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.



Limited Edition 2-disc vinyl album 'From Conception to Birth'.

Date: 25.07.2011

Pictured: the limited edition artwork.

As you may have gathered, Foruli Limited Editions Books are publishing a special edition of my autobiography this Fall. Among several other interesting features of this, there is a two-disc vinyl album called ‘From Conception to Birth’. This comprises eight songs that I wrote, each accompanied by its demo. [A seventeenth unreleased track - ‘Banyan’ - is also included]. As there seems to be growing interest in this, I’ve taken the liberty of writing some explanatory notes about the project, below.

'From Conception to Birth'.

It’s surprisingly uncommon practice, but I thought it might be interesting to offer some sketches of how several of my tunes began life. These audio demonstrations - or ‘demos’ for short - are extremely rough because they were only intended for the ears of the musicians whose job it would be to bring them to life. Had they been required for a record company executive’s decision for investment - the more usual purpose of demos - more care and attention would have been lavished. Musicians will tend to see the general thrust of the music more quickly than business people, and are happy enough with the rougher stone.

In the visual arts it’s quite common to see preparatory studies alongside the finished work. Indeed, some prefer the incomplete sketch, holding out as it does an open-ended promise of how things might be or might have been. Audio demos or original sketches of the finished musical item have been increasingly possible with the advent of simple home-recording devices, and it was a visit to the Van Gogh Museum to see the artist’s ‘Potato Eaters’and attendant sketches that provided the gestation for ‘From Conception to Birth’.

The vinyl album ‘From Conception to Birth’ has 17 tracks. 8 demos precede the relevant sections of their 8 released masters, allowing direct comparison, and there is one additional demo that never made it to master stage. The demos reflect my chequered history in the realm of home recording. Given my efforts with electronic percussion - or perhaps because of them - it may surprise some to learn I’m something of a technophobe, and nothing of a recording engineer.

Early demos were more or less straight into what we used to call a ghetto-blaster. That was followed briefly by Teac Portastudio 4-track cassette recordings, which rapidly morphed into my favourit axe, the Roland MC500. I played in the midi data from my Yamaha keyboard, and outputted to sounds from my Korg O1/W orchestra-in-a-box. Everything on sides 2, 3, and 4 was recorded that way. Low tech it certainly was, but I was pleased with my Holdsworth ‘soundalike’ guitar playing on ‘Lingo’, my cheesy 12-string guitar that I had the nerve to play Ralph Towner before the sessions for ‘If Summer Had Its Ghosts’, and the drumming on the unreleased ‘Banyan’.

There is an honourable – if fatal – tradition among musicians of ‘falling in love with the demo’. In this, the composer has played his weedy version to himself so many times that he comes to hear its manifest flaws as attributes. He becomes deaf to the beauties of the new version being produced on the session, and wastes many hours trying to recreate the unrecreatable original. Not me. I was relieved and grateful, but not surprised, when this material sprang instantly to life in rehearsal rooms under the hands of the skilled musicians with whom I was lucky to play it. The way my amateurish sketches began to breathe and flex and break free from the stone-lined, midi-data encasements in which they were conceived was a constant reminder of the value of all-at-once human playing and the value of musical relationships of the flesh-and-blood rather than the automated kind.

I never quite made it to the laptop and software world of composition that seems made for more agile brains than mine. I had written the tunes on this album and many like them because my various bands needed something to play. When I retreated from organising groups, that need evaporated, and I ended up mostly as an improvising musician. Arnold Schoenberg allegedly offered the notion that all composition is just very slow improvisation, and I accept the corollary to be true, that improvisation is extremely fast composition. Things sound best to me when the composed sounds improvised and the improvised sounds composed. I was always most comfortable in the cracks between the two.