Bruce Watson (American guitarist)

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Bruce Watson
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Birth nameBruce Watson
Born (1959-06-04) June 4, 1959 (age 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Rock
  • Hard Rock
  • Pop Rock
  • Folk
  • Jazz
  • Guitar
  • Vocals
Associated acts
  • Foreigner
  • Sara Bareilles
  • Gavin DeGraw
  • B.B. King
  • Marié Digby
  • Jewel (singer)
  • Elton John
  • Adam Lambert
  • Stephen Bishop
  • Tokio Hotel
  • Peggy Lee
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Three Dog Night
  • Matt Hires
  • Sugarland
  • Anna Nalick
  • Five for Fighting
  • David Archuleta
  • Rod Stewart
  • Lionel Richie
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Lisa Marie Presley
  • Josh Kelley
  • Dave Koz
  • Solomon Burke
  • Jason Castro
  • Landon Pigg
  • Chris Isaak
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Everlife
  • Jordin Sparks
  • Allstar Weekend
  • Ashley Tisdale
  • Jonatha Brooke
  • Mitchell Musso
  • Vonda Shepard
  • Patty Smyth
  • Phil Hartman
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt

Bruce Watson (born June 4, 1959 in Los Angeles, CA) is an American lead guitarist best known for playing in the rock band Foreigner. He also sings, plays mandolin, bass guitar, and slide guitar.


Watson is a third generation Los Angeles native whose love affair with rock n' roll began at the age of 10 when he heard Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Born on the Bayou. Soon after, he convinced his father to buy him a Yamaha 12-string guitar that he played in front of his first audience, the local church group.[1] It wasn’t long until he discovered The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band, and Joni Mitchell.[2]

In the early 1990s in Los Angeles, Bruce began recording guitar tracks for music in commercials, films & television shows, and quickly thereafter, artist sessions. Following studio and road dates with the likes of B.B. King, Patti Smyth, Rod Stewart, Elton John, and others. After graduating from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California then earned his B.S. Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.[3] When he is asked what he listens to in his studio, he admits to “never not listening to Joni Mitchell.”[4]

After being recommended by drummer Mark Schulman, Watson joined Foreigner full time in 2011 to play alongside founding member, guitarist Mick Jones. Watson is self taught and plays by ear. He employs improvisation while striving to achieve “that Foreigner sound” usually with a Gibson Les Paul guitar. Watson is nostalgic about his guitar collection. His childhood dream guitar was the Gibson Les Paul. At the age of 16, he saved $50/week to buy a Gibson Les Paul Gold Top guitar on lay-away. Watson’s other favorites are his Fender 1968 12-string, a 1973 Fender Telecaster and his Teisco Audition made in Japan in the 1960s, a gift from composer W. G. Snuffy Walden. Which he played on Sara Bareilles’ Love Song and the 1976 Herringbone Martin D-28 he played on Christina Aguilera’s What a Girl Wants.[5]

Watson is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. When touring with Foreigner he hosts V.I.B. ‘Very Important Beer’ meet-and-greet craft beer tastings along with Foreigner band mate Michael Bluestein. [6] An admitted long-time Guinness drinker, he has a passion for craft beers and a deep respect for the art of brewing. Watson enjoys traveling the world tasting local & regional beers and sharing them with Foreigner fans.[6]


When touring with Foreigner, his equipment list reads: Friedman BE-100, Matchless C-30, 70’s Marshall JMP 50, multiple Gibson Les Pauls, 335s, Nash Telecasters and Stratocasters. Gold Tone resonators and Banjitar, Kentucky Mandolin, Martin backpacker, Bedell Coffeehouse Dreadnaughts and Strymon pedals.[4][5]


  1. "Exclusive Artist Interview: Bruce Watson of Foreigner | Bedell Guitars". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  2. "Bruce Watson | Foreigner | Bedell Guitars". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  3. "Bruce Watson of Foreigner (Interview)". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  4. "At Home And Social with Foreigner's Michael Bluestein and Bruce Watson - YouTube". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  5. "Foreigner's Bruce Watson - YouTube". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  6. Foreigner's Bruce Watson Talks Craft Beer, retrieved 2020-08-18

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