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Roger Glover

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Roger Glover
Glover performing with Deep Purple in 2017
Glover performing with Deep Purple in 2017
Background information
Birth nameRoger David Glover
Born (1945-11-30) 30 November 1945 (age 78)
Brecon, Wales
GenresHard rock, heavy metal, pop rock, blues rock, progressive rock
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • producer
Years active1962-present
Member ofDeep Purple
Formerly of
WebsiteOfficial site

Roger David Glover (born 30 November 1945) is a Welsh bassist, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as a member of the hard rock bands Deep Purple and Rainbow.[1][2] As a member of Deep Purple, Glover was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.[3]

Early career[edit]

Born near Brecon, Wales, Glover moved with his family to the South Kensington area of London at the age of nine.[4] Around that time his interests started to shift towards rock music, and by the time he was thirteen Glover began playing guitar.[5]

He later moved to the North London district of Pinner, and while at Harrow County School for Boys he formed his first band, Madisons, with a group of friends; in time this merged with a rival band to become Episode Six, a band which later featured Glover's future Deep Purple bandmate, vocalist Ian Gillan.[5][6] The two left Episode Six in 1969 to join Deep Purple.[7]

Deep Purple and solo[edit]

Deep Purple, Roger Glover 1970

Glover spent four years (1969–1973) with Deep Purple, during which the band saw their most successful releases in the albums in Rock, Fireball, Machine Head, Who Do We Think We Are and the live album Made in Japan. He is credited with developing the title for the band's iconic song "Smoke on the Water", thus inspiring the song's lyrics which were written by Ian Gillan. Glover says the title came to him when he awoke from a dream two days after the famous fire over Lake Geneva. While he liked the title, he was reluctant to have the band use it because he initially thought it sounded like a drug song.[8] Glover also developed the guitar riff to "Maybe I'm a Leo", stating, "I wrote the riff to 'Maybe I'm a Leo' after hearing John Lennon's 'How Do You Sleep?'."[9]

Glover contributed bass on Jon Lord's first solo album, Gemini Suite (1971), and was the featured soloist in the bass movement.[10]

Glover departed Deep Purple, along with Gillan, after the band's second tour of Japan in the summer of 1973.[4]

Throughout the 1970s Glover produced albums and/or singles by such acts as Judas Priest, Nazareth, Elf, Status Quo, the Ian Gillan Band and David Coverdale.

In 1974 Glover released his first solo album, The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, which generated the single "Love Is All", featuring lead vocals by Ronnie James Dio. The single did little in the UK, but became an unexpected number one hit song in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Australia. The song came with an animated music video starring a guitar-playing frog. [11] In 1978 Glover's second album followed: Elements.

From 1979 to 1984 he was the bassist, lyricist and producer for Ritchie Blackmore's band, Rainbow, working on four of the group's studio albums.

In 1983 he recorded his third solo album, Mask, released the next year.

When Deep Purple reformed in April 1984, Glover returned to his old band where he has remained for the last four decades.[12]

In 1988 Glover, along with fellow Deep Purple member Ian Gillan, recorded the side-project album Accidentally on Purpose. Almost two decades later Glover played with Gillan during Gillan's brief solo tour in 2006.

In 2002 Glover released his fourth post-DP album, entitled Snapshot, under the name Roger Glover and the Guilty Party. The album featured performances from Randall Bramblett (who shared co-writing credits on several tracks) as well as Glover's daughter, Gillian.

Roger Glover in concert at Big Flats, New York in 2002

In 2011 he released his second Guilty Party album, If Life Was Easy, which featured guest appearances by Nazareth's Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew as well as Walther Gallay and Daniel "Sahaj" Ticotin.

Notable collaborations and performances[edit]

In an interview for the Come Hell or High Water concert-documentary, he described how he was once forced to perform lead vocals for an entire Deep Purple concert in the 1970s due to Ian Gillan's illness. In 2021, he performed co-lead vocals on one track (The Battle of New Orleans) on the Turning to Crime album, the first time he has performed vocals of any kind on a Deep Purple record.

In 2001 Glover was among a host of bass players who contributed to Gov't Mule's double album The Deep End, recorded as a tribute to the late Allen Woody, Mule's original bassist. Glover played on Deep Purple's "Maybe I'm a Leo", which was one of Woody's favourite songs. On 3 May 2003, in New Orleans, Glover also took part in a special concert performed by Gov't Mule featuring appearances from all bass players who had contributed to The Deep End album.

Roger Glover performing in London for the Sunflower Jam, 2007.

On 7 October 2007 Glover joined his former bandmate Jon Lord to perform Concerto for Group and Orchestra at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton. The concert also featured the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann.

In 2008 Glover played bass on a charity single called "Lucy's Song", written and produced by David Domminney of Rogue Studios in London and available at iTunes. Income from the sale went to The Linda McCartney Cancer Centre (specifically to promote their Field of Women event which took place at Liverpool Cricket Club on 6 July 2008).

On 21 March 2012 Ian Paice was playing a gig with the Deep Purple tribute band Purpendicular in Pratteln, Switzerland. The band received a surprise reinforcement as Roger Glover "happened to be in the neighbourhood" and joined them on stage.

Personal life[edit]

Glover has been married twice and has three daughters. The eldest, musician Gillian Glover (born 1976), is from his first marriage. He currently lives in Switzerland with his partner and their two daughters.[13]

In 2004 ITV Wales aired a TV special about Glover, entitled Roger Glover – Made in Wales (produced by Craig Hooper) which featured interviews from fellow musicians Ian Gillan and Ian Paice, as well as Glover's mother, Brenda, and his then-wife.[citation needed]


Roger Glover played Fender Precision, Fender Mustang and Rickenbacker 4001 basses during his early years with Deep Purple. In late 1970s, he used a Gibson Thunderbird. In the mid-1980s Roger used Peavey Foundation with a neck from Peavey Fury Bass. Since the mid-1990s, he has used Vigier Bass Guitars, SWR heads and cabinets, and Picato and Ernie Ball strings.[14]

Painting and photography[edit]

Glover performing live with Deep Purple in 2013.

On 22 October 2010 Roger Glover's artwork exhibition called Happy Silence opened at the K-8 e.V. Galerie in Cologne. Previously Glover has let many of his pictures be auctioned in other galleries for charitable purposes, but this was the first large-scale presentation of his work.



  1. ^ Turkey: Deep Purple Performs in Istanbul Archived 30 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine – Balkan Travellers
  2. ^ "Purple haze". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Deep Purple". Rock Hall Library and Archive. Archived from the original on 24 January 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Roger Glover". Deep Purple Appreciation Society. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Episode Six". Deep Purple Appreciation Society. Archived from the original on 23 February 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  6. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 65.
  7. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 69.
  8. ^ "Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple (Songfacts)". songfacts.com. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Bass player's question time". Roger Glover official site. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  10. ^ Thompson 2004, pp. 102–103.
  11. ^ "Alan Aldridge". Lambiek.net. Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  12. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 392. CN 5585.
  13. ^ Perry, Shawn. "The Roger Glover Interview". Vintage Rock. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Guitar Magazine, October, 2003". Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2019.

External links[edit]