Bill Bruford is selling a LOT of gear: here’s how you can buy it

As the drummer in prog titans Yes, King Crimson and - at times - Genesis as well as his own project, Earthworks, it’s fair to assume that Bill Bruford has amassed more than a little bit of gear over the years.

After officially hanging up his sticks from public performance in 2009, Bruford has decided that the time has come to clear out a raft of gear from his collection, and is selling an unbelievable amount of gear via UK drum shop, Graham Russell Drums.

The collection spans Bruford’s career, and each item has been individually catalogued by Graham Russell and Bill for listing on worldwide eBay auctions that will begin on Wednesday 14 October. 

Each item will be listed for 36 hours, and will come with an 'invoice' from Bill Bruford to certify its provenance. 

Among the hoard which is filled with historical items sure to delight drummers and prog fans, is everything from percussion instruments, mics, tour cases and heads to individual cymbals, snares and add-on drums such as Timp toms, Octobans and RotoToms.

This Being Bill Bruford, though, we were pleased to discover no shortage of monstrous Tama kits and electronic drum gear from Simmons, which Bruford played a key role in pioneering during the 80s.

With 258 listings set to go on sale, here are just a handful of the highlights that you can get your hands on.

Tama Starclassic Maple kit in Yellow with black hardware (made in Japan)

From Graham Russell Drums:

“Tama Starclassic Maple Drum in Canary Yellow. This kit was custom built by Tama Japan for Bill Bruford This is truly a piece of musical history and is a one-of-a-kind drum kit. 

Please remember these drums have been used so may have signs of wear in places but overall are in great condition. The kit includes black powder coated hardware on all drums however we only have three floor tom legs for the kit. 

Included with the kit will be the stand for the 20” gong drum, two additional yellow 22” bass drum hoops and a 16” tuneable floor tom that was previously operated by a foot pedal to tune the drum up or down however the mechanism has been lost but the drum can still be used in its conventional form. The original boxes for the drum kit will also be included.”

22” x 16” Bass Drum, 18” x 14” bass drum, 20” gong drum (signed by Bill Bruford)

10” x 8” , 12” x 10” , 13” x 11” rack toms

14” x 14”, 16” x 16” floor toms, 16” x 16” floor tom (foot-tuneable)

Tama Artstar II kit

From Graham Russell Drums:

“Tama Artstar II Drum Kit in Black. The kit includes 6 chrome floor tom legs and no tom arms. An AW036 snare drum in piano black is included that Bill has personally signed. Also include is an 18” Tama Rockstar bass drum that Bill played as a part of this kit.”

22 x 16 bass drum, 18 x 16 Tama Rockstar bass drum

11” x 10” 12” x 11” 13” x 12”, 14” x 13” rack toms

16” x 16”, 18” x 16” floor toms

Sleishman ‘middle’ double pedal

With ‘middle’ double pedals seeing a bit of a comeback in the last couple of years, here’s a chance to own not only the most famous example of this design, but one that has seen mileage from Bill Bruford’s feet!

Paiste Percussion Rack

Among one of the more striking items in the auctions are Bill’s Paiste percussion rack, featuring a number of gongs, chimes and cymbals. Everything you see pictured is included in the listing, including the mallets! However, Graham Russell recommends collecting this item, which could prove difficult to ship!

Dragon Drums acrylic toms

Think of Bill Bruford, and chances are you’ll think of melodic playing. These acrylic Dragon Drums toms are a big part of that style, with their depths rather than diameters determining their pitch range.

Tama Starclassic Bubinga kit, Dark Cherry Fade

From Graham Russell Drums: 

"Tama Starclassic Bubinga Drum Kit in Dark Cherry Fade. This kit was built by Tama Japan for Bill Bruford of King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Earthworks and U.K. and has been used extensively by Bill. The kit has signs of use in places but is in overall excellent condition. Included with the kit is one set of three chrome floor tom legs without memory locks. Please see below for the kit specification."

Simmons SDX Canary Yellow ZI pad (signed by Bill Bruford)

Back in the 80s, just a single Simmons pad was out-of-reach for the average drummer, let-alone one owned by Bill Bruford! Here’s your chance to own a distinctive and iconic piece of e-drum history signed by bill himself!

Misc. tour cases, heads and memorabilia

Included in the collection are a number of collectible ‘peripherals’ that will make the perfect addition to any fan of Bill’s, such as branded flight cases, used heads, and even a sign bearing the great man’s name. Each item is listed individually so if you want to own a smaller part of Bill Bruford memorabilia, there’s plenty to go round.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.