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Bill Bruford The Autobiography Paperback – February 1, 2009

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About the Author

Bill Bruford's professional musical career began in 1968. He was a guiding light in the British Art Rock movement, recording and touring internationally with Yes and King Crimson from 1968-74. Since then he has worked with many other artists, including Gong, National Health, Genesis and U.K., as well as leading his own bands Bruford and Earthworks.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jawbone Press; Stated First Edition edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906002231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906002237
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

By the tender age of 27, Bill Bruford's musical character had already been forged in the fiery furnace of four of the biggest progressive rock groups of all time; Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, and UK. By nature a restless innovator uncomfortable with the well-worn path, Bill went on to a fascinating 40-year career as a band leader and writer with his groups Bruford and Earthworks. His taste for the unpredictable in live performance has led him to collaborations with countless of the world's top rock and jazz musicians, in an endless search for the innovative, the unusual, and the unlikely. His work is well documented at Summerfold and Winterfold Records, and in his book Bill Bruford: The Autobiography, published by Jawbone Press.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By pattic on March 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
If there was no Bill Bruford, we would have to invent one.

I was probably more excited about this book, than any other in recent memory; not only by virtue of being an enormous fan of his various projects over the years, but also because he has been the most reliably erudite and witty interviewee in the history of rock and jazz.

For anyone remotely familiar with Bill's umistakably dry and sardonic wit, there will be little doubt after a single chapter that no ghost writer lurks underneath. This book is the closest thing admirerers of Mr. B will ever get to their ultimate fantasy-namely sitting across a cafe table from Bill with a good cup of coffee and getting him to answer all those questions you've had for ages, that you would never have the courage to actually pose, knowing full-well that you'd receive well-deserved eye twinkle and thinly veiled contempuous barb for your temerity. In other words, reading this book, in some ways, is rather like playing a car racing game on the get much of the satisfaction without the risk of plunging your noggin into a thinly padded steering wheel at 80 miles an hour.

There are so many terriffic antecdotes here, with so many quotable quotes, you may want to read it with a yellow hi-lighter in reach. Very seldom have I laughed so well and been so thoroughly entertained, while learning so much I wanted to know.

Keep in mind, at only 300+ pages, the read is disappointingly brief, and many episodes in a great career, seem to be glossed-over far too quickly, considering their enormous import. The Yes and KC years take-up probably no more than 20-or-so pages each (although not covered in strictly chronological order) which, in almost any other circumstance would leave you feeling dissatisfied.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mike C. on May 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bill Bruford has announced his retirement and, seemingly during the same week, published this book. One could read this as "hey, this is gonna be some kind of tell-all, dish-the-dirt backstabber", of the sort issued by many a retired athlete and/or coach. But then again, this is Bruford we're talking about, a man whose name usually appears in conversation with the word "integrity" not far behind.

So what is this book then? Is it really an autobiography? Well, yes and no. Bruford writes about his entire career arc, but not in the conventional birth-school-work-death order. Instead, like his drumming, he isn't content to just stick to the beat. The man has a million stories, racked up over 40+ years of albums, touring, hopping around from group to group, and finally becoming his own bandleader/businessman/do-everything guy. Many of his vignettes are hilarious; others convey the long and lonely road that all touring musicians face.

But the thing that strikes me most is how good of a writer that Bill is. It's common knowledge that he's very witty, and is often regarded as the smartest one in the band (whatever band that it is). But the fact is, his writing style is highly entertaining. If he ever decides to retire from drumming (oh wait, he just did!), Bill could easily have a second career in writing...and, in fact, I hope he does a lot more of it if he's so inclined.

About that "smartest one in the band" comment above: Some have labeled Bruford as arrogant, detached, and so on...but if you read his actual words, as set forth in this book, you'll understand why he's chosen the paths that he has in his career. Bruford has carefully collected all sorts of observations over the years, cataloged them, and released it all in this book.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Kallet on April 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a drummer, Bill Bruford has been an inspiration to me since I was a teenager back in the early 70's. Bill's autobiography is written with the same thoughtfulness and care that has exemplified his career as a musician. He gives a very intelligent analysis and history of the music industry from the heydays of the late 60's-mid 70's to the current situation of corporate cultural totalitarianism.
The book's chapters are set-up as answers to "frequently asked questions" he has been dealing with his entire career. Throughout, there is a personal, measured, fair-minded humanity that interjects all subjects be it his ambivalent relationship with Robert Fripp, his restained loathing of Chris Squire or the trials and tribulations on the road and in the recording studio. This book is a must read for all prog rockers. Finally, the quality of the book in terms of paper choice and binding reflect the sincerity and humility of one of this era's greatest musical artists.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on March 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
In the case of Bill Bruford, you'd call him an articulate and intelligent author of one of the most insightful assessments of a career that you'll ever likely read. I would agree wholeheartedly with the reviews this is garnering. Bruford has written a book that is always articulate, often hillarious and sublimely genuine in his discussions of teh costs and rewards of a life dedicated to serving Music.
His has been an extraordinary career, and with his recent announcement of ceasing to perform live and turn his attention to the cultivation of his thoughts and back catalogue, let's hope that if there are to be no more CDs (and as he puts it, the iPod is full anyway), let's hope for more books. Bruford is a man who writes with a command of the language at least as sublime as his command of his 4 appendages. No mean feat. Ahem.
This is not a gossip book nor a cartoon (Patty Boyd and David Crosby take note), but a brutally honest and insightful examination of a life well lived and creatively awake. In fact, you can't put the book down. It is a page turner and is provactive from a noetical cliff that few writers in any discipline achieve. Mind you, I very much liked Clapton's book as well - an unaffected account of his life, career, inspirations and demons. One thought even more of Eric after reading the book than one did just on the merits of his musicianship. This book raises the bar significantly higher.
Bruford carries few grudges. Chris Squire is left unforgiven for a level of unprofessionalism that Bruford felt was just in bad form, as does Al Di Meola. Apart from the backhand toward these two, there isn't a negative aspersion in the book.
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