Earthworks, Saarbrucken, Germany, 2004. L-R Gwilym Simcock, Tim Garland, Mark Hodgson, Bill

Prompted by the front cover photo of the book, which shows a scarily youthful Bruford in action, plenty of people have asked ‘when did I play Camco drums?’. The distinctive round lug boxes have caused some confusion between that company and the British outfit Hayman Drums, whose instruments I did play in the early 70s. Hayman is less well known than Camco in the USA, and I came across this helpful history which might clear things up. Take a look.

Joseph Jones – Date: 26.04.2011 asks – “Is there something you are not telling us?”

Ah, the conspiracy theorist! But I think what James went on to produce was a ‘backhanded compliment from the antipodes’, but I couldn’t be entirely sure.

Brooks Rogers – Date: 24.04.2011 asks – “If you could peer or listen in to a parallel universe where you stayed in a band longer or a certain line-up had lasted, what would you like to hear/experience just out of curiosity? Yeah, I’m sure you have no or few regrets in your career (as you should!) but just play a little game of “what if?”. What different outcome would you be curious to see?”

Brooks, you’re mulling over the Yes or Crimson albums we might have made had I stayed on. Pretty grumpy ones, I should imagine! You give me too much credit for altering the course of things. Had I been less curious I would have stayed with Yes. Had I been better trained musically and technologically, I’d be composing for larger ensembles by now. Had I hired and assistant 10 years ago, I’d probably still be in the business. If I had a pair of wings, I could fly… Neither Yes nor Crimson, while having considerable attributes of their own, were ever going to be the free-wheeling, loose jazz-ish groups that I wanted to be in but didn’t really know I wanted to be in. Took me a while to get there.

Peter James Jon Fonte – Date: 24.04.2011 says – “Let us hear from you sometimes, would you?”

Here I am, Pete. If you mean hear from me musically, I fear that continues to be unlikely.

Oluwaseun Adebanwo – Date: 18.04.2011 has been – “having difficulties with my pedaling with my right leg kicks,what do i have to do,to conquer that?”

Oluwaseun, I think you mean, generally, that you’re struggling with the bass drum. Strongly recommend you go as simply and as slowly as possible, and be patient. Turn on a drum box or click track of some sort, or even your favourite music track, and try to play the BD steadily and smoothly, 4 beats to the bar, at the same dynamic level. Only when you feel comfortable going all the way through a tune for 3 or 4 minutes like that should you try and go a bit faster. Just 4 beats to the bar. Then try varying the dynamic – going from quiet to loud to quiet again. 20 minutes a day of that for a few weeks will improve your bass drum control beyond recognition. And your confidence too!

Marlon Cherry – Date: 14.04.2011 has – “been listening to Evelyn Glennie’s work a lot lately and I find that there’s something about her sense of texture that reminds me of your work. Have you ever had the experience of working with her on any level? I think that the 2 of you would make an amazing duet record due to your similarities and your differences as well”.

Marlon, I’ve known Evelyn a bit, and her work well, for many years. Fantastic player, and to be applauded for breaking down all sorts of walls and prejudices about what a ‘classical’ soloist should or should not be playing. She has done a huge amount to legitimise and popularise percussion in the UK and globally, especially among females. The two of us did discuss a project – around the time of ABWH, probably 1990. We got as far as her record company boardroom, and a meeting with a suspiciously enthusiastic record exec, but nothing came of it. Can’t quite remember why.

Bob C – Date: 08.04.2011 would argue that – “the role that you have played in terms of contribution to drumming has been seriously overlooked” and feels that “your decision to retire from public performance is denying generations of an alternative and relevant approach to percussion”.

Bob, I disagree. As a semi-permanent fixture in most drum and music magazines for 40 years, I’ve been very well acknowledged, over-praised, and probably too well-paid! As for the last bit about denying somebody something, I’m just letting someone else have a turn. Trust me, there are plenty of hip young guys out there. You’re in safe hands!