BOX OF CRAYONS
What do you get when you take about 5 keyboards 3 guitars, 3 bass guitars, and God knows how many different percussion tools? You get a Box of Crayons album!
That’s a rather unknown American band, that I have decided to put in this encyclopedia mostly because of their weird line up and their effort to play something unique.
As you probably understood already, the keyboards is the main ingredient in this band's music, that in some cases is ‘flirting’ with the sound of Marillion and Camel (among others). And on the top of that, the singer's voice reminds in some parts the voice of Peter Hammill.
Hmmm they don’t sound so unique finally eh? And they are not. They have made a mix of many styles of the ‘70’s, they have added many percussions and many keyboards, and they tried to make something that looked original, but they failed.
That’s why maybe they managed to release only one studio album (Colorblind Chameleon – 1997), that it featured no less than 17 (!) musicians. (Except the keyboards and the percussions you can hear many other ‘unusual’ instruments as well, such as clarinets, trumpets etc)…
It was a band that mixed too many ingredients together and failed to make a proper cake…
They were formed in 1968 and although they considered a German band they were actually rather Pan-European, having members from Germany Belgium and Switzerland.
With the passing years it became obvious that Brainticket was actually the personal project of the very talented Belgian Keyboard/flute player Joel Vandroogenbroeck.
They released their first album under the name Cottonwoolhill in 1971. An extremely experimental & psychedelic album, followed by ‘Psychonaut’ one year later. Psychonaut was more pleasant and kind of ethnic for its era.
On 1974 they released ‘Celestial Ocean’. The music style of this record is more Krautrock than the previous 2 albums, filled with heavy keyboards sounds, and a bizarre concept-based Egyptian Mythology as the main theme.
That was the last album they recorded before disbanding a few months later.
In the early ‘80’s they re-appeared, released 2 more albums (Adventure-1980 and Voyage-1982), before dissapearing again.
One more album was released in 2000 (Alchemic Universe).
Latest news is that J.Vandroogenbroeck formed the band again with a new line-up, and since 2011 they are touring together with Nektar. On 17th of August 2011 they performed live for the very first time in the USA, in a club in New York.
William Scott ‘Bill’ Bruford was born on the 17th of May 1949 in Kent England.
He is a percussionist, composer, producer, and a record label owner.
But above all, he is one of the best drummers in Rock music.
He worked with great musicians and very big bands in his career, and participated in many records as guest musician.
He started his career in 1968 as a former member of ‘Yes’. Together they release some great records that made them extremely famous. (Yes, Time and a Word, Fragile etc). At the peak of their success, he decides to leave the band and search for something new and more challenging.
And he found it almost immediately. A few months after quitting Yes he joined King Crimson, a band he was interested for a long time. The comparison of these two bands was described very clearly by him a few years later:
"In Yes, there was an endless debate about should it be F natural in the bass with G sharp on top by the organ. In King Crimson...you were just supposed to know"
With King Crimson they released some of the most influential records in the Progressive Rock scene, before Robert Fripp decided to disband them in 1974.
After King Crimson he worked as a session drummer and he saw his name in the credits of many records in the 2 following years. Just to name a few: Chris Squirel (ex-Yes): Fish out of Water (1975), Steve Howe (ex-Yes): Beginnings (1975), Pavlov’s Dog: At the sound of the bell (1976) are some of these records.
Between 1976-1977 he joined Genesis and toured with them for about 6 months. From this tour 2 live albums came out: ‘Seconds out’ and ‘Three sides live’. In the meantime Phil Collins was trying to adapt himself as the new frontman of Genesis…
The same year he formed his own band named ‘Bruford’ and decided to explore more Jazz/fusion forms, leaving aside Rock for a while.
From 1977 until 1981 he worked again as a session drummer, until Robert Fripp decided to re-unite King Crimson . In 1981 he joined King Crimson for the second time, and together they released 3 more records before they disbanded again in 1984.
In 1985 he was approached by ex-Led Zeppelin’s guitarist Jimmy Page, in order to join him and Paul Rogers in the new band they were trying to set up. After a few rehearsals B.Bruford decided that he didn’t like the style of the band and left.
From 1985 and up, he participated in numberless projects, recordings, live shows etc, with many different (but always top class) musicians.
In 1990 the readers of ‘Modern Drummer’ magazine voted for him to enter into the magazine’s Hall of Fame…
Bill Buford’s discography (as a member of a band or guest musician) must exceed 60 records in total…
In the following videos you can see him together with Genesis performing live the songs "Carpet Crawlers" and the second part of "Supper's Ready'. Best moment when Phil Collins joins him on drums and they play together...