Roger Glover

Colorful personalities make up this Rainbow

Rainbow bassist Roger Glover is right-hand man to one of rock's most enigmatic personalities, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who is known for whimsically dismissing fellow band members with Machiavellian style. Glover's relationship with the virtuoso guitarist has lasted for over a decade, a long time considering Blackmore's fondness for the hatchet. And though the facts might indicate otherwise, Glover insists Blackmore isn't the beast he's made out to be.

"I think Ritchie's temper has been a bit distorted by the press," Glover said. "True, he is difficult at times, but he's certainly no monster. If he was as ill-tempered as some would have you think, I couldn't stand to be around him." Aside from bass playing, Glover produces and co-writes most of Rainbow's material with Blackmore and vocalist Joe Lynn Turner. Yet to Glover's knowledge, Blackmore has never acknowledged the bassist's importance.

"Ritchie's a very quiet man. Though he's never come out and said he appreciates me, I'm sure he does. I think it's understood," Glover said. "And it isn't like I don't get anything from playing with him. He's a phenomenal musician and his taste in music is impeccable. I respect that."

Glover and Blackmore were members of the quintessential heavy metal band, Deep Purple. In its nine-year history, the band boasted stellar album sales and a Guinness Book of World Records listing as the loudest band. Exhausted from Purple's constant touring schedule, Glover departed in 1972. Blackmore followed suit in 1974, forming Rainbow with members of a New York-based band named Elf. Glover took a six-year hiatus from the bass after leaving Deep Purple, spending most of his time in recording studios learning to produce.

"I always thought of a producer as business-type - you know, the three-piece suit and everything. But I learned that a producer is just someone who can transfer the sounds in his head onto tape. I found it to be a fascinating job." Meanwhile, Rainbow was proving to be a headache for Blackmore. The guitarist was never fully satisfied with its personnel or records. His frustration came to a head with the release of "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll," perhaps Rainbow's weakest album.

Ritchie was really unhappy with his producers at that time, so for 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll' he decided to do the job himself. And understandably, it was a disaster. Ritchie found it a real problem getting people to the studio and inspiring them and himself. His frustration showed in his playing on that album." Glover joined in 1979, freeing Blackmore to concentrate on the band's music. Subsequent albums "Down to Earth" and "Difficult to Cure" sported an inspired sound and sold moderately. The band " Glover, Blackmore, Turner, drummer Bob Rondinelli and keyboardist David Rosenthal is now touring to promote its latest Mercury Records album, "Straight Between the Eyes."

"This was certainly the easiest Rainbow album I've produced," Glover said. "It marked the first time we've gone into the studio with musicians who felt comfortable with each other. The problem with 'Difficult to Cure' was that Joe (Turner) joined the band as we were going into the studio, and he didn't have much time to contribute to the songs. But he has contributed to all the songs on this album, and he writes with the strengths and limitations of his voice in mind. The band's feeling at ease gave me a lot more to work with in the studio."

Bruce Britt
Detroit Free Press - May 14, 1982