Two of the guys were better guitar players than me, so I volunteered to play bass. I was just being practical…[W]hen I actually got a proper bass and amp, I realized that it really suited me. I enjoyed the sound and power of it.Roger Glover about his path to playing bass. Retrieved from here.
The musician and producer Roger David Glover was born on this day in 1945.
Glover was born near Brecon in Wales, though moved to South Kensington at the age of nine. By his own telling, as a twelve-year-old inspired by skiffle music and early rock ‘n roll, Glover first picked up a guitar. He had formed his first band fifteen years later. Out of necessity, he switched to playing bass, the instrument he has wielded ever since.
Glover is most known as Deep Purple’s longest-serving bassist and second-longest serving member overall, second only to Ian Paice. He has over the years helped create most of the the band’s best-known riffs, including “Maybe I’m a Leo”. Even to this day, Glover still stands in this position; for example, he notably authored “Birds of Prey”‘s central riff from Infinite. He also has been co-lyricist with Ian Gillan throughout their careers. He is even responsible for naming the band’s most famous song, “Smoke on the Water”.
Glover also played with the band Episode Six, where he began his legendary musical partnership and close friendship with Gillan. After his first stint with Deep Purple, he also served as bassist for Rainbow from 1979-1984. With his six-year tenure, Glover is also the second-longest serving member of Rainbow, surpassed only by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.
As a solo artist, he’s been responsible for several fine albums spanning several genres, notably the prog-rock Elements and the poppier Mask and Snapshot. He also famously spearheaded the project The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast, which featured a massive cast of rock ‘n roll talent. He even found time to make an album with Ian Gillan, Accidentally on Purpose, in 1988.
As if all of this weren’t enough, Glover has also made his name as a producer for bands such as Elf, Nazareth, Status Quo, Judas Priest, and post-Dio Rainbow.
Today’s a good day to head over to his website to wish him a happy birthday, then to spin any work of his you might have handy! As I’m incredibly fond of Elements, I’m including it below.
- Edit on 2020-05-05: Added info.
- Edit on 2020-09-05: Edited article to reflect that Infinite is no longer Deep Purple’s most recent album. Optimized for new site.
- Edit on 2020-11-30: Minor formatting update.
- Edit on 2022-04-20: Added info from the Jerusalem Post.