Julian Glover-Ffrench

Julian Glover-Ffrench

Born 1949, Pirbright

Glover-Ffrench joined Rokkard in early 1968 when the band realised it needed a piano element to bring the sound out for the song ‘Bring Me My Pins’, which is now known for its dynamic piano coda. His work was so well received by the rest of the band that Glover-Ffrench was given the master tapes to the rest of the album. He tinkled the ivories over the top and We Do Voodoo, Do You? was born.

However, he struggled to gain the respect of the band and their followers due to the problems of carting an upright piano round to all their concerts. He also insisted in performing in three piece suits and wingtips, even as Rokkard  moved into their trademark hard rock sound.  During many of Rokkard’s early gigs, Glover-Ffrench was forced to play from the floor or even the loading bay due to a lack of ramps at the venues in Surrey and Midtown.

Glover-Ffrench was told to prove himself during the recording of Liberty Croissant and, keen on taking  the Rokkard sound into the late 60s, Chester splashed out and bought the keysman an early Moog synthesizer. Glover-Ffrench was apoplectic at being forced  to use what he described as “a monstrosity for both the ears and the fingers.” He did capitulate to Chester’s demands and used the Moog on one song. His lack of experience  and technique shows on  ‘Bold As Brass, Pleased As Punch’ as the keyboard  sound stabs in and out without any flair or precision.

Chester promptly fired  Glover-Ffrench during rehearsals for the Croissant tour of 1969 when he refused to  be in the same room  as the synthesizer. Both rehearsals and tour were cancelled  as Chester searched for a replacement. Glover-Ffrench retired from professional music, moving to Turkey to start his own relish company. He used three types of fish mixed with a pickle base and it proved popular with the Turkish underclasses. Glover-Ffrench died in 1997 from a massive heart attack at his home in Surinam.


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