Bruce Fowler aka Fossil

Bruce comes from a musical background. He’s the son of Dr William Fowler, a successful music educationalist, and his three brothers are also great musicians.

His mastery of the trombone enables him to play any type of music. As a member of the Magic Band he played ‘air bass’; that is, he substituted for a conventional string bass player by playing his trombone through an octave splitter. This was first heard as part of the short-lived Knebworth band.

After he’d left the band there was an occasion when he went to see them perform live and Don tried to get him to join them onstage, asking the audience if anyone had a trombone with them!

The nickname came from his interest in paleontology. Even on tour he would make the vehicle stop so he could jump out and chip away at an interesting piece of rock.

Bruce still plays with various bands, often with his brothers, and he has been involved in the soundtracks of an impressive list of films. In fact, his discography is so extensive I freely admit I’m not going to attempt to to provide a comprehensive list!

If you want to know more then visit the Fowler Brothers website

Magic Band Albums


  • 1993 US CD Entropy
    A jazz/rock album with mainly acoustic instruments.
  • 1990 US CD Ants Can Count
    Brass ensemble pieces with most of the tracks not having a rhythm section

Frank Zappa & Mothers Albums

This should be a complete list of the Frank Zappa albums and discs Bruce Fowler has played on:-

  • 1973 – Over-Nite Sensation
  • 1974 – Roxy & Elsewhere
  • 1974 – Apostrophe
  • 1975 – Bongo Fury
  • 1978 – Studio Tan
  • 1979 – Sleep Dirt
  • 1979 – Orchestral Favorites
  • 1988 – Broadway the Hard Way
  • 1988 – You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, vol. 1
  • 1989 – You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, vol. 2 (recorded in 1974) 1990 – Supplement Tape (bootleg)
  • 1991 – Piquantique (bootleg)
  • 1991 – Unmitigated Audacity (bootleg)
  • 1991 – You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
  • 1991 – The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life
  • 1991 – Make A Jazz Noise Here
  • 1996 – Läther
  • 1996 – Lost Episodes
  • 1998 – Cheap Thrills

Other albums

  • 1975 Air Pocket [Fowler Brothers]: Fly On
  • 1984 That’s The Way I Feel Now [Theolonius Monk Tribute Album]
  • 1984 Bruce Fowler & Phil Teele: Synthetic Division
  • 1987 Steve Fowler: Captured
  • 1988 Fowler Brothers: Breakfast For Dinosaurs
  • 1988 Ed Mann: Get Up
  • 1990 Ed Mann: Perfect World
  • 1991 Steve Fowler: Last Blue Sky
  • 1992 Tom Fowler: Heartscapes
  • 1993 Fowler Brothers: Hunter
  • 1994 Brian Setzer Orchestra: s/t
  • 1995 Arthur Barrow: Eyebrow Razor
  • 1995 Banned From Utopia: Music of Frank Zappa
  • 2000 Steve and Ed Fowler: No Hyenas
  • 2002 Band From Utopia: So Yuh Don’t Like Modern Art?
  • 2003 Chester Thompson: Joyful Noise

Thanks to Patrik Lemberg and Veronique Janosy for help with Bruce’s discography.

Help us out

If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then please do get in touch.

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