Just a short one to end the year of 1974 – no pictures of Roger, so you will have to be content with the words. Quite an unusual project for someone connected to Deep Purple, but life is funny that way…it isn`t always what you expect!
Have a nice read!
Glover out of his cocoon?
…and participating in “Butterfly Ball”, of course. TONY STEWART checks out this unexpected activity by the ex-Purple bassman
“The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper`s Feast”, in the words of the publicity people, is (quote) “Nature`s celebration of Life”. If you`re cynical you may be inclined to regard the promotion of the book, album, cartoon film and eventual television series and/or movie as nothing more than a commercial gambit slightly more highbrow than the Wombles campaign.
But that would be a little unfair.
The hard-back book by Alan Aldridge and William Plomer has vividly colourful illustrations of the animals, insects etc that inhabit our land, a jolly story about the said ball – based on William Rosioe`s poems, first published in the 17th Century – and is of considerable educational value, with poems and detailed nature notes by Richard Fitter.
Published last year, it`s sold more than 200,000 copies and won the Whitbread Award For Children`s Literature. It has also been acclaimed by a substantial adult audience.
Now there`s an album of the same name, released recently on Purple Records with music, lyrics and production by former Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover.
Glover has not been particularly active since his split with Purple some two years ago, so why did he get involved in this rather unlikely project.
“Why does anyone do anything in business?” asks Roger rhetorically. “The people who published the book decided there was more mileage in it, and also that it could be made into a film – which was their original intention.
“It was decided that an album would create an even wider interest in the concept of the work.”
The theme, as Glover sees it, is fundamentally a message of love and peace, with a few ecological statements made both in the book and the album. It seems a far cry from Deep Purple, but Glover insists he didn`t do it just to shake off his previous image.
“I liked the idea of the book,” he emphasises.
“If you say it`s a book about loving people and forgetting your differences and joining together and having a good time and celebrating, it sounds very idealistic and a bit soppy. But I believe in it nonetheless.
“Ball” did present an opportunity for Roger to vent the frustrations he`d apparently felt with Purple. “Writing,” he explains, “was probably my biggest frustration with them, because I`ve always been a writer.
“And with `The Butterfly Ball` I had complete freedom. I started off trying to write the things people would expect from an ex-member of Deep Purple, which was wrong, because it wouldn`t have fitted the book.
“It had to fit the book, and it had to be part of something that`d maybe would become a musical or a soundtrack or whatever.
“That`s why,” he continues, “I hope it`s not dismissed as just another children`s record. There`s more there for people to listen to, I hope. I don`t think it`s entirely successful, but I`m reasonably pleased with it.”
The album is a condensation of the book, with Glover`s own lyrics replacing the poetry of Plomer but retaining the basic theme.
“Each song I`ve written stands up on its own. You don`t have to look at the book to get what you can out of the song.”
As mentioned earlier, this is really Glover`s first excursion into rock (the album is very much a rock record) since he left Deep Purple. It seems he`s been reluctant to deal with the business and the media, to the extent that he turned down the opportunity to make his own solo album.
“I didn`t really want to enter anything that was a big business venture,” he says. “I was offered enormous amounts of money to form a band and live off the name I had in Deep Purple. If I`d made a solo album immediately after leaving the band, there was every chance it would have been a gold – whatever it was like. And I resented that.”
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This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Tangerine Dream, Nico, Santana, Ralph McTell, Woody Woodmansey, Alvin Lee, Gary Glitter, Edwin Starr, Keith Christmas.
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