The Autobiography
by Bill Bruford

Lays down sticks, picks up pen, fails to stab colleagues

The Autobiography

Who? If you have to ask, you won’t be buying this. If you know the name, then you’re either a drummer, jazzer or prog fan. Bill Bruford is retiring from live performance at the age of 60 and uses this autobiography to put his 40-year-plus career into context. He settles a few scores, but in a relatively jovial fashion, as befits a public school-educated cove from the Home Counties.

Bruford serially graced the ranks of Yes, King Crimson and Genesis, but fans shouldn’t expect too much behind-the-scenes insight. You get the feeling he’s glad he wasn’t given Phil Collins’ role, though he would certainly have welcomed his royalties. The happily married Bruford is/was too normal for rock’n’roll, which is why he spent the last half of his career playing jazz; that is, when not tempted back to various money-spinning Yes re-formations.

The musical analysis, some of it borrowed (with credit given) from academic books, can pall after a while and you find yourself skipping pages hoping for a few tidbits of gossip or scandal. Sadly, none emerge, Bob Fripp in particular remaining a closed, er, book. Still, he put in the time so he deserves an autobiography. Bill Bruford, we salute you.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Jawbone | ISBN 19781906002237, 352 pages

Reviewed by Michael Heatley
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