a dear friend who will be deeply missed

Bruce Fraser and Music – Recent Years

Mike 064 Freeman


Bruce Fraser, circa 2003

Bassist Bruce Fraser died from lung cancer on December 16th. Bruce was well known for his books and articles on Photoshop and digital color management but his first love was music, especially playing improvised music on the electric bass. 
 
He played with a late incarnation of the Scottish pop-metal group Iron Virgin, worked at the London Guitar Center, played some blues in Chicago and eventually came to San Francisco, California.

Shortly after coming to SF he joined my band the Artichokes. The Artichokes resembled a rock band and played several San Francisco Bay Area clubs including the Mabuhay, On Broadway and Keystone Berkeley beginning in 1980. The Artichokes' sound was described by Calendar magazine's Mimi Chen; "Propelled by squalling babies, chicken noises,and balloon rubbing, the Artichokes take the mundane and twist it into something bizarre." Dissatisfied with the club scene, the Artichokes began producing their own multi-media shows and gradually mutated into a free form electronic music collective.

We stopped playing live after a fire during one our perfromances but kept playing in the studio weekly (except for vacations and illnesses) until Bruce became ill this Fall–a total of twenty-six years of jamming! 

Bruce also played with Ibilly Bibilly and another one of my bands,  Process, which played a blend of post-industrial funk and electronica rhythms, psychedelic improvisation and poetic lyrics. 
 
Bruce was a great bass player who was usually the glue (or in many cases the luke warm water) who held the music together. He was also a very generous (especially with the herbals) and funny guy who inspired us with his deep love of music. 

www.oranj.com

Mp3s and streaming audio of Process and improv songs featuring Bruce.

A bio Bruce provided for Mike's website:

Scottish bassist/stickman Bruce Fraser played with 064 in the Artichokes, is a member of the not-yet-legendary Ibbilly Bibbilly, and has collaborated with Phil Potestio and Johannes Mager on many informal improv/noise/therapy sessions. He was prevailed upon to join Process in 1993 on the rationale that he could be the next token British type. (Replacing vocalist Carola Baer) He has played bass throughout his entire adult life, and Chapman Stick for the last nine years, leaving a slew of failed bands on both sides of the Atlantic. A pick-up gig with new age luminary Paul Winter in 1979 left him with the uncontrollable urge to produce loud, harsh, metallic noises whenever possible, an urge that Process occasionally manages to keep in check for as long three minutes at a stretch.

The last sentence was particularly significant to him.

 

The Early Years
A Remembrance by Alan Thomson


Back to Bruce's Homepage


All original material Copyright ©2006 by Bruce Fraser

Last Updated: 1/6/07
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