Bill Eyden (William James Eyden)

Bill Eyden

Bill Eyden (born William James Eyden, 4 May 1930, Hounslow, Middlesex – 15 October 2004, Isleworth, Middlesex) was an English jazz drummer. The son of James Eyden and Ivy (née Tiller), of 129 Martindale Road, Hounslow, London, his first professional gig was in 1952 with the Ivor and Basil Kirchin Band. He was soon working with Ray Kirkwood and Johnny Rogers, and appeared on TV in 1953 with the pianist Steve Race. In 1955 Eyden met Tubby Hayes with whom he would play regularly for the next two decades, joining Hayes and Ronnie Scott in The Jazz Couriers. When the Couriers folded in 1959 he went on to play with The Vic Ash-Harry Klein Quintet, supporting Miles Davis on his first British tour in 1960. He was also a member of the Ray Ellington Quartet when it worked on The Goon Show, appearing on the video of the reunion programme The Last Goon Show of All. Bill Eyden joined Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames in September 1964 and remained until December 1965. He joined the Dick Morrissey Quartet, replacing Phil Seamen, as well as doing session work for various rock and R&B groups, including perhaps most prolifically for the future Procol Harum on their seminal hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” He was a member of the resident trio, led by Stan Tracey, at Ronnie Scott’s club until the late 60s. Bill Eyden also played and/or recorded with Dizzy Reece, Jimmy Deuchar, Dickie Hawdon, Harry South, Ian Hamer, Keith Christie, Terry Brown, Bobby Wellins, Jimmy Skidmore, Joe Muddel, Roy Fox, Harry Roy, Long John Baldry, Alexis Korner and others. During the 80s he was a member of Bill Le Sage’s Bebop Preservation Society and until the onset of a lengthy illness he played in quintets led by Jack Honeyborne and Ken Baldock.


  • May, 04, 1930
  • United Kingdom
  • Hounslow, London, England


  • October, 15, 2004
  • United Kingdom
  • Isleworth, London, England

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