Published by Foruli Publications 2011 EDITION OF 500 SIGNED COPIES ISBN 978-1-90579-219-1 Volume Copyright c Foruli Ltd 2011 Text Copyright c Bill Bruford, 2009, 2011 Forewords Copyright c Mark Guiliana 2011and c Mike Portnoy 2011 This edition is published by permission of Jawbone Press, London The right of Bill Bruford to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher.
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The practising drummer and the romance of the road: Bristol, England, 1981 Photo: Tony Levin
A note from the author
Foreword by MARK GUILIANA
Foreword by MIKE PORTNOY
CHAPTER 1 PAGE 12
So how did you get started?
CHAPTER 2 PAGE 30
Why did you leave Yes?
CHAPTER 3 PAGE 48
Who managed the manager?
CHAPTER 4 PAGE 60
How did you get that fantastic sound?
CHAPTER 5 PAGE 74
Why would you want to form your own group?
CHAPTER 6 PAGE 90
Do you still like progressive rock?
CHAPTER 7 PAGE 108
Do you like doing interviews?
CHAPTER 8 PAGE 122
What’s it like working with Robert Fripp?
CHAPTER 9 PAGE 138
What do you mean, your ‘spiritual home with a bed of nails’?
CHAPTER 10 PAGE 154
Is it different, being in jazz?
CHAPTER 11 PAGE 170
Is it difficult, with a family?
CHAPTER 12 PAGE 184
Do you sometimes play with other people?
CHAPTER 13 PAGE 196
Do you still see any of the old guys?
CHAPTER 14 PAGE 212
Yes, but what do you do in the daytime?
CHAPTER 15 PAGE 224
What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians?
CHAPTER 16 PAGE 236
Do you just play anything you like?
CHAPTER 17 PAGE 252
Yes, but what do you really do?
CHAPTER 18 PAGE 266
Are you making this up?
CHAPTER 19 PAGE 282
So how did you get started? 12
I called Carolyn into my room for a second opinion. She said something about it not seeming much after all those years of graft and went back to the kitchen licking the spoon. This was the worst thing – there was no gold watch in this game. I should have liked one of those. Presented with that bauble, the mothballed colliery worker, the creaky security guard, and the dusty academic with the elbow patches on his Lovett tweed jacket could all put a line underneath their lives’ work and move on. But that seems beyond us in the music business, which requires that, like Sir Cliff Richard and Donny Osmond, we are all Peter Pans, forbidden to grow old. I have to write a book before I can move on.
• It is 1965, and Ernest Marples has only recently opened the initial stretches of Britain’s motorway network. The whole thing is bit of a novelty. In a fabulously plummy voice, the UK government’s Minister of Transport has spoken about “previously unheard-of speeds of up to 70 miles an hour”. The Great British Public, attracted to these slabs of racetrack like moths to a flame, proceed to treat them as if they were no different to the tiny B3857 road to Worsley. They pull over and park on the slow carriageway. They enjoy picnics on them. They reverse up them, they go down the wrong side of them, and they fall asleep while driving on them. In these days before a central barrier, they even cross over and turn around to head in the opposite direction. To this madness is added a small army of rock groups, in vehicles rented from a highly unsupervised and fledgling car-rental industry. Suddenly it’s possible to get from Sheffield to London in time for last orders at the Speakeasy, a musicians’ drinking club and home base to many
of London’s finest, if you pack up the gear quickly and put your foot down. And that’ll save having to run out of the hotel in the morning without paying the bill. By the summer of 1968, a long line of Ford Transit vans points north up London’s Earls Court Road. It seems as if everyone, like me, is in a band, and the one I’m in is called Yes. Our transport arrangements are pretty standard. We used to travel with our equipment in our cool-enough long-wheelbase Transit called Big Red, but at the first sign of success, musicians and equipment had separated. The gear could then be driven ahead by a road manager, and – untold luxury, this – the band could drive itself, or, for the wildly successful, be driven to the gig and swan in elegantly for the soundcheck without having had to lift, hump, plug in or set up, or otherwise spoil your hair. In Yes, we have the use of an over-powered Volvo sports car, unwisely loaned to the group by its owner and our manager, Roy Flynn. Left to our own devices, we somehow have to arrange pick-up times at several addresses around London, get to the beginning of the M1 motorway at Hendon before the rush-hour kicks in, and make it half way up England to Kidderminster in good time for the show. Mindful of Ernie Marples’s unheard-of speeds, we have naturally set the departure time hopelessly late. A punctual arrival would have been scarcely achievable even if all the participants had actually been ready to depart when the car pulled up outside their pads. It is now, always has been, and will always remain a matter of status among males as to who keeps whom waiting and for how long. If I can enter the room after you, I shall have kept the occupants waiting a shade longer than you, and shall have successfully demonstrated my superior rank. When gentlemen held the door
Why would you want to form your own group? 74
ejected from King Crimson
King Crimson was to develop a habit of â&#x20AC;&#x153;ceasing to existâ&#x20AC;?, as our leader would have Dave Stewart, Phil Collins it, during my 25 years as the drummer. This Genesis was a recurring irritation that you could set forming a band your watch by, as we began to settle into a Jeff Berlin, Allan Holdsworth pattern of three or four years on, seven years solo albums off. It dissolved in front of my very eyes for the first time in 1974. Ejected, as it were, into the street, I busied myself with a little amateur research into the music-making procedures of others. adrift and doing sessions
I suppose I was thinking that there must be a better way. I did some supposedly anonymous studio work, only to find that the album appeared “featuring ex-Yes Bill Bruford” or was billed in such a way as to give the impression that this appalling music was, in some way, my idea.
A few toothpaste commercials came and went. By November of ’74 I found myself in the group Gong, as a brief replacement for drummer Laurie Allen, who had been banned from a couple of European countries – pre-union, of course – for crossing borders with illegal substances. Gong is an Anglo-French ensemble led by an ageing Australian hippie, Daevid Allen. The organisation is still very much with us, wallowing along in the same completist nostalgia backwash that keeps afloat almost any group over 30 years old. We had a chaotic and argumentative lifestyle that I espoused as readily as the Summer Of Love, the flared loon-pants, and the psychedelia of the early Yes days – which is to say, not readily at all. Searching Gong for alternative methods of communal music-making was like searching a children’s playground for paths to higher enlightenment – not immediately fruitful – although Allen would doubtless have insisted that such a place was exactly where enlightenment was to be found. The group was signed to Virgin Records, the proprietor of which had already had an enormous hand in sealing my fate back in 1971 with The Yes Album. Richard Branson has an air of the perpetual schoolboy about him: earnest, inquisitive, and enquiring. One evening at the hotel bar – he’d appeared on our tour to see how Gong was progressing – he quizzed me steadily on what it was I thought could make the music better, the band
better, anything better. My answers were listened to in depth and at length: very flattering to the new boy who was at best only a hired gun. I rather suspect others have succumbed to Richard’s soft interrogation techniques in the years since. From sessions and tours with Annette Peacock, Roy Harper, Pavlov’s Dog, and Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music fame, among several others, I received precious little useful information about how best to proceed. I was badly adrift in the industry, thrashing about without a paddle and getting low on water, when a lifeline was thrown from a passing vessel. On the end of it were two people who were to give me hope, direction, and focus, in no particular order. Dave Stewart had been through the progressiverock mill with Egg and Hatfield And The North, this latter ensemble shrewdly taking its name from a large blue road-sign that had to be passed by everyone driving on the M1 motorway north out of London. Unmistakeable and huge, this was free roadside advertising of quality, and I thought the man that pounced on that must have something going for him. I found Dave forming a new ensemble called National Health, which was broadly to perform written instrumental music, based around two keyboard players, that was patently neither classical music nor jazz and so, by default, must be rock music, he reasoned. But it was brainy stuff, with titles like ‘Borogroves’, ‘Paracelsus’, and ‘Agrippa’, and the girls at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham would excuse themselves as we launched bravely into the ‘Lethargy Shuffle’, heads down, brows furrowed, all concentration. I was right at home. I don’t quite remember either joining or leaving the group, but I did take with
Below: ABWH 1989 L-R: Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Bill, Jon Anderson Photo: Bruford Archive
Above: The most expensive drum kit ever staged, in action with ABWH 1989 Photo: Bruford Archive Next page top right: Variable-pitch floor tom tom, custom designed for Bill by Tama Drums Photo: Andy Vella / Foruli
I give Carolyn a hug and a kiss, whisper an unconvincing “I’ll be home before you know it”, and am relieved to be on my way. As I watch the family recede in the mirror, the car picks up speed and the tour has started. By the end of the lane, I’ve survived the first couple of minutes of a nine-week stretch. The mere thought of the 63 days ahead produces a lump in the pit of my stomach. I fool myself that now, separated from domestic attachments, I’ll be free to concentrate on one thing only – the job in hand. It is a complex feeling that every soldier, sailor, sportsman, salesman, indeed anyone who travels for a living will recognise: at once a red-blooded enthusiasm to get to the work that he has been anticipating, and for which he has been preparing for months, while shaken with a consuming love for the ones left behind and stirred with an equal dash of guilt at having left them behind. At least others have some excuse for this desertion – to protect the country, perhaps, or oil the wheels as a captain of industry – but me, I am going off to play music, for God’s sake; barely an excuse, and certainly no kind of reason that could possibly justify abandoning wife and young family for nine weeks. And increasingly it is to play music I really love and don’t even earn much money from, so I can hardly shelter behind the old ‘putting bread on the table’ riff. Ah, the guilt, the guilt. It was with me from the first time a crestfallen girlfriend had unwisely shrieked “It’s either me or the drums!” and will remain with me until I hang up the sticks. It is a guilty pleasure, this musical fantasy, masquerading as some sort of a job. I’ve managed to incorporate it, to equip it with health benefits, salary cheques, and VAT returns, just like the real thing, but I fool nobody, least of all myself. The idea that I might be left to get on with it, to face my touring and performing demons in the
best manner I can devise, with full concentration and all the strength I can muster – that too is an illusion. Domestic life pulls and tugs with all its strength in the direction of normalcy, of routine, of dutiful paternity. Fathers are people who go out in the day, come home at night, fix bicycle tyres on Saturdays, and are there for parents evenings and sports days. Professional life pulls with equal strength in the opposite direction, toward uniqueness, exaggerated behaviour, extreme endeavour, standing out from the crowd. Musicians may be self-centred, monastic, or profligate, and capable of charming thousands, but usually only with the aid of a small arsenal of psychiatric or psychotropic weaponry to keep any one of a long list of demons at bay. Many a useful player has foundered on the rocks between the public and the private, has confused the two channels, and become disorientated in the fog. All those music schools are noticeably short on the provision of any navigational aid. I know these are dangerous waters. I know these ideas will ricochet around my head for much of this tour, the same as they always have on previous tours, slugging it out in an inconclusive boxing match, at the end of which these two old adversaries, the public and the private, both bloodied but neither bowed, will slink back to their corners to fight another day. Even on the other side of the world, you’re never far from domestic issues. Modern telecommunications see to that. Computer, phone, and fax deliver with startling efficiency, fresh off the press, a long litany of school horrors, accidents, near-accidents, real or imagined effronteries, domestic crises, hospital visits, animal deaths, sibling unpleasantries, and gardening upsets. I don’t blame the messenger, or particularly want her to stop, or particularly care whether the news is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It comes with the turf: it just is. Even now, at the end of a
good innings, the first thing my eyes search for on entering any hotel room is the red flashing message-waiting light on the phone (or, in the old Holiday Inns, on the wall). Only when I am sure there is no message can I relax.
Time was when communication across continents allowed for cooling-off periods, for moments of reflection both before pen was put to paper and during the putting of pen to paper. No such luxury now exists. Voluminous quantities of domestic grief pour unedited from fax, from email, and directly from the mouth of the telephone receiver. Iain Ballamy, Earthworks’ first tenor player and specialist in musicians’ black humour, describes a call to his wife and mother of his young family as a call to the war department, and rather than commencing with the tentative but marginally hopeful “Is everything all right?” prefers to get straight to it with the utterly hopeless “Is anything all right?”. “Daddy’s going on his holidays again” is Carolyn’s default explanation to the children as daddy and Harry slip away down the drive. Daddy has about 45 holidays a year. She also encourages the confusion, evident enough in the lives and heads of most musicians, between the words ‘work’ and ‘play’. Most children understand work as something less agreeable than play, but musicians evidently play their instruments at work, and go to work to play. Daddy, explains mummy, is always going away to play on his ‘holidays’, so whichever way you skin it, he is bound to be having more fun than the child’s poor suffering mother, who never seems to go anywhere further than Sainsbury’s. Mostly, this is all understood as the light-hearted banter of domestic life – the gentle and playful surface that disguises the darker undercurrent. But occasionally, my ability to absorb the guilt
will be compromised by a particularly bad day with the demons. The circuit will overload, and sparks will fly. Every musician can tell you about the five-minute phone call home, anticipated and begun in good humour, that mysteriously turns into a £58, 69-minute analysis of Where It All Went Wrong, complete with tears and long sullen silences, broken only, if you were in France or parts of Eastern Europe before about 1975, by the frequent interruptions of that dragon at the switchboard, the hotel operator. “I’m not actually out here for my health, you know. I do do some work,” you say. “Oh yes? So how come that’s a party I can hear in the background?” “Oh, that. That’s not a party. Its just 30 young people with female company emptying the combined mini-bars of 30 rooms at three in the morning in the tour manager’s suite.” (Rock tour managers usually get a suite. They buy so many rooms in the hotel that the reservation people will often throw in a suite for free, which of course the tour manager assigns to himself. The musicians, his employers, relieved that they won’t have to wade through empty beer cans and over-flowing ashtrays in their own rooms, usually overlook this privileged accommodation so long as the ‘entertainment officer’ makes the suite fully available to his superiors for rest and recreation as required.) Click. Brrrr. “Operator, what the hell are you doing? You’ve cut me off!” “She doesn’t want to talk to you any more. Maybe she doesn’t love you any more … .”
“Don’t be idiotic. And don’t listen in to private conversations. This is the second time now, for God’s sake. Get this number again - zero, zero, four, four … .”
There is an erroneous assumption that musicians like to stand around talking about music, whereas the two favoured topics of conversation at checkin or baggage claim are, in my experience, telecommunications and luggage. Some years back, there was the introduction of the phone card, or global calling card, or something similar. I had one that required the input of 23 digits into the phone. Not easy when it’s late, early, or you’re inebriated – that is, most of the time. Twenty-three digits later, the pitiful engaged tone tells me my teenage daughter is gassing at the other end. I imagine the life of a 20th-century musician in the archive of a black museum of communication 30 years hence. The visitor will file listlessly past glass exhibition cases containing, in order: telegrams; postcards; love letters; the red light from a Holiday Inn wall; the clicking unit-counter under the front desk of a 1970 French pension; a tableau of a disagreeable Polish hotel phone operator depicted hard at work listening in; fax machines; in-room fax machines; bedside phones; bathroom phones; early laptops; email; in-room broadband advisories; a VOIP-enabled laptop; cell phone; and iPhone, right up to the present day. All these items would speak more about the life of a musician than any similar archive of his personal instruments or effects, because much of it was about staying in touch with home.
The subject of family life and its attendant responsibilities in a book about a rock musician is about as welcome as a flat tyre on the tour bus. The modern musician tends not to bring his domestic or personal life into the dressing room, unless invited in a rare moment of interest in anything other than the band, the show, or the album. No rules here, really: some are more forthcoming than others, some more interested to hear about it than others. But generally, a front of relentless optimism prevails among the men who are ‘spoken for’, in a world where the admission of a problem or even a difficulty can ultimately cost you your job. Most beginners in a music-industry relationship seem to fall at the first hurdle. The girlfriend has typically managed to survive the rebuffs of the first few weekends, but it will inevitably dawn on her that he will be working most weekends of their relationship if he is to make any headway at all in his chosen line of endeavour. The minuscule amount of glamour she thought she may have detected, the occasional glimpse of celebrity on the horizon, the possibility of a ride in a limo – these things in no way compensate. Not unreasonably, the wiser partners throw in the towel before becoming seriously committed. Better then than after the arrival of a child or children. You know, all that sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll can’t be interrupted by the inconvenient appearance of a few sprogs. The cliché, reinforced in a thousand hagiographies, is of the rock party-animal with a girl and an unwanted infant in every port. At one such port, mother and child turn up backstage 19 years later to present child to father for the first time. All parties kiss and make up; tearful smiles
in celebrity magazines; the daughter of this liaison goes off to be an actress and the boy to join a band. Just like dad. Party on, dude.
Would that life were so simple. It’s a recurring fault of mine that I take everything much too seriously, and far from last on my list of things to be taken seriously is my family. My experience in this arena is, as a consequence, infinitely more prosaic and mundane, and my one wife and one family have put as much into this man’s modest achievements as could reasonably be expected. Infinite patience, stamina, and flexibility – because the plans are going to change, they always change – a familiarity with single-parenting, some skill with a screwdriver, adequate belief in the intrinsic worth of her husband’s occupation – these are minimum requirements on her side. On his side, infinite patience, stamina and flexibility, absolute belief in the value of his work, and coming home when he says he’ll come home – these seem to me to be minimum requirements for a relationship in the music business to exist for more than ten minutes. The institution of marriage is an astonishingly flexible beast, and there seems to be no end to the tailor-made variations on the basic theme that my colleagues have come up with that appear to work adequately. Consenting adults without children and with some imagination can and do devise elaborate ways by which their union might survive long separations and huge phone bills, and yet strengthen at the same time. But it’s going to need a whole lot more effort than just a phone call home. I write from a personal male perspective, but the problems and experiences of road-life would seem to be genderless and interchangeable between the genders. In my day, rock music was predominantly peopled by partnered males on long tours wrestling
with the absence of girlfriends or wives, or single men wrestling with the problems of too much choice. In a more recent age of Madonna, Kylie, and the increasing feminisation of the culture, the balance, certainly in pop music, has been tipped in favour of the female singer-songwriter, with a male partner just as likely in domestic support. Sometimes the partner comes too. If she’s the star, he may be in the band if musical, or perhaps involved in the administrative or technical side if not. If he’s the star, she may be useful in any number of areas. In jazz, a common ploy is for her to become his manager, with a number of obvious attendant advantages. The manager– wife can be a fearsome tigress in defence of her husband’s interests, as many a promoter or agent can testify. Back in the wealthier rock world, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood’s wife Jo frequently accompanied him on tour. In her case, she told The Sunday Times, the job involved getting Ronnie to interviews and “sorting out his clothes, and so on. [In 2006] I earned $5,000 [£2,500] a week from the tour”.1 Clearly the rest of us are in the wrong game. But in the absence of meaningful work on tour, just hanging around your partner is a non-starter. An itinerary that reads like a travel brochure – Paris, Rome, Milan, Zurich – can look mighty fancy when you’re the American girlfriend of a lighting man on a King Crimson tour and you’ve never been out of state before. But a couple of weeks in, her stomach is playing up, she hasn’t had any time alone with her fella since the tour started, and she hasn’t actually seen anything of these places. The dawning realisation that she isn’t going to be able to get Kleenex at four in the morning in Bilbao is the nail in the coffin, and she’s headed for the next plane home, with or without our lighting man.
At least the principal combatants have the couple of hours a night of activity to look forward to. Noncombatants have neither control nor responsibility, their lives slipping away as observers on the fringe of the pantomime. If one girlfriend or wife comes, her mate will be sidelined by the rest of his colleagues in the decision-making process. Other females remaining at home may understandably feel less privileged, causing resentment. Best, maybe, if all partners come, at the risk of the whole thing descending into an elaborate mobile holiday-camp. 176
The complexities involved in maintaining a solid relationship inevitably increase tenfold with the arrival of dependent children. I’m increasingly of the opinion that there are but two types of adult on the planet: those with children and those without. The distinction between male and female is as nothing compared to the distinction between adults with and without children. Adrian Belew is a father; Robert Fripp is not. When my children were small, there was always a cookie-monster in Adrian’s suitcase when he came to visit. When Robert came to visit, his idea of fun was to tell the same children at the same age that their necks were so pretty and appealing that he’d like to sink his teeth into them and lick their blood. Their mother was speechless for days. Musicians of both genders with more or less complicated family considerations compete with those with minimal or no direct family concerns. This goes entirely unrecognised in professional magazines, where the music stars swan through life with never a mention of the wear and tear that such swanning might cause on the family unit. The non-combatant partner must learn to live with the spouse’s habitual absence from family occasions and social events. He or she may miss the first time his child walks or talks, the school
play, the soccer match. There will be a long list of missed parent–teacher evenings, entries to and exits from the doctor’s surgery or headmaster’s office, high school proms, first dates, driving tests, exam results, achievements and failures grand and petty. In short, participation in all the milestones on the unfolding path of his children’s lives may be jeopardised because of his insistence on playing his new songs in a dump seven hours drive away to the proverbial three men and a dog. What price, then, your artistic vision? Up until children, it’s remarkably easy to dream dreams of changing the world with your music. Exactly how far are you going to persist with those dreams? Around the time you hear those baby cries, your horizons will shrink, maybe the world doesn’t need changing after all, and a week’s worth of work with the function band sounds suddenly convenient and remarkably well paid. Ah, the guilt, the guilt. You can either feel guilty for abandoning your family or guilty for abandoning your dreams. Take your pick. Money can grease the wheels. Once I’d got over the trauma of my post-Fragile £16,000 tax demand, I managed, more through luck than judgment, to stabilise the flow of income, to smooth out the highs and lows, and to produce a salary on which we were always comfortable and never wealthy. As a keen beneficiary of the Copyright Act and its various amendments, my performances on record and my recorded compositions have generated quarterly royalties sufficient to produce an annual salary approximately equivalent to that of a section-leader in The Chicago Symphony. I’ve had the same salary for about 30 years and, unusually among musicians, have had little need to consider the financial implications of any course of action. There was always enough for me to do exactly what I wanted, musically. My good fortune can
Do you still see any of the old guys? 196
Ralph Towner, Eddie Gomez: If Summer Had Its Ghosts
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s August 1996, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m shaking hands with a few people in the lobby of a Kansas excess baggage City hotel. King Crimson is in town to play the Japan: Bruford Levin Upper Extremities (B.L.U.E.) Sandstone Amphitheater, and the transport Chris Botti, Gwilym Simcock to the soundcheck is running late. A slightly obligation of the artist built, undistinguished looking fellow proffers success and popularity his album sleeve, and as I start my scribble I hear him say how much he would like to hire the band for a gig. Uh-oh, this one could be whacky. customer demands
I dutifully explain that this is going to be unlikely. We are currently on a tour with, mercifully, a beginning and an end. Deviation is impractical, as is crossing the ocean from our UK base for a one-off. However, he’d be more than welcome to call our agent and slot in a date next time around. Looking at him, I suggest that I have just saved him an expensive evening, to which he replies that cost would not have been a problem. My antennae rotate silently in their sockets. Always on the look-out for a little discretionary spending power, my tone softens, and I suggest we meet after the show for a drink. 198
Later, upstairs in the hotel bar, it becomes clear that Norm Waitt Jr., for this is he, is a keen music fan who would like to become involved in some way with some of the musicians who have given him so much pleasure over the years. It further transpires that Norm is the brother of Ted Waitt, founder of Gateway Computers. The company was born in a farmhouse in Sioux City, South Dakota, in 1985 with a $10,000 loan and a three-page business plan, entered the Fortune 500, and went public, trading on the NASDAQ and then the New York Stock Exchange. Turns out Ted has bought his brother out of his share of the company, and Norm has turned his attention to the arts as a possible repository for some of his excess cash. I order another round of drinks and shift a bit in my chair. This could be a long and, if carefully played, fruitful night. This pleasant man appears wholly ignorant of the doubtful pleasures of the music business, and I sense that I am going to be thoroughly examined on several aspects of it before I can home in on the end I have in mind. We wade through manager–artist relationships, the funding of albums and expected returns, the demise of the major record company as a meaningful player in that field as far as I and my colleagues are
concerned, the possible impact of this new-ish thing called the internet that I’ve heard about, the financing of King Crimson, and the past financing of my previous records. It probably also cost me a “What’s it like working with Robert Fripp?” before I am able finally to ascertain what he wants and how much he is prepared to pay. Essentially, he wants an entry-level amount of credibility by appearing as executive producer on a serious project on the ‘art’ side. And he is prepared to finance such an album. Well now, if there is one thing I’m good at, it’s dreaming up album pitches and plots. Albums, like movies, need to be about something, with a definable subtext. Tutu was Miles Davis’s comeback album; Face Value was Phil Collins’s divorce album; Earthworks was about letting young jazz guys loose with the tools and technology of rock and giving them more than 20 minutes to make a record. A month or two earlier, a young man called Russell Summers, about whom I knew nothing, had said, pretty much in passing, that he had a suggestion for me. One of the hazards of all this meeting and greeting is that the customer feels extremely free to tell you with whom you should really be making records. Most of the proposals are laughable enough to be ignored, but as Summers came up to have his CD signed, he said in a dry, matter-of-fact manner: “You should make a record with Ralph Towner.” Now Ralph Towner is one of the great acoustic guitarists of our time. He has a golden catalogue of his own poetic albums on ECM Records and a musical association with most everybody you’d want to have a musical association with. Ralph always struck me as bit of an outsider, a classicallytrained musician whose acoustic guitar playing centred on the silver shards of light he could extract from the unwieldy 12-string version of the instrument. If I’m too rock for jazz and too jazz for
Bruford Levin Upper Extremities (B.L.U.E.) Tokyo 1998 L-R Chris Botti, David Torn, Bill, Tony Levin Photo: Yuka Fujii
Bill at home 2011 Photo: Andy Vella / Foruli
A Part, And Yet Apart album (Earthworks), 159 Absent Lovers album (King Crimson), 145 ABWH, see Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe Adorno, Theodor, 261 Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer book (Chapin), 21 African music, 231-232,239 air travel, 116, 143-144,171, 216, 226 Alder, Sam, 50, 52, 53, 58 151, 164, 177, 289 All Heaven Broke Loose album (Earthworks), 199 ‘All Heaven Broke Loose’ track (Earthworks), 158 Allen, Daevid, 76, 80 Allen, Laurie, 76 ‘Amethyst’(Bruford/Towner/Gomez), 200 Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, 34, 247 ‘And You And I’ (Yes), 101 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, 96, 100-101, 105, 112, 117 Anderson, Jon, 15-16, 17, 22, 24, 29, 34, 35, 38, 56-57, 100, 101, 105, 117, 178, 202, 238 Angelillo, Ralph, 240, 242, 249 Apicella, Steve, 23 Arguelles, Julian, 165 Arista Records, 53, 101, 102 Aronoff, Kenny, 188, 295 Asia, 56, 96, 103 Atlantic Records, 40, 244 audience expectations, 200-202, 205, 229 Autobiography of a Yogi book (Yogananda), 56, 98 Babbitt, Milton, 256 Bailey, Derek, 275 Baker, Ginger, x, 21, 39 Ballamy, Iain, 22, 79, 155,156, 157, 167 Band, The, 97 Bangs, Lester, 99 Banks, Peter, 24, 29, 32, 38, 178 Banks, Tony, 77, 87, 206 Barrie, Jack, 38 Batchelor, Chris, 188 Bates, Django, 22, 140, 156, 157, 167, 229 Baugh, Jim, 114 ‘B’Boom’ (King Crimson), 142 Beat album (King Crimson), 128, 133, 228 Beatles, The, 21, 34, 70, 80, 92, 96, 140, 149, 206, 207, 208, 219, 284 Beck, Jeff, 81 Becker, Howard, 214 Belew, Adrian, 59, 123, 126, 132-134, 135, 141 144, 152, 153, 176, 204, 276 Benjamin, Walter, 311 Bennett, J.G., 52, 124 Berlin, Irving, 93 Berlin, Jeff, 80-82, 87, 89, 110 Berne, Tim, 276 ‘Birthright’ (Yes), 100 Blakey, Art, 81, 84 B.L.U.E., see Bruford Levin Upper Extremities Blumenthal, Bob, 112 Bond, Graham, 21, 278 Borstlap, Michiel, 203, 239, 273, 276, 277278, 279, 280, 281 Botti, Chris, 197, 203-204, 211
Bragg, Billy, 284 Brand X, 77, 78, 95 Branson, Richard, 41, 76 ‘Bridge Of Inhibition’ (Earthworks), 158 Bridge Over Troubled Water album (Simon & Garfunkel), 41 broadcasting technology, 219-220 Brophy, Philip, 193 ‘Brother Of Mine’ (Yes), 100 Bruford (band), 52, 66, 79–82, 83, 141 Bruford, Alex, 95,182 Bruford, Betty, 18, 20, 22, 24-25, 26 Bruford, Carolyn, 14, 17, 52, 55-56, 77-78, 87, 95, 172-174,177, 178-181, 182, 213, 286, 287, 290, 291, 295 Bruford, Jane, 18, 25, 26 Bruford, Jeff, 18, 25, 26 Bruford, John, 17-18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 56, 272 Bruford Levin Upper Extremities, 197, 203204, 211, 273 Bryce Hamner, 39 Bunney, Allan, 229 Burning For Buddy albums/DVD (Rich tribute), 185, 187-189 Burton, Gary, 81,131 Cantwell, Robert, 230 ‘Cat Food’ (King Crimson), 275 Cheparukhin, Sasha, 68 Chernoff, John Miller, 127, 233, 239 Chkiantz, George, 52 Christgau, Robert, 99 Clahar, Patrick, 169 Clark, John, 89, 110, 164 classical music, 34, 69, 229-231 Close To The Edge album (Yes), 41-43, 56, 57, 82, 85, 98, 124, 150, 202, 228, Cobain, Kurt, 82 Coleman, Ornette, 21, 141, 276 Collins, Phil, 33, 77-78, 87, 177, 206 Coltrane, John, 83, 126 composition, 79, 84-85,120, 205, 259-260 Conte, Luis, 234 Cottle, Laurence, 217, 265 Cowell, Simon, 53, 93 Cream, 21, 24, 32, 39, 40, 80, Creem magazine, 99 Cross, David, 46, 50-51, 96, 129, 244 Crossings album (Herbie Hancock), 56 culture, ‘low’ vs. ‘high’, 231-233 Cumming, John, 277 Curved Air, 97 Cutler, Chris, 70 Daly, John, 40 Davies, Graham, 59 Davis, Miles, 79, 94, 119, 126, 198, 200, 274, 284 Dean, Roger, 56, 113, 295 Deep Purple, 34 Deja Vrooom DVD (King Crimson), 143 DeJohnette, Jack, 261 Di Meola, Al, 83, 95, 96, 123, 130-131 Dig? album (Earthworks),158 ‘Dinosaur’ (King Crimson),114 Discipline album (King Crimson), 67, 82, 85, 103, 112, 125, 128, 133, 163, 203, 228, ‘Discipline’ track (King Crimson), 126, 127 DJ Shadow, 284 drums/drumming digital ‘enhancement’, 102 electronic, 64-67, 127,158-159, 187,
205, 245 endorsements, 239-240 and experimentation, 65-67 festivals, 241-242 jazz vs. rock, 146 playing, 16, 18-19, 21,78, 146, 243-247, 261-262, 267-269, 269-270, 272-273 practising, 78, 243, 246-247 renting, 64 Rototoms, 66 and rhythm, 18-20, 231 Simmons, 10, 67, 107, 141, 158, 205, soundchecking, 217-218 Tama, 67, 68, 106, 240, 249, 294 transporting, 63-64 Earthworks, 13, 37, 53, 68, 82, 85, 96, 100, 114,117, 140, 141, 145, 147,151, 156-162, 163, 164-165, 167, 168, 169, 173, 186,193, 199, 202, 203, 204, 205, 210, 223, 240, 253-256, 265, 268, 285, 289, 292 Earthworks album (Earthworks), 158, 198 Earthworks Underground Orchestra, 264 EG Management, 49, 58, 141, 151, 177, 209 Elias, Jonathan, 101, 102, Eliot, T.S., 94 ELP, see Emerson Lake & Palmer Emerson, Keith, 216, 275 Emerson Lake & Palmer, x 50, 97, 99, 103, 275 Eno, Brian, 54, 69, 92,127 Enthoven, David, 49, 50, 53 Erskine, Pete, 199 European touring, 37-38, 50-51 Evans, Andrew, 148 Face Value album (Phil Collins), 78, 198 Faulkner, Robert, 215 Feels Good To Me album (Bill Bruford), 11, 78, 87, 95 Fenwick, Mark, 49, 50, 53, 58 Ferrone, Steve, 188 Flaming Youth, 77 Flynn, Roy, 7, 14, 16, 32, 39, 40, 53, 78 folk music, 230 Fordham, John, 33, 112 Four Lives in the Bebop Business book (Spellman), 33, 238, 292 Fragile album (Yes), 35, 39, 41, 56, 82, 98, 159, 176, 202, 228 ‘Frame By Frame’ (King Crimson), 126 France, Martin, 261 Freed, Harvey, see Lane, Brian Fripp, Robert, x, 43, 46, 50, 51, 52, 79, 95, 99, 102, 103-104, 123-129, 132, 133, 134, 135, 140, 141-143, 144-145, 152, 153, 176, 177, 179, 182, 187,198, 203204, 228, 276, 289, 290, 291 Frith, Simon, 68-69, 70, 191, 215, 229231, 238-239, 272 Gabriel, Peter, 77, 97, 126, 128, 177, 258 Gadd, Steve, 84, 132, 188 Gamache, Serge, 240 Ganley, Allan, 21 Garland, Tim, 16, 156, 165, 189, 223, 253, 265, 273 ‘Gates Of Delirium’ (Yes), 98 Genesis, x, 33, 40, 51, 75, 77-78, 79, 86, 87, 97, 98, 103, 158, 171, 179, 202, 206, 207 Gentle Giant, 97 Gesamtkunstwerk, 98 Gioia, Ted, 231 Glossop, George, 143
Goldstein, Kenneth, 69 Gomez, Eddie, 197, 199, 200, 202, 203, 210 Gong, 76, 80, 87, 171, 178, 179, 202 Goodman, Benny, 231, 285 Goodsall, John, 95 Guiliana, Mark, viii, 261, 273 Gunn, Trey, 141, 144, 152, 153, 204 Hackett, Steve, 87 Hamilton, Steve, 85, 168, Hammill, Peter, 97 Hancox, Grenville, 190 Harper, Roy, 76, 257 Harrison, George, 84 Haynes, Roy, 242, 247, 268, 273, 288, ‘Heartbeat’ (King Crimson),128 Heckman, Don, 112, 202 Hemdale, 40 Hendrix, Jimi, 21, 40, 62, 92, 93, 115, 126, 148, 231-232, 257, 262, 284, 286 Heredia, Joey, 241 Hesse, Herman, 56, 98 Hodgson, Mark, 168 Holdsworth, Allan, 79, 80, 82-83, 87, 89, 94, 96, 164,165, 202 Holland, Dave, 192 Honjyo, Atsushi, 240 Horn, Trevor, 93 Hoshino Gakki company, 240 hotels, 216-217, 225-226 Howe, Steve, 27, 97, 100, 101, 105 Hutton, Mick, 158, 164, 167 If Summer Had Its Ghosts album (Bruford/ Towner/Gomez), 199-200 In The Court Of The Crimson King album (King Crimson), 40, 97 ‘In The Dead Of Night’ (UK), 83, 95 Incredible String Band, The, 98 ‘Indiscipline’ (King Crimson), 133 ‘Industry’ (King Crimson), 158 Initiation into Hermetics book (Bardon), 124 Inner Garden’ (King Crimson), 142 Inoue, Akira, 205 International Association of Jazz Educators, 186 International Live Music Conference, 186 internet, effect on sales strategy, 111, 207-209 interviews, see press and PR Iovine, Jimmy, 81 Japan, 202-205 jazz British, 21-22, 113, 150-151, 157-158 and business, 53, 146, 165-166, 179 drumming, 146 early influence, 20-22, 33-34, 81-82 and improvisation, 274-275 and inferiority, 230-233 and racism, 231-232 recording, 69, 159-162 and rock, 146, 156-157, 273 summer circuit, 185-186 Jethro Tull, 41, 97 Jobson, Eddie, 88, 94, 95, 96, 202, John, Elton, 192, 206 Jones, Elvin, 83, 84 Jones, Tom, 54 Journey, 103 Kansas, 103 Kaye, Tony, 22, 24, 27, 29, 32, 100, 117 Kettle, Chris, 81 King Crimson, x, xi 13, 21, 23, 40, 43, 4952, 55, 56, 57, 64, 67, 71, 75, 77, 79, 81,
82, 94, 96, 97, 100, 102, 103, 112, 114, 117, 118, 123-129, 131-134, 135, 136, 137, 140-143, 143-145, 152, 153, 156, 158, 163, 175, 178, 179, 180, 192, 197, 198, 199, 202, 203, 204, 205, 214, 228, 244, 275, 276, 285, 289, 290 Kirkland, Kenny, 278 Klein, Allen, 149, 284 Konkova, Olga, 273 Kramer, Lawrence, 219 Krupa, Gene, 84 Lambert, Pam, 112 Lamble, Martin, 22 Lane, Brian, 19, 34-35, 38, 40-41, 43, 46, 50, 100, 101, 124, 244, 284 Larks’ Tongues In Aspic album (King Crimson), x, 50, 66, 79, 228, 244 ‘Larks’ Tongues In Aspic’ track (King Crimson), 141 Led Zeppelin, 40, 51, 275, 291 Lee, Alvin, 291 ‘Lethargy Shuffle’ (National Health), 76 Levett, Harry, 171 Levin, Tony, 59 , 100, 117, 121, 123, 126, 129-132, 133, 135, 141, 142, 144, 152153, 203, 210, 211, 214, 276 ‘Lingo’ (Bill Bruford), 188-189 Lockett, Pete, 117 Loose Tubes, 151 Lott, Roy, 101, 102 Mahavishnu Orchestra, 34 Manzanera, Phil, 54, 76 Marillion, 208 Mark, Tom, 199 Marley, Bob, 239, 285 Marsalis, Wynton, 92, 114 Martin, George, 70, 92, 149 Martino, Pat, 290 Mastelotto, Pat, 64, 141, 152, 153 ‘Mental Medication’ (UK), 83 Menuhin, Yehudi, 190 Middleton, Richard, 220, 262 Milhaud, Darius, 231 Miller, Mitch, 92, 93 Miller, Robin, 276 Mills, Gordon, 54 ‘Mincer, The’ (King Crimson), 50 Mintzer, Bob, 187, 189 Mitchell, Mitch, x , 21 Modern Drummer Festival Weekend, 240 money, 38-39, 52, 151, 166, 176-177, 205-206, 216, 270 Montreal Drum Fest, 240-242 Moody Blues, The, 96 Moore, Allan F., 100 Moore, Scotty, 20, 275 Moraz, Patrick, 80, 97, 273, 276 Moss, David, 39 Motian, Paul, 199 Mozart, 23, 33, 92, 93 Muir, Jamie, 49, 50, 51, 56, 59, 66, 125, 228, 243, 244, 275 music and attention span, 219-220 business/industry, 41, 53-55, 71, 93-94, 145,148-151, 201-202, 207-209, 215, 230, 239, 261, 271-273, 283-285, 289 critics, 99, 112, 113-114, 140, 203, 214 and listening, 237-239, 257 and mathematics, 120 mystery of, 119 notation, 70-71
powers of, 190-191 sales vs. worth, 206-207 social function, 237-239 technology, 64-67, 68-71, 82, 97, 102, 193, 208, 219-222, 244-245, 256-260, 261-262, 270 value of, 190-193, 229 musicians and art vs. craft, 92-94 attitude to audience, 215, 256-257 and celebrity, 284-285 and confidence, 148 and domestic life, 171-181 and fans, relationship with, 209 and food, 116-118 and improvisation, 274-278 and inferiority, 230-233 and inter-band relationships, 163-165 jazz, 51, 146-147, 156, 165-166 and loyalty, 214 and luggage, 174 and motivation, 118-119 public perception of, 32-33 and rehearsing, 226-229 and retirement, 285-287 role of, 33, 93, 256-260, 271-272, 273 status of, 23, 272, 273 studio/session, 84-85, 92 and success, concept of, 33, 205-207 and talent vs. success, 91-92, 206 and telecommunications,173-174 US/UK differences, 80, 180 and working conditions, 162-163 National Health (band), 76-77, 95 ‘Neal And Jack And Me’ (King Crimson), 126 ‘Nevermore’ (UK), 83 Nice, The, 40, 51, 96 No Pussyfooting album (Fripp & Eno), 127 ‘No Warning’ (King Crimson), 158, 276 ‘Now Is The Next Time’ (Bruford/Towner/Gomez), 200 N.W.A., 150 Offord, Eddie, 42 ‘One More Red Nightmare’ (King Crimson), 52 One Of A Kind album (Bruford), xi, 82, 85, 96 ‘One Time’ (King Crimson), 142 Ouspensky, P.D., 124, 290 Palmer, Robert, 112 Parkinson, Bill, 54 Pavlov’s Dog, 76 Peacock, Annette, 76, 83, 87 Peart, Neil, 185, 187, 188, 194 Percussive Arts Society, 187, 240, 270, 271, 289 Pet Shop Boys, The, 93 Phillips, Simon, 188, 295 Picard, Hervé, 112 Pink Floyd, 40, 51, 62, 96, 97, 99, 103, 146, 284 Portnoy, Mike, x press and PR, 110-113,149-150, 201, 203 Procol Harum, 96 progressive rock, 51, 97-100, 102-103 ProjeKct 203, 204 promoters, 36-37 Props (drum tech), 64-65 punk, 81, 284 Pustjens, Jan, 247 Ratledge, Mike, 97
record companies, 53-54, 55, 214, 290 recording technology, 68-71, 92, 97, 159-162, 220-221, 245, 256-260, 260-262 Red album (King Crimson), x, 49, 51, 52, 82, 85, 145, 276 ‘Red’ track (King Crimson), 131, 142 Reich, Steve, 262 Rich, Buddy, 39, 84, 131, 186, 187, 193, 257 Rite of Spring, The (Stravinsky), 20, 93, 119, 131, 260 Roach, Max, 23, 187, 274, 288 Rolling Stone magazine, 99 Rose, Doudou N’Diaye, 234, 235 ‘Roundabout’ (Yes), 41, 114, 291 Roxy Music, 50, 76, 127 Rutherford, Mike, 77, 87, 206 Rutherford, Paul, 275 ‘Sahara Of Snow’ (Bruford), 83 Sandall, Robert, 285 Sanjeck, Russell, 151 Schneider, Maria, 192 Schoenberg, Arnold, 71, 276 Sex Pistols, The, 23, 150, 206 ‘Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream’ (King Crimson), 142 Shaw, Artie, 287 Shepp, Archie, 276 Shipp, Matthew, 276 Simcock, Gwilym, 157, 204, 210, 223, 265, 268 Simmons, Dave, 67,158, see also drums, Simmons Sirkis, Asaf, 261 ‘Sleepless’ (King Crimson), 128 ‘Something’s Coming’ (Yes), 39 Soulive, 278 Sound Of Surprise, The, album, The (Earthworks), 159-162 Spector, Phil, 92 Spinks, Paddy, 59, 132 Squire, Chris, 17, 22, 24, 28, 36, 42, 43, 51, 97, 100, 124, 178, 275 Stadler, Peter, 231 ‘Starless’ (King Crimson), xi, 276 Starless And Bible Black album (King Crimson), 50, 228 Stewart, Bill, 192, 241, 242, 261 Stewart, Dave, 75, 76, 83, 85, 87, 89, 95 Sting, 177, 204, 278 Storr, Anthony, 120 Stravinsky, Igor, 20, 93, 119, 120, 131, 284 ‘Stromboli Kicks’ (Earthworks), 158 Sturm, Ron, 254, 255 Summerfold Records, 13, 271, 283, 285, 286, 290 Summers, Russell, 198 ‘Supper’s Ready’ (Genesis), 98 Swann, Mike, 21 Sweeney, Glenn, 275 Tacuma, Jamaaladeen, 187 Tales From Topographic Oceans album (Yes), 56, 57, 98 Tame, David, 93, 190 Taylor, Cecil, 276 television, 114-116, 220 Tesser, Neil, 112, 288 Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns book (Slonimsky), 82 ‘Thistledown’ (Bruford/Towner/Gomez), 199, 200 Thompson, Chester, 77, 179
Thrak album (King Crimson), 142 ‘Thrak’ track (King Crimson),142 Thrakattak album (King Crimson), 142 Three Of A Perfect Pair album (King Crimson), 128, 133, 228, 260, 276 Tippett, Keith, 275 Tormato album (Yes), 57 Torn, David, 203, 211, 276 Towner, Ralph, 163, 197, 198-200, 210 Traffic, 98 T.Rex, 50 ‘Trio’ (King Crimson), 50, 275 Tristano, Lennie, 274 Trower, Robin, 126 ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’ (King Crimson), 126, 128 Tyner, McCoy, 83 UK (band), x, xi, 51, 78, 83, 88, 91, 94-96, 202 UK album (UK), 95 Union album (Yes), 102, 117-118 Van der Graaf Generator, 97 van Leeuwen, Theo, 119 Virgin Records, 76, 156, 158, 290 Vitous, Miroslav, 148 ‘Vrooom’ (King Crimson), 141, 142 Wackerman, Chad, 234 ‘Waiting Man’ (King Crimson), 133, 158 Waitt Jr., Norm, 198, 200 Wakeman, Rick, 97, 100, 102, 105, 231 ‘Walking On Air’ (King Crimson), 142 Wall Street Journal, The, newspaper, 109, 112 Warner Bros Records,128 Watanabe, Kazumi, 205 Watts, Charlie, 21 Watts, Trevor, 275 Weather Report, 148, 278 ‘We’ll Let You Know’ (King Crimson), 50 Wetton, John, 44, 46, 50, 52, 56, 88, 94, 96, 97, 103 Wheeler, Kenny, 95 White, Alan, xi, 43, 56, 65-66 Whiteman, Paul, 93 Winterfold Records, 13, 271, 283, 286, 290 World Drummers Ensemble, 225, 234, 235 Wyatt, Robert, 32 Yes, 14-16, 17, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 31-32, 33, 34-35, 38-43, 51, 56-57, 64, 77, 82, 96, 97, 98, 100-102, 103, 117-118,123124,128-129, 143, 145, 178, 205, 228, 238, 275, 284, 285, 291, 295 Yes Album, The, 41, 76, 97, 117, 228 Yogananda, Paramhansa, 51, 56, 98 Zappa, Frank, 94, 128, 148, 207 Zorn, John, 276
Photo overleaf: Andy Vella / Foruli