly used resource.

Mike Yocum Date: 06.05.2011 asks if I would ‘comment on some of the great bass players you've worked with over the years, e.g., what you liked about them, songs that stand out to you, etc.? You always come up with such a great complimentary drum part with the bassist that you're playing with that not only serves the music, but becomes a great stand alone part of it’.

Mike, I can refer you to an article on this very site all about bass players and my tin-pot thoughts about working with bassists. Go here and scroll down to ‘2003 bass players’. Aside from that, I always liked the bass line from Discipline which I think I wrote, Jeff Berlin first played, and ended up with Tony Levin on Stick. Earthworks’ Mark Hodgson had unbelievable strength on upright, but not such a pretty sound as Eddie Gomez. Jeff Berlin’s solo on Palewell Park from ‘Gradually Going Tornado’ was a world-beater for form and melody. Too many, too many nice bass parts… Chris Squire’s ‘Lucky Seven’ from his first (only?) solo album ‘Fish Out of Water’ was always very popular. Tony Levin’s great part in the dreamy road-trippy mescalin-induced haze of the middle section of Neurotica (from King Crimson’s ‘Beat’ ) always sent shivers down my spine. I could go on all day. The problem with lists, of course, is all the people you leave out.

Dan Summers Date: 14.05.2011 asks if I’d ever ‘considered doing a piano/drums project with Dave Brubeck? You could have called it Double Brew (or Double Bru, if you like)’.

What a wit! My records were always racked after Brubeck’s in the store, in the old days, when they had record stores. He always had dozens to my one or two if I was lucky.

Robert W. Howie Date: 14.05.2011 ‘Some of the stuff you do, I just can't get, like the off time stuff. Is there any professional advise or tips you could give me, or is there some good training material that won’t break the bank that would help me out - i.e. odd time sigs, compound time sigs. And I would also like to ask if you would share with me your favorite pieces of music that you have done over your career’.

Robert, there is so much stuff on the net to help out. I’m a bit out of the loop on current fashionable books on odd-time signatures, but none of it will break the bank. If you like the drummer, see if he has a book out. Just type ‘odd time signatures’ into your browser and you’ll find a ton of information. Without knowing your current ability it’s hard to make a recommendation, but I hear Ralph Humphrey’s book ‘Even In the Odds’ is very good.

Take a look at FAQ 10 about some of my favourite albums, and there will be lots of material on this in some of the articles on this site listed under ‘Interviews’. Funnily enough I quite like some of my work on the ‘Sound of Surprise’ by Earthworks. I say funnily, because it wasn’t a big seller and is underrated I think. Unlike most of my stuff, which has been somewhat overrated!

Armin Date: 17.05.2011 asks ‘are there still things in your recording-library that are destined to be put on CD or DVD? Moreover, any plans to promote/read your book for people outside UK (which means evt germany, BeNeLux or so...)?’

Armin: As you may know I’m doing a high-end limited bespoke edition version of the book with all sorts of bells and whistles attached, with Foruli Publications. As part of the package, there will be a vinyl album called ‘From Conception to Birth’, which offers the ‘sketch’ or ‘demo’ of the master first, each demo followed immediately by its master. This invites comparison of first thought with final production. Sometimes the difference is marginal, sometimes substantial, but always intriguing, I hope. Visit Foruli for updates.

I regret I have no plans to be reading in Germany or Benelux. Irrelevant to you, I know, but I shall be doing more in the US this Fall.

Bill Donnelly Date: 17.05.2011 Have you listened to any new and exciting music you think some of us might be interested in knowing about?

Bill, I’m way behind with my listening. Having collected much too much music over the last 40 years, I’m enjoying kicking back and listening to some of it. A classic symptom of advancing senility is that I increasingly find the music of my youth not only stands up well to newer material but appears to have as much or more fire, invention and passion in the grooves.

Mark EpperlyDate: 17.05.2011 Hi Everyone. Does anyone know what model remote Hi Hat that Bill is using (either currently or very recently). Any info would be appreciated. Thanks, fans!

Mark, back in the 80s I used to use a new, now discontinued and not very good, Tama remote cable hat. I suggested some improvements to Tama and they made me an excellent custom two-legged Iron Cobra version. My understanding was that Tama didn't put that on the market because a) lack of demand and b) possible copyright and patent issues with DW. Evidently DW also have a good remote cable hat. I haven't tried it - part of the difficulty of being an endorsing artist is that you spend very little time trying out the instruments of other manufacturers.

I never found the hat particularly sluggish, but since it was a central component of my symmetrical kit and as such had to be carried around the world to gigs, it had those logistical problems. Here's a brief clip of me playing it.

All best till next time. Bill