He is a drummer born William Scott Bruford in Sevenoaks, Kent, England. His parents gave him a snare drum when he was 13 which he added to gradually.
He was heavily influenced by Miles Davis and he became the original drummer for Yes, known for his precise polyrhythmic style. He stunned the Yes fans by leaving in 1972 at the height of their success. He was known to regularly wear a Boston Bruins tank-top with a large initial “B” on the front.
He played for the band Genesis during the 1976 Trick of the Tail tour and also worked with Gong, National Health with Dave Stewart, Brand X with Phil Collins, and King Crimson. While he was with Genesis it was said that he “behaved badly, sniped critically and impotently from the side lines”, for which he has subsequently apologised.
In the later ’70s he had his own fusion band Bruford of which Dave Stewart, Jeff Berlin and Allan Holdsworth were part. He then went on to join the progressive rock band UK and later rejoined King Crimson.
He went on to form his own band Earthworks and collaborate with many musicians until he announced his retirement on New Years Day in 2009. Also in 2009 he released his autobiography.
In 2016 he earned a PhD in Music and in 2017 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Yes.
His son Alex is also a drummer in the band The Infadels.
Here he is doing a drum solo while performing with Earthworks…