The Roemans

Though they toured the world as the backing band for Tommy Roe, The Roemans - in the words of lead guitarist Bo Glover - "were a 'garage band' for sure. We just had some opportunities to move to a bigger garage." Hooked up with Roe by ABC Paramount, The Roemans also achieved a degree success on their own. Bo provided some additional information on the band in the following interview for

An Interview With Bo Glover (60s): How did you first get interested in music?

Bo Glover (BG): I joined the Navy when I was 17, and when I came home on leave after boot camp my sister gave me a guitar. Within six months I was playing in a band made up of a drummer from my ship and a lead guitar and steel guitar from another ship. The first place I played professionally was the Neptune Bar in Hong Kong. (I was) paid in beer.

60s: You then joined Lanny & The Impressions upon your return.

BG: Correct. Lanny & The Impressions was my first (band) after getting out of the Navy and returning to St. Petersburg, Florida.

60s: Who formed Lanny & The Impressions?

BG: A cop in New Port Richie, Florida put the group together in November 1963. He passed away in 1998. His name was Alan Diggs.

60s: Who were the members of that band?

BG: Lanny Langford, lead singer; Bertie Higgins, drummer and vocals; Ronnie Swartzcopf, guitar and vocals; Joe Pappalardo, bass and vocals; and Bob (Bo) Glover, lead guitar and vocals. Joe was the first to leave the group due to the draft. Berry Oakley replaced him in '66, and later joined The Allman Brothers.

60s: Joe Pappalardo apparently came from a local Florida band named The Satins (and later The Pebbles). Do you recall this band? How did you find Pappalardo? BG: Lanny, Bertie, Ronnie, and Joe had already been recruited by Alan Diggs when I joined them. I do not remeber those bands that Joe played in.

60s: Why did the band change names to The Romans?

BG: We signed with ABC Paramount and they (already) had a group named The Impressions. We changed the name to The Romans. Then, after a couple months in '64, they hooked us up with Tommy Roe so we just changed the spelling.

60s: Was Lanny upset at all about losing the "front man" name?

BG: No. Lanny was not upset. We did our own shows quite a bit and did not exclusively back Tommy.

60s: What type of gigs did The Romans originally land?

BG: Teen clubs mostly, but also National Guard Armories, and teen dances in the Midwest in what they called ballrooms.

60s: What did you think of Roe? What was he like?

BG: Great singer, nice guy. Very real.

60s: How much input did the band have in Roe's affairs? For example, did you have any say in choice of songs, touring, or recording?

BG: Very little.

60s: Once you hooked up with Roe, were you exclusively his backing band, or did you perform without him on occasion?

BG: We were on our own more than with (we were with) Tommy.

60s: How much did the band tour once you hooked up with Roe? Did you get to tour the country, or beyond?

BG: (We played) all over the world.

60s: What about when not backing Roe? Did the band have a large following?

BG: Yes. We had a huge worldwide fan club.

60s: The Roemans released at least six singles on the ABC Paramount label. These were all without Roe, correct?

BG: Correct.

60s: How about with Roe? How many total singles did the band release with him?

BG: We did three or four records with Tommy: Party Girl, Diane From Manchester Square, Listen To Me, Love Me Love Me, (and others).

60s: Did you or The Roeman write any of the band's songs - again, either with or without Roe?

BG: No. We did write some songs...but they were never released.

60s: Are there any unreleased recordings in the vaults - either with or without Roe?

BG: Not that I know of...

60s: As Roe's backing band, and having toured the world, I assume that you played alongside many national acts. Which ones?

BG: Many. Almost all of the British bands: Rolling Stones, Herman's Hermits, Dave Clark 5, Zombies, Manfred Mann, Tom Jones, Kinks, Searchers. (And) The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, and others.

60s: I know the band appeared on Dick Clark's WHERE THE ACTION IS TV show. Do you recall which song you lip-synched to?

BG: No.

60s: What about other TV appearances?

BG: We did several TV shows (including) HULLABALOO (NOTE: research has not verified this. It must have been one of the other '60's music shows). We came this close to (doing) the ED SULLIVAN SHOW.

60s: Do you recall Roe's hilarious guest starring role on GREEN ACRES?

BG: Yes....ha ha ha ha. I had forgotten all about GREEN ACRES!

60s: Tommy Roe recorded some very bubblegum-ish tunes in the late '60's, particularly Dizzy. What is your take on these songs?

BG: For every song...there is a season…turn turn turn.

60s: Did The Roemans remain with Roe for the remainder of the time together as a band?

BG: We were with Roe only about three years. The band dissolved in 1970.

60s: Why?

BG: That's what bands do. Only Higgins and I continued in music.

60s: Yeah - he had a huge hit in the early '80's with Key Largo. Were you involved with that in any way?

BG: No. He did that all on his own. The only thing Bertie and I did together after The Roemans was a thing called Smokey Rose that we co-wrote. I was on my way home from a club and I passed a sump pump in the street. It was pumping water from a ditch and it was making a really cool rhythm "dup da dump da da doomp ch dup da dump da da doomp ch." Well…I turned around and got out my recorder and taped it, and we used it on stage the next time we played. I wrote the song right on the spot.

60s: Did you join or form any bands after The Roemans broke up?

BG: Yes. I joined a band called Fire, and another named Bojicada - which broke up after two months. I (then) used the name as my own and did an album as Bo Jicada in the mid-'70s called Two Sides of Bo Jicada. I then did two comedy albums in the '80s under the name Bo Williams and did quite well in the club circuit. I now perform under the name Bo Montana. Cool, huh?

60s: How regularly do you perform?

BG: The last couple years I've not worked as much. I play in Florida concerts on the beach, and some summer music festivals in Colorado and Arizona. I do some missionary work for orphanages in Mexico, and children's hospitals in Florida...and some ALF (Assisted Living Facilities) for the elderly, who have all but been forgotten. It's sad.

60s: What are your plans musically in the immediate future?

BG: I'm working now on a Roemans compilation CD and I'm working on putting a group together to tour as The Roemans. Unfortunately, I will be the only original, but - what the hell - Miserlou is all they're going to want to hear anyway!

60s: Even though it was popularized by Dick Dale, was Miserlou The Roeman's best known song?

BG: Miserlou was our signature song. We recorded it as the flip side of Don't but Miserlou never was a chart record for us. We opened and closed every show with it. Our antics on stage was as much a part of the song as the guitar work, with Joe and Ronnie jumping off the top of the amps and then the three of us sliding to the front of the stage on our knees. We ripped a lot of pants in those days!

60s: Do you still stay in touch with Tommy Roe?

BG: Once in a while via email...

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