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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 Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.


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.


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Right now, Europe has it.

Date: 01.12.2011

Having just been in the US and then Sweden, and addressing plenty of young musicians in both, thoughts cannot help but turn to the relative merits of life in each for the young musician, were I again to be one.

In the vast US, all remains commercial. The imperative to produce an immediate return on each dollar spent continues to be the main driver for club-owner or promoter, who, panicked and nervous, thus provide for the audience what the audience had yesterday. My old friends and co-workers in King Crimson, and it’s various off-shoots in Stick Men, Adrian Belew’s several trios, and Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto’s groups, must play over-familiar repertoire in US clubs, but slide off to avail themselves of more socialist Northern Europe’s generous art funding if they wish to produce arguably more innovative fare with Amsterdam’s Metropole Orchestra, Sweden’s I.B.Expo, or at Norway’s Punkt festival with Jan Bang and Erik Honore.

Meanwhile in smaller European countries, the musicians seem to grow daily in confidence, and their work in imagination. Dan Berglund’s Tonbruket, Nik Bartsch’s Ronin, Barcelona’s Ojos de Brujo and the growing cluster of progressive instrumental musicians no longer look longingly to the west and hunger for an American tour as we did forty years ago. The jazz v. rock issue has been by-passed. Who’s allowed to play what is irrelevant. A new cross-genre progressivism is in the air.

This new progressivism has little to to do with the progressive rock that I grew up with, except in the key motivation - the hunger, the thirst - to find something vaguely different. Attention to timbre and sonic detail (Tonbruket), the sparseness and minimalist funk of Nik Bartsch’s Ronin, the red-blooded rhythmic drive of heavily amplified flamenco guitars over rhythm who’s antecedents are closer to Mumbai than Chicago (Ojos de Brujo) have origins in a local or regional sub-soil. They also may have a sprinkling of state funding to allow the music time to grow and develop strong roots, so to that extent the playing field is not level and the odds are stacked in favour of the European and against his North American colleagues. Society gets the music it pays for.

Would I rather struggle in Europe with Tonbrucket, Ronin, or Ojos than tread water in the US with the ‘heritage acts’ of my youth? No question. For now, Europe has it.

NOVEMBER GUESTBOOK:

Thanks for all the warm notes and emails from The US and Sweden – too numerous to mention all – but it’s been a good autumn and you people made it so.

Jeremy Finkelstein Date: 30.11.2011 …just finished the autobiography and decided to check out the website. What else to say...I guess...Thanks for the music!

Pleasure’s all mine, Jeremy.

Paul: Date: 29.11.2011 Just noticed that you'd already answered a similar question about Earthworks' live gigs. I'm still curious about any additional studio stuff that might be floating around, though!

Paul, unlike King Crimson and DGM who appear to have a policy to make just about everything recorded available in the public domain, I have no such desire to do the same with Earthworks and any material I may control. It has something to do with allowing the artist to bin the off-cuts, to acknowledge that to get where you’re going there may be several - many - fruitless detours, and that it is the artist’s prerogative to so designate them. Much of early Earthworks’ live recordings were horrendously mis-balanced mostly because of the hybrid semi-acoustic semi-electronic percussion array that confused the heck out of most people, including me. Trust me, you don’t want or need to hear that. Crap is crap.

Jeff A. Morris Date: 21.11.2011 says… “thanks for stopping in Kansas City, MO. Glad to meet somebody who I modeled my thoughts & playing after. …What do you do when you want to create or play something different but your brain is stuck?”

Jeff, try re-arranging the instruments in your kit. Or try swapping the hands around, so if you are normally RH lead, play LH lead for a while. Play the part assigned to the BD with your LH, the snare with your RH, and feet in unison…

Cameron Devlin Date: 19.11.2011 thinks… “that Jazz FM interview is horrific. At least nice to see that it's reverted to its original name - it was "Smooth FM" for far too long”…

Yes, I agree, sorry about that Cameron! I couldn’t believe he was asking me such rubbish! I disagree about the name, though. There is so little of anything that I can recognise as jazz on there, I think ‘Smooth FM’ is appropriate. The station is all but unlistenable.

Jason Rubin Date: 13.11.2011 …was wondering about your renditions of Max Roach's "The Drum Also Waltzes" and Joe Morello's "Some Other Time." Did you transcribe them yourself, or learn them by ear? Also, how did you adapt their works to your own distinctive style?

Jason – neither are note-perfect renditions, but they are in the spirit of the originals. Inevitably I applied my style - not something I necessarily wanted to avoid applying – subconsciously - without conscious thought. Morello had a more rudimental style and a flow that joins one phrase to the next with fewer pauses than Max, who had lots of space.

“My first solo piece was called ‘Drum Conversation’, and people would ask me, ‘Where are the chords? Where's the melody?' And I would say, ‘It's about design. It isn't about melody and harmony. It's about periods and question marks. Think of it as constructing a building with sound. It's architecture”.

(Roach cited in Mattingly 2007)

Jerry: Date: 06.11.2011: Bill, during the ABWH tour, the band performed an encore of Sweet Dreams in a "Calypso" or "Caribbean" style. You had some sort of percussive thing between your legs. What was that instrument and how did that arrangement come about? thanks. (It was fascinating that Madison Square Garden fell to silence during that song.)

Jerry, that would have been the same log drum that I’ve used a lot – too much! – on the Sheltering Sky and Discipline with KC and other tracks. Not sure we were trying for a calypso – just something with a different feel. Sounds like the audience hated it…!

Michael O'Connor Date: 03.11.2011 … was reading a blip on some of the song titles and where they originated. Didn't see an explanation for one of my favorite songs "Forever Until Sunday". Is there any story for where this song got its name? It is a really beautiful song.

Thanks, Michael. It was a painfully long time (forever) until Sunday, the end of the tour, when in my case I was meeting my lady again, but it’s about yearning to be with the one you love. Time stands still, or goes slower, when you’re waiting like that.

Shir Deutch Date: 02.11.2011 ….would love to hear my thoughts and impression, if I ‘get the time’ to listen to his band Solstice Coil.

Shir, I appreciate your request, but I don’t do that any more I’m afraid. I’m sure your band is terrific, and I wish you all the best in the world for its greatest possible success, and it’s not that I’m not interested, it’s just that I do other things now. For many years I passed my worthless opinion dutifully on the musically hopeless, the musically more hopeful, and the musically exciting in equal measure. To listen to the music a few times, consider it, and type a thoughtful response of anything more than mere platitudes is a minimum four (unpaid) hours round-trip. I don’t ‘get’ time, but I could ‘make’ time… This I did without a word of complaint for years. I don’t anymore!

Good luck to all, Bill.