On This Day (January 1)…Bill Bruford Takes the Road Less Traveled

The drummer Bill Bruford reportedly chose to devote his gap year to a music career on this day in 1968.

Bill Bruford in Beat-Club (1965)
Retrieved from here.

I would dismiss such a specific as apocryphal more easily were it not for the fact that his own website puts January 1 as the day. He had at this time finished with his schooling, but was preparing to start at university, which he did at Leeds later on. Choosing music was a momentous and likely risky decision for the then-eighteen-year-old Bruford, despite the fact that there were many music jobs available at the time and the fact that it was a gap year job only.

It was during this time that he put out an ad in Melody Maker Magazine, which was answered by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire. The rest, as we say, is history. While he would indeed go on with his education that autumn, he would withdraw from the university by the end of the year to participate in Yes full-time. He remained with Yes until 1972, at which point he joined King Crimson instead. He has since gone on to be one of the best-regarded drummers of his generation, especially in progressive rock circles.

I especially hope my younger readers take note of this story. You may never know what hobbies, gap year jobs, or small decisions may lead to.

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