- Interview by Thief12 (Carlo Giovannetti)
Bill Glover is an American musician known for being Petra's original drummer. Glover met fellow musicians Bob Hartman, Greg Hough, and John DeGroff, in the 70s while studying at the Christian Training Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1972, they formed Petra to get the message of Christ to the people.
Glover remained with the band until the late 70s, recording two albums: Petra and Come and Join Us. After leaving the band for personal reasons, Glover continued to play with various groups. In the 2000s, he rejoined his former bandmates Hough and DeGroff to form GHF, releasing an album titled Volume One. He currently plays with a popular cover band in Florida called Bandana.
Petrapedia interviewed Glover to know about his life and career, as well as his experience with Petra. The following session of questions and answers was done via Facebook Messenger. The interview was posted on September 2, 2016.
Petrapedia: I've read that you took up drumming when you were 13, why drums?
Bill Glover: I had been banging on everything in my mom's kitchen for years because I loved watching and listening to exactly what the drummers [were playing] in all the songs I heard on my older sister's 45s, the radio and TV. The drums turned me on I guess.
BG: I had just moved back home to Fort Wayne after I got off the road with Nashville based recording artist, Gene Cotton. I felt called to the ministry, so I thought it was time to go to Bible College, and our church just happened to have one. Bob Hartman was older than me by a few years and he was a teacher in CTC. John DeGroff was my age and he was in some of my classes. He mentioned to me that him and a couple other guys were wanting to start a Christian rock band. We jammed after school one day and liked it. Our pastor's son had some contacts in Nashville, so he became our manager. The rest is history.
PP: History indeed. Was it hard for you guys to find gigs and places to play in the 70s?
BG: Not really. We weren't picky and we wanted to get God's Word out to our peers. We would set up in parking lots, parks, college campuses, coffee houses, etc. Anyone that would work with us; like Campus Crusade for Christ would help us get access to university campuses too. Very evangelical in the first 2 years.
PP: That's really cool. How was the creative process for your songs and the first two albums? Did you guys sit together and figure out how to play songs? or did Bob/Greg already came with a clear idea of what they wanted?
BG: We rehearsed a few times a week in the beginning to learn all the songs Bob and Greg had written. Bob and Greg were both lead guitarists and liked to sing the songs they wrote. We had a band house and Greg and Bob would work out their leads together, then we would work them in with the rhythm section. We wrote the music of the songs together in rehearsal. Very much a band concept from start to finish.
PP: At what point exactly did you leave the band, and why?
BG: 1978. I got married and had to get a real job
BG: I had resigned by the time the second album was released, so I was credited as a studio musician.
PP: Any favorite Petra song from that time? one that you particularly enjoyed to play?
PP: "Wake Up" is probably my favorite from the first album. Both albums are full of great songs.
BG: Yep. Great songs. "Lucas McGraw" I played bass.
PP: Really? In the album or live?
BG: Live and on the album. No credit though, ugh. They gave me credit for drums and percussion only for some odd reason.
PP: I have a long list of drummers that came and went through the late 70s before Louie Weaver joined in 1981.
BG: One was Mark Richards. He is my cuz [cousin].
PP: Good to know that. I didn't have him on my list! What do you think the band was looking for? What specific qualities would you say?
BG: Great performer, great drummer and good attitude. Christian too, of course.
PP: Did you stay in touch with the guys after you left? I know you are in touch now, but how about then?
BG: Sure. Good friends. Talk on the phone now and then. I'm in a band called GHF with Greg Hough and John DeGroff.
PP: Yeah, I've heard your music. Like it a lot. When did you decide to get together?
BG: Greg and I formed the band in 2004. We had some new songs, we wanted to jam on together.
PP: You listened to any Petra stuff through the years after you left?
PP: Around that time there were rumors that you auditioned to get back with the band, after Louie was fired. What happened there?
BG: I loved learning [Jekyll & Hyde] when I was asked to join Bob and John [Schlitt]. [However,] I didn't want to move to Nashville again. I lived there in the early 70s. I had a home in Fort Wayne at this time. John and Bob were cool with it, but management wanted a local drummer. If it was in the 80's, I would have jumped on it, but there was no future with Petra after 2005.
PP: On a similar note, the guys got together in 2004 in a reunion concert in Angola, Indiana, but you weren't able to join them. Why?
BG: I was in another band at the time and my schedule wouldn't allow it.
PP: What are you up to now? Does GHF still play?
BG: GHF is recording Volume 2.
PP: Nice. Look forward to it. I see you're also in a band called Bandana.
BG: Bandana is made up of retired pros. Great classic rock cover band. We do 120-150 shows a year. All local, no overnight.
PP: What bands do you cover in Bandana? are there any particulars bands you're listening to right now?
BG: Stevie Ray [Vaughan], [Eric] Clapton, Santana, ZZTop, REM, Johnny Lang, Jethro Tull, etc. Mostly '60s, '70s and '80s, lots of fun. We "Bandanaize" everything. Make it our own. We've won best band 18 years running.
PP: That's great, congrats! Finally, how do you feel about the legacy of Petra to Christian music, and your contribution to it?
BG: I am proud of Petra's legacy, and very honored and thankful that God used our efforts to get His Word and the Good News about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to the world.
PP: It was great chatting with you, really. Thanks for your time. I really appreciate it. Lots of blessings to you and have a good night.
BG: Peace always.
|Bill Glover · John Lawry|