Roger Glover, the long-standing bass player, writer and producer with Deep Purple, has seen and heard a lot of music in his life. Much of this can be detected in the fourteen songs that make up his new solo album, “snapShot”, released on Eagle Records.
Born near Brecon, Wales on the 30th. November, 1945, he moved with his family to London when he was nearly ten, just in time to observe the birth of rock’n’roll. “It all started with Lonnie Donegan,” he says, “the energy of skiffle was infectious and I was a huge fan. In short trousers! Then Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, et al, turned the world around. It hasn’t been the same since, except for the trousers!
By the time he was thirteen, Roger was learning to play the guitar and starting to write. “I have no idea why but I always wanted to write songs. Maybe it was because I read poetry growing up in Wales.”
Harrow County School for Boys was where his musical career got its start. With a few friends he formed his first group, The Madisons. “At school dances, youth clubs, social clubs and parties, we played what was on the radio at the time – Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Shane Fenton and The Fentones, Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, etc.”.
After a few years, The Madisons joined forces with rival school band, The Lightnings. “Our repertoire became huge – we used to root out obscure American songs, as did most of the cool bands, like Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers, and I was amazed that when the Beatles hit it big, their first albums contained many of the songs that we were also playing, songs like ‘Money’ by Barrett Strong, ‘Mister Moonlight’ by Dr. Feelgood and ‘Anna’ by Arthur Alexander.
About this time, 1963, Roger left school and attended Hornsey College of Art. “What I was really studying was how to exist on hardly any money,” he says ruefully. On the strength of his songs, Roger signed a publishing deal with Les Reed at Donna music. “That brought a little extra in,” he adds. It was about this time that Bob Dylan appeared on the scene. “That was just great – the start of a life-long admiration.”
By 1965, Episode Six was ready to turn professional. They went to Frankfurt and played in sweaty clubs, honing their skills like never before. On their return they had to find a new singer, and that’s when Ian Gillan joined the band. Eventually he and Roger wrote songs together.
In 1969, after years of recording and gigging with Episode Six, Roger and Ian joined Deep Purple, a little known band (at least in the UK at the time). Within a year the band was transformed and went on to become one of the most successful bands in rock history, traveling to many countries and selling millions of records.
The history of Deep Purple is littered with changes. RG left in ’73 and became a record producer (Nazareth, Elf, Judas Priest, David Coverdale, Rory Gallagher, Status Quo and many others). He released his solo albums ‘The Butterfly Ball’ (1974) and ‘Elements’ (1978). The road beckoned however, and in 1979, Glover joined up with Ritchie Blackmore in the band Rainbow, where he co-wrote and produced many of their well-known hits.
Glover’s next solo album, ‘Mask’ was released in 1984, coinciding with the newly reformed Deep Purple, which has been in existence ever since. Weathering a few more line-up changes, DP has gone on to be one of the hardest working outfits in the business, playing to thousands of fans all around the world and continuing to write original material. Glover and Gillan released an album together in 1988 called ‘Accidentally On Purpose’.
So, here we are in 2002, and Glover is releasing his latest solo album, “snapShot”, featuring Randall Bramblett. “Finding a voice to interpret my songs is really difficult but when I heard Randall I knew he was the one. I’m known primarily as a hard rock bass player,” he explains, “but it’s song writing that gives me the greatest satisfaction”. The songs on “snapShot” are ample evidence of this continuing fascination.
Glover lives in Connecticut, USA with his wife Lesley. Between them they have three children; Gillian, James and Paul.