top of page



15th May 2016


















I’d met Roger on several occasions before, backstage after concerts but this was my first time to interview him. After introductions he jokes and apologizes because he ‘looks like his old man’ due to having one drink too many the night before but the truth of the matter is he looks nowhere near the seventy years he actually is. He stands straight, has a firm handshake and walks with intent. Having done countless interviews in the past, he could be forgiven for approaching this one with some weariness but not so – he wants to talk and makes small talk with our photographer before we begin. Settling down in a couple of comfortable chairs at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tokyo, I look at one of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees; one of the men who were there that night the casino in Monteux burned down in 1971, and begin.


Q: A quick update on the album Roger? What can you tell us?


RG: Well it’s hard to describe music really. It’s like how do you describe the Mona Lisa? A woman standing there with a funny look on her face. (laughs) Maybe she’s sitting…we don’t know do we?


Q: Is it more of the same?


RG: It’s hard to tell. I think it’s more of a heavier album than Now What?! It has a few unrelenting tracks on it and some surprises and in fact one of the songs is very surprising. It’s more or less finished: we’ve got some more vocals and we did some vocals actually two or three weeks ago in Toronto. All the tracks were done in February in Nashville, Bon Ezrin is still working hard yelling at us. (laughs)


Q: I’m guessing that you didn’t even consider anybody else to produce it given how good Now What?! turned out.


RG: No. Bob was really a good thing for us. You know, we are not a very together band strangely enough. We are all very different people, all live in different parts of the world and all have different ideas about what to do – it’s hell in there. (laughs) So writing sessions tend to be a lot of fun but making a decision is hard. Is it going to be a B Flat or B Flat minor, etc and everyone weighs in but Bob has a work ethic that leaves me tired. He’s really energetic and he’ll say ‘Right. Let’s listen to that one!’ and then ‘Yeah, I like that. We’re doing that’ and all of a sudden two hours of arguing in the band is gone.


Q: Which is what a good producer should be doing.


RG: Yeah. He’s opinionated and he contributes. He’s not one that says ‘I don’t like it: do something I like’, he’ll make suggestions. He’s a good songwriter, has good pitching and can work out harmonies. He works really hard, works his staff hard and us hard. We had eleven days…or was it nine days…doing about twelve songs, some of them from scratch so he’s brilliant.


Q: Sounds like the old days.


RG: Yeah!


Production and Playing


Q: One of the things that really impressed me about Now What?! was the sonics on it. I have to confess to being a bit of an audio purist and when I see kids listening to music on cheap ear buds, compressed into mp3s, I feel a bit frustrated and sad. As a producer yourself, how do you feel about it?


RG: It is sad. I’m not an audiophile strangely enough. When I do a mix, I usually do my tests in my car which is something that I know and at home I have a fairly good system but it’s nothing special – just average. One of Bob Moog’s sons or grandsons said that music used to be a social thing in that you’d buy an album, people would come round, sit and listen to it and discuss it and now it’s made by one person on a computer to be listened to by one person on a set of earphones. That’s a hell of an insight.


Q: Yes it is.


RG: And if it’s not like that, it’s background music in a mall or a car or something. People don’t really listen; they are just mildly entertained. I say this and I’m generalizing obviously because there are people out there that do care and do listen but they are by far in the minority. I think most to most people, music is just another temporary distraction. On your iPhone, you have other things to do, navigate, play games, google or whatever and social media is out of control so music has taken a backseat whereas it used to be almost a religion. You used to follow a band and be interested in everything they did musically but now the norm is to be more interested in them for what is in the gossip columns. I think that is more to do with Pop music though because for me, there is a huge divide between Pop and Rock. We are in the same business as Beyonce but that’s it; there’s nothing else. Now there’s nothing wrong with Beyonce and you know I like a good Pop song and Pop is an art form in itself but Rock is more like a commitment to a life in that the music is a form of expression, not titillation.


Q: Quite recently I discovered that when playing a classic Rock CD, for example Machine Head or In Rock, it’s not so much the fact that it sounds better on vinyl – because quite often it doesn’t – it’s the fact that get that break in the middle where you have to make the almost sub-conscious decision whether to play the other side or whether to play something else and those running orders of the twenty minutes on sides one and two were a very important part of the album making process. You don’t get that with a CD.


RG: That’s right.


Q: Do you think the art of making an album is lost now? It seems to me that bands just throw 15 tracks onto a CD without any thought of the sum of the parts so to speak.


RG: I don’t think the art is lost particularly but I think the audience for it is lost. People’s attention span is not what it used to be and there are much more things to do in life now than there was thirty or forty years ago. The idea of sitting and listening to something for twenty minutes…’I haven’t got time for that!’ (laughs)


Q: The instant gratification world.


RG: Yeah but the art of it, I think the art of putting together an album is still there. It’s got to be coherent; it’s got to build, got to have a shape to it. I always used to think very carefully when producing about what follows what and I remember listening to Beatles albums and you know what the next song is going to be because it sounds like part of the same composition. Some people say ‘Oh it doesn’t matter’ but too me it does. I like to have key changes that somehow enhance the side. Three songs in E and the third song is going to suffer a little bit even if it’s a different tempo. Some people disagree with me on

that but sod it – I disagree with them. (laughs) And who’s producing? ((laughs)


Episode Six


Q: You were on the September ’66 Dusty Springfield package tour. How did those tours work? Did you lug your own gear, were you all on a bus together?


RG: Everybody on a bus.


Q: You (Episode Six), Dusty, The Alan Price Set…


RG: Boz and His Group, The Settlers…Dusty travelled in her own car. I don’t remember her being on the bus. I don’t think I actually met her; we were bottom of the bill, on a par with the comedian. (laughs) I remember Boz being late once. The bus was leaving the hotel and I looked back and Boz was running after the bus…’Wait for me!’ We opened the first and second sets and played three songs or four at the most – I can’t remember now.


Q: So you got all your gear on stage, played three songs and went off.


RG: Well it wasn’t the gear that we had now of course. I think maybe the comedian was there for the changeover so we’d go on and do our two songs or whatever it was and then the comedian – Jeff Lenner his name was – would go on, the curtains would close and he’d tell a joke or two by which time we’d changed over a couple of amps and the drum kit. It was fairly simple.


Q: I know Morning Dew has been covered by many artists and I love Episode Six’s version of it. I also love Rod Stewart’s and Nazareth’s. Call me mad but I’d love to hear this Purple line-up do their own version of it. I can hear Steve and Don trading screaming solos over that climax towards the end.


RG: Yeah…actually, it’s never occurred to us. Tim Rose had the single and I don’t know where we got it from but someone suggested it somewhere along the line and we thought we had a hit with several of the songs. ‘This is going to be a hit; this is the one’ and it’s a bloody good job we never had a hit because I wouldn’t be here now talking to you.


Q: Very true. Before I forget by the way, Colin Hart (ex-Deep Purple and Rainbow Tour Manager) sends his best regards.


RG: Ah cool!




Q: I read his book and I thought it was a great read. I don’t know if you’ve read it…


RG: Well I haven’t actually read it but I did skim it because I know the story (laughs) but he’s become a good friend again; we’re back in touch. He’s a lovely guy and I spent a lot of life with him.


Q: There’s quite a few Purple books out there, are there any you would recommend or as you say you don’t bother reading them because you know the story?


RG: I don’t bother reading them but I do skim all of them to see roughly what they are all about and usually they are all about past interviews. People cobble together what they think is the truth. The one I most enjoyed was the first one by Chris Charlesworth (Deep Purple: The Illustrated Biography 1983) which lists what we got paid for every gig. (laughs) I don’t know…it was the first one so it was quite entertaining to read about yourself.


Q: Is there a potential autobiography?


RG: I’m trying to write one actually but it’s tough because there is so much to write about and I don’t want to turn it into a list of achievements, what we did or non-achievements because lists are kind of boring to read. I like to read and I like to read good writing, entertaining writing with well written English. I don’t want a ghost writer because they really just go for the conversations and transcribe them. I want to get deeper than that somehow but whether my ambition is great than my talent, I don’t know yet but I’m trying to find out by doing it.


Q: You write pretty well on your website.


RG: Thanks. I like well written, well put together pieces.


Before Episode Six


Q: I have to confess to not being an art person but I am impressed with some of your drawings. What is it about art colleges in the sixties that created so many great musicians and bands? There’s yourself of course, John Lennon, Pete Townsend…


RG: …and some of Pink Floyd. Art School used to be the place where if you couldn’t do anything else, that’s where you’d end up. If you were not good at maths, or physics or languages or something like that it was ‘What are you going to do?’ I guess I was one of those. I wasn’t a great student at school. I only got three O’ Levels; English Language, English Literature and Art so the writing was on the wall. (laughs) I ended up almost in desperation of what I was going to do going for art as it was my best subject. Start to think about becoming a graphic artist or something like that but I was always in a band although I had never thought of that as a career. Lonnie Donegan and Rock and Roll shook my life up big time – I loved it! I loved it so much I wanted to climb inside it.


Q: Did you have a Skiffle group?


RG: I did. I loved Skiffle.


Q: In Harrow?


RG: Yes. I moved to Harrow County in about 1959/60 but I lived in London before that. My first few years in secondary school were in Battersea and I lived in pub. I remember one Friday or Saturday night hearing music and I came down the private stairs to the door that led into the saloon bar and opened and there, right in front of me, was a Skiffle band. The washtub bass, four or five guitarists all strumming away and ‘Whoop-whoops! and the energy was fantastic! Wow…I wanna do that! I started writing songs when I was about thirteen and about the same time said to friends let’s get a band together. It was just a bit of fun in school really but it just kept going and the more it went the more I wanted it. So when I left school and went to Art College, the band continued, changed members, changed our name and became Episode Six and then the big divide: What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Take a chance on music or stick at college? Obviously I took a chance but when you’ve got nothing to lose it’s easy to take a chance. I didn’t have a career waiting for me or expensive education to live up to. The family said ‘Oh you’ll get a job’ because we had no money and my Mum was alone then but my Mum said ‘It’s your life, you make your own decisions’ which was fantastic. She gave me the freedom I probably wouldn’t have had if my father had still been around so I’m thankful that I’m from a divorced family. (smiles)

And now…


Q: And now here you are, only a couple of years off celebrating Purple’s  50th year in music, an achievement that only a handful of bands have done and only a handful will do. No doubt Purple will still be out there playing and no doubt the record company would like to do something; have you started thinking about it?


RG: Is it? It’s frightening really. I still wonder how the hell I got here.


Q: Well it hasn’t all been roses though has it? There have been lots of ups and downs, in and outs…


RG: Oh of course. If you look at any person’s life there is going to be that but the thing is, I’m a simple bass player and a simple writer and the thing that really gets me is how did I end up working with such stellar musicians as Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice? That’s the big mystery to me.


Q: Well look, you said in an interview with Tommy Vance in 1984 – and I appreciate you may not remember this –that you didn’t consider yourself a great bass player and that you were almost embarrassed when people call you that. I’d say any musician that knows his instrument, knows what to play for the song and doesn’t overplay, is a great musician. That’s exactly what you do with Purple and did with Rainbow and any band you played with. Would that be a fair comment?


RG: Yes. I do realize that but to me, bass playing was just a means to write songs and it’s all about writing songs for me; that’s the goal. So whatever I have to do, produce or play or travel or whatever it is, that is the light at the end of the tunnel and I think if I had to define my talent, it would be having that overview of the song and also to be in the middle of an argument and seeing both sides which I seem to have been doing quite a lot! (laughs)


Q: Mr Glover, thank you very much.


RG: Is that it? Oh…I was enjoying that. We can carry on if you have more questions.


Football, Managers, Bob Dylan and George Harrison


Q: Well yes, always, thank you. I have to ask, you being an Englishman, what team do you support?


RG: By proxy, Sunderland.


Q: By proxy?


RG: Yeah. Mainly because of Don whose middle name is Sunderland. Over the years, if Sunderland loses, I’ve seen Don in the dressing room going ‘ughhhnn’ and the joke is ‘Where are you from? And he says ‘Sunderland Nil’. (laughs) So I kind of follow Sunderland now by proxy but as I say he’s the fan and I always look at what they did and what they did recently of course was stunning.* I suppose really though I am an Arsenal fan but only because when I first moved to London, at my first day at school, I wasn’t used to these rough London lads and a bunch of them gathered around me. I still had a Welsh accent, was nine years old and scared stiff and they said ‘Say up the Gunners’.




‘Say it! Go on! Say it!’


‘Why?’ I didn’t understand you know…


‘Say up the Gunners!’


 ‘Up the Gunners.’


‘Right. You’re an Arsenal fan.’ (laughs)


It took me a while to figure it all out but now, I love a good game.


Q: I’m Leicester born and bred…


RG: Oh you’re flying high then…**


Q: Yes and I did make a promise to myself that if Sunderland were relegated, I wasn’t going to wear my Leicester shirt in front of Don. That’d be insulting to him.


RG: Don’s younger son is an accountant and he said it’s all in the Stats which show that Sunderland have actually been brilliant, playing really good stuff but they just haven’t got the results. The stats show something different so he was never in doubt but what a season it has been. How the giants have fallen.


Q: I was saying to Don earlier, I think a lot of club owners, the multi-millionaires, they will start to question why they are spending all their money on star players that are not performing. I guess it’s the same as a band, finding that right combination.


RG: Yes and the manager makes a big difference which I never realized really. Sunderland over the last two years have had a succession of disastrous managers and Sam Aladice has just turned them all around. I’m happy for Don and you now.


Q: Thanks. Speaking of managers, how important is a manager in the music business?


RG: It depends what sort of manager it is really. We’ve got a manager that leaves us alone musically. Some managers are more like producers saying you need this or you need that, try this, etc but our manager is really a business manager, a logistics manager who sets up the tours and the music is left entirely to us. We’ve always had that non-interference and also from record companies. We have never allowed record companies to dominate us. They can say what they like but we do what we like. It’s never been us going against them but us going our own way. They want success but you can only design success up to a certain point by looking at the stats and the trends and hear what’s on the radio and come close to recording something like that and you have some chance of having a hit but that’s not a career. You really make it when you go against it like Bob Dylan. He was never going to be a commercial hit and he still isn’t but what a career – a true artist.


Q: You’re a big Bob Dylan fan aren’t you?


RG: Huge. He reminds me a bit of Ritchie or Ritchie reminds me of him a little bit because they are single-minded and don’t seem to care what people think of them. They don’t try to woo support or love or endear themselves to the public for their own good. They have in a way, not a sort of contempt for the public but a non-interest in what anyone thinks. They are on their own path and that takes an enormous amount of strength to do that because if you are in show business of any kind, you like people to like what you do.


Q: I must admit I’m not a big Bob Dylan fan and there are certain periods of his career that I just don’t like, some albums which leave me with nothing but then he’ll put out something like Oh Mercy and it’s just perfect.


RG: Oh man! That was one of the best albums. To see him come back to his true form – I love that album. I was lucky enough to know George Harrison by the way. My wife and I were close to him and his wife and we went out to Hawaii to stay with him on New Year’s Eve just after Oh Mercy had come out and the one thing George and I always talked about was Bob because he’s a huge fan as well. The song Ring Them Bells…that song…if I could write one song in my life that was as good as that, I’d be blessed. It is such a monumental song and I remember saying this to George. At midnight when the year changed, (tears are forming in Roger’s eyes at this memory) we all hugged and kissed and then everyone went back in the kitchen except George and I and we stood in the middle of his living room in Hawaii – which isn’t a glorious palace but a very nice holiday home -  we stood there side by side and played that song, loud, without a word passing between us and just letting it sink in. Both of us in awe of the brilliance of it and I find it hard to listen to that song now without that emotion coming too me. It was a glorious moment. How do you write something like that? A song: a hymn for the world.


Q: Have you ever met him?


RG: I don’t want to.


Q: You shouldn’t meet your heroes as they say.


RG: I don’t want to meet him. I don’t want to know that he’s human. I was in art college when Freewheelin’ came out and that’s one of those albums that absolutely changed my life. I suddenly realized what music and expression and artistry was all about. It wasn’t just A-Wop-Bop-A-Loo-Bop-Let’s have a good time baby, it was something else. It was so profound and I was at that idealistic age, a teenager, where it hit me like a ton of bricks and I spent years wanting to be Bob Dylan and it took me a long time to realize was that what was so difficult for me was so effortless for him. He wasn’t trying. He was just being himself and it takes a long time to realize that you’ve just got to be yourself and stop thinking it’s not good enough because you don’t know how good you are. People don’t know their own talents.


Q: We talked earlier about music being disposable. I’m hoping the next phase in music is going to be another Bob Dylan, someone to whom people do actually start listening again. It’s the only future I can see for music.


RG: I know. Me too. There has got to be a backlash to all this technology and it’s probably going to come after the world has blown up, there’s nothing left of civilization and we’ve gone back to the Middle Ages and people are wandering around playing harps. (laughs)


Q: Well then we come back to Morning Dew because that’s what that song’s all about.


RG: (laughs) That’s right!


Q: Mr Glover, thank you for the extra time; an absolute pleasure.


RG: A real pleasure talking to you to. I probably rambled on far too much.


Q: Not at all!



 *Sunderland that week had escaped relegation from the Premier League

**Leicester City that week had just won the Premier League


15th May 2016





RG:伝えにくいね。『Now What?!』よりもヘヴィなアルバムなのは間違いないけどね。ヘヴィとしか言いようのないナンバーがあるし、サプライズもあるよ。ある1曲には本当にびっくりするだろうね。ほぼレコーディングは終わっているよ。ボーカルのレコーディングを2、3週間前にトロントでやったところさ。他のトラックは2月にナッシュヴィルですべて完了している。ボブ・エズリンはまだ必死に働いているよ(笑)。


Q:あなたは、『Now What?!』が示しているように、自分以外の誰もバンドのプロデュースはできないと思っているでしょう?









Q:アルバム『Now What?!』を聴いて印象的だったことの一つにそのサウンドの素晴らしさがあったんです。私はある意味、音響至上主義みたいなところがありまして、最近の若い子たちが安物のイヤフォンでMP3音源を聴いているのを嘆かわしく思うんです。プロデューサーとして、こういう状況をどう思われますか?






Q:最近、クラシック・ロックをCDで聴いていて、気づいたことがあるんです。『Machine Head』とか『In Rock』をね。アナログLPの方が音がいいなんてことはないな、ということなんです。たいてい、そんなことはないんです。LPは、聴いているうちに続けて裏面を聴くか、他のアルバムに移るか、意識し始め集中力が殺がれてしまう半ばのポイントで音質が落ちます。だから両面それぞれ20分に収める曲順が、アルバム制作上とても重要になってくるんですね。CDではこの心配がないんです。



















Q:「Morning Dew」は多くのアーティストにカバーされていますよね。私はエピソード6のバージョンが一番好きなんです。ロッド・スチュワートとナザレスのもいいですが。それらを聴くだけでワクワクしてくるんですが、ここにきてパープルのバージョンを聴けるとは思ってもみない素敵なことでした。スティーヴとドンがソロを交換し、終わりに向けて盛り上がっていきますよね。










RG:読むまでもないね。でも何が書かれているのかは、ざっとチェックしておく必要はあるだろうね。たいていは過去のインタビューが載っていることが多いんだけど。人はえてしてそういうものを繋ぎ合わせては真実だと思いがちだからね。僕が面白いと思ったのは、最初に出たクリス・チャールズワースの本だね(『Deep Purple: The Illustrated Biography 1983)』)。全公演がリストアップされているんだよ(笑)。たぶんこれが最初に出たものだと思う。当事者の自分が読んでも面白かったよ。



























































Q:私はそれほどディランのファンというわけではないのですが、彼のある時期の作品はまったく受け付けませんでした。でも『Oh Mercy』のような完璧なアルバムも出したりするんですよね。

RG:そうなんだ!あれはベストの一つだね。彼本来の姿に戻ったものだ。あれはいいよね。ところで、ジョージ・ハリスンと知り合えたこともラッキーだったと思っているんだ。僕と妻は彼と親しくなってね、『Oh Mercy』がリリースされた直後の大晦日にハワイでジョージと過ごしたことがあるんだよ。僕と彼とはそこでボブのことばかり話題にしていたんだ。ジョージもボブの大ファンだからね。「Ring Them Bells」みたいな曲を僕が書けたとしたら、人生最高の喜びだろうね。あれは記念碑的な曲だね。ジョージにもそう言ったよ。新年を迎えた夜中にね(この時、ロジャーの目から涙がこぼれた。この時のことを思い出したようだ)、僕たちはみんなで抱き合い、キスし合ったんだ。ジョージと僕だけを残して、みんなは台所に行ってね。僕ら二人は居間の真ん中に座っていた。ハワイアン・ハウスのね。そんな豪華な家じゃなかったけど、とても落ち着けた。ジョージの隣に座って、二人で曲を演奏した。言葉は要らなかった。心が通じ合うっていうのかな、そんな感じだった。そのムードに僕ら二人は感じ入ってね。あの時の想い出がこみ上げてくるから、もうその曲を聴くことができなくなってしまったんだよ。素晴らしい時間だった。そんな風にして曲を書けるなんてね。まさに世界を称えるような曲だった。











Q:「Morning Dew」に戻らないとだめですね。あの曲にこそ秘密が隠されていますから。









* ・・・この週のサンダーランドは、プレミア・リーグ脱落を免れた。


** ・・・この週のレスターは、プレミア・リーグで優勝したばかりだった。

Anchor 1
bottom of page