Roger Glover

'Deep Purple' A Small Part Of 'Rainbow'

Bass player Roger Glover doesn't like people to compare his new band, Rainbow, with his former employer, Deep Purple, a heavy metal legend a decade ago. But comparisons are inevitable since the personality and leadership of both bands was (and is) guitar virtuoso Ritchie Blackmore.

"The bands come from two different eras. To me, Rainbow is a totally different entity," said Glover in a telephone interview Tuesday from his home in Greenwich, Conn. "Deep Purple was part of the British invasion the Beatles, Stones, Jethro Tull. To be English was big news in the States. Purple defied convention and took a rebellion stance. Heavy metal is now much more accepted by the establishment."

Glover, 36, Rainbow bassist and producer, said only in recent concerts has Rainbow felt secure enough in its following to play Deep Purple classics such as Smoke on the Water and Hush. The audience may hear some of those songs Friday when the band will perform at 8 p.m. at the West Palm Beach Auditorium. Tickets are $10 and are available at the auditorium box office and all BASS ticket outlets.

Deep Purple sold 14 million records before Blackmore left the group in 1974 and formed Rainbow. The band suffered an identity crisis for several years when the band's membership seemed to be going through a revolving door. Two different lead singers were on two consecutive albums before Joe Lynn Turner joined the group for Difficult To Cure and the latest album Straight Between the Eyes.

"I produced the last three albums for Rainbow and the first two started before we got a vocalist, which is kind of like working in the dark. Everybody was in on the last album from the beginning. It was a big turning point and it shows in the music. The music sounds much more natural."

Glover has worked with Blackmore for 12 years, something of an accomplishment since Blackmore is known as a hard taskmaster who doesn't mind firing musicians in his band. "Ritchie is a very good leader. He works very hard and expects others to do the same," Glover explained. "He pushes himself to the limit, and he's always looking for players who give him what he wants. Making music is a constant series of dissatisfactions, which is all right as long as its balanced with satisfactions."

He is quick to say that in the music business personnel changes aren't always bad news. "I initially viewed the changes (in the band's membership) with distaste. But change does have its good points. If the band changes, it isn't allowed to stagnate. If you stay together too long the whole thing becomes very predictable."

As to why he and Blackmore get along, he said, "We balance each other out. Ritchie simplifies it by saying he's the pessimist and I'm the optimist." Glover said he is enjoying playing for Rainbow more than he did for Deep Purple, partly because of a six-year hiatus from bass playing so he could focus his energy on producing. (He produced albums for Nazareth, Status Quo, Judas Priest and others).

"And maybe I'm older now, and I'm more relaxed and feel more comfortable. I can have more fun on stage. I used to take myself tob seriously. It seems more of a business now, but it's still fresh. I love music and that's where I'll always be."

Cheryl Blackerby
The Palm Beach Post - July 16, 1982