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Bill Bruford

Bill BrufordAKA William Scott Bruford

Born: 17-May-1949
Birthplace: Sevenoaks, Kent, England

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Drummer

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Drummer for King Crimson

The passion of Bill Bruford's life has been jazz -- which makes it a bit ironic that he has spent most of his life in rock bands. No other drummer is more closely associated with the so-called "progressive" rock genre, being that Bill has been in quite a number of the most notable ones at one time or another.

His first big break came after joining Yes in 1968, a band that would be one of the first and most influential working in the idiom that has since been branded with the p-word. To the surprise of many, Bill bailed out of the Yes boat just as their popularity was reaching it's high water mark in 1972 and joined King Crimson -- having been lured away by the promise of a more challenging musical direction, as well as by Robert Fripp's unspeakable Wiccan rituals. In 1975 Crimson was also reaching the height of its popularity when Bruford again made a career change, but this time not by his own choice: Fripp, fed up with the music industry, had decided to dissolve the band. Brief associations with Genesis and Roy Harper (among others) followed, and in 1977 he formed his own band Bruford, a jazz-fusion combo that finally had him where his heart was.

Never one to pass up a challenge, Bruford took the call when King Crimson reformed in 1981, having recently completed a short stint with the band UK with his former King Crimson cohort John Wetton. It was during this period that Bill began exploring the use of electronic drums, which were still at a relatively primitive stage of development. Throughout his subsequent tenure with Crimson -- and also with Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe, a project that reunited him with his Yes band mates during yet another Crimson hiatus -- he continued to be on the cutting edge of drum technology.

That is, until he decided he'd had enough of that electronic nonsense, and switched back to a purely acoustic kit with Earthworks, a band he had founded back in 1996, and which had been intermittently active between his other commitments. Beginning in 1999, his role in Earthworks became the main focus of his musical concerns.

Wife: Carolyn Bruford (m. 2-Mar-1973, two sons, one daughter)

    University: University of Leeds

    Yes Drummer (1968-72 and 1991)
    King Crimson Drummer (1972-75, 1981-84, and 1994-97)
    Trigger Drummer (1975)
    National Health Drummer (1975)
    Genesis Drummer (1976)
    UK Drummer (1978)
    Bruford Drummer (1977-80)
    Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe Drummer (1989-91)
    Earthworks Drummer (1986-)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Bill Bruford: The Autobiography: Yes, King Crimson, Earthworks, and More (2009, memoir)

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