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  MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS

INTERVIEW WITH WHITESNAKE'S DAVID COVERDALE


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MetalTalk's Mark Taylor had a chat with the one and only David Coverdale and here's what he had to say...

Hi David. Whitesnake are about to release a brand new live album/DVD, 'Made In Japan', which was recorded at the Loud Park Festival in Saitama, Japan in October 2011 on a bill shared with such diverse acts as Limp Bizkit, Arch Enemy, The Darkness, Stryper and Krokus. What are your memories of that day?

DC: Only that we had a blinder of a show... as hopefully you can see and hear on 'Whitesnake Made In Japan'...



The Japanese like to give visiting guests a little gift. What is the best gift you have ever received from your touring visits to the land of the rising sun?

DC: Gigantic barrels of sake in the DP days... Quite a treat... The incredible juicy melons are pretty happening, too... Hmmm... that doesn't sound quite right, does it?



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'Made In Japan' is also the title that Deep Purple gave their classic live album from 1973 before you joined the band. Was that intentional or just sheer coincidence?

DC: Oh, really?... Another band I was in called it that?... 'Whitesnake Made In Japan'?... Goodness... I hope people don't get confused... Too late now, innit?... Honestly, if anyone is confused by this, it's time to change your medications...

Is there anywhere in the world where you haven't performed live yet that you would love to visit?

DC: China...

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The Coverdale/Page album just celebrated it's 20th anniversary last week. You only toured together with Jimmy Page in Japan for this album. Did any of the shows ever get recorded? Is there a live album hiding somewhere in the vaults?

DC: No... we were offered an obscene amount of money to video and record, but JP wasn't interested... so... we didn't do it... We made all the decisions 50/50 and honoured each other's decisions without question... as it should be with partners... I have a TON of private video footage which hopefully will see the light of day sometime...



You're just about to tour the UK along with melodic rockers Journey. Have you ever toured together before?

DC: Yes, actually... they did a Dublin show with Leppard and us in 09, then on to Download. I've worked with Neal and Jonathan when they had 'Bad English'... They were with me on the US 'Slip Of The Tongue' tour in 1990... Good people and very, very talented...

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You're known for being a bit of a ladies man. Have you... er... ahem... shared any passionate moments with the fairer sex whilst listening to the power ballads of Journey?

DC: I can quite honestly say 'No'...but, I haven't stopped believin'...

Guitarist Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach have been in Whitesnake for ten years now. What is it about your team work that you enjoy so much?

DC: They have stayed focused, on top of their game and haven't messed me around with silly distractions... I love 'em both... Reb is a cracker, Doug is my partner in rhyme... my co-producer... A creative marriage made in heaven... These guys are serious guitar slingers... Be Afraid... Be Very Afraid... Ha Ha!!

Drummer Tommy Aldridge is back in the band for a third time. What is it about Tommy's style do you like?

DC: Everything... and he's as funny as fuck when he's in the mood...



The '1987' album or 'Whitesnake' as it is officially known as, was a massive success especially Stateside where it has sold over eight million copies there alone. Is it true that at first you were dead against the idea of re-recording 'Here I Go Again' and 'Crying In The Rain' for the album?

DC: Thankfully it's sold a ton more than that since that old press release... I can't remember... Probably... I don't much care for 'going back'... but, it made all the sense in the world and introduced the songs to millions instead of thousands of people...



On a few dates on the 2011 'Forevermore' Tour you invited former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden on stage. How good was that to rekindle your friendship?

DC: It's the best... We both agree it is much better than being out of friends...

Bernie Marsden is currently making a solo album. Will you be guesting on a number or two for this?

DC: Yes... already done my bit... It's up to Bernie to tell you about it...

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Talking of former band mates. Micky Moody and Neil Murray have recently formed Snakecharmer and the debut album has been getting some good positive reviews. Have you heard the album yourself?

DC: No, I haven't... I'm a bit busy... I have no doubt it's great, tho'... Great players...

In 1973 you went from working in a boutique in Redcar to joining one of the biggest bands in the world with Deep Purple. One of your earliest shows with the band was at the California Jam topping the bill that also featured ELP, Black Sabbath and the Eagles, all in front of an estimated 200,000 audience. Any pre-show nerves before the gig and how did you come back to earth after the show?

DC: The alcohol and the narcotics helped soothe my nerves, I imagine... It wasn't that hard to 'come down'... I treasure the experience... Don't forget, I'm a Yorkshireman...

My favourite all time song is the live version of 'Mistreated', a track you co-wrote with Ritchie Blackmore. Do the lyrics come from a personal experience?

DC: Of course... all my songs are diaries...



You performed with some of the most amazing six stringers in the world including Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai and Jimmy Page. Is there anyone past or present that you would've like to have performed with?

DC: Jimi... Jeff Beck... he's one of the few musicians who achieves total emotional experience for me... I can get teary listening to him... then I can burst out laughing with the incredible, imaginative lines he plays... Total Guv'nor of the guitar...

With Whitesnake you have played at some of the biggest festivals. What have been your favourites?

DC: The shows we're about to do... I don't have time to spend looking back all the time... unless I'm asked...

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When not touring with Whitesnake you relax at home in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Tahoe. At what lengths do you have to go to get hold of a proper English cup of tea?

DC: I walk into my kitchen... It's FULL of Yorkshire Gold tea... so... not far at all... It's like the British Embassy in my place...

Thank you for taking time to answer these questions. Looking forward to seeing Whitesnake on the UK tour... WE WISH YOU WELL!

DC: Thank you... See you soon...

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Frontiers Records releases 'Whitesnake: Made In Japan' on Deluxe 2CD/DVD, Blu-ray and DVD on Monday April 22.

Don't miss Journey and Whitesnake with very special guests Thunder on tour in the UK during May 2013. Order tickets online from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.livenation.co.uk.

Glasgow SECC (May 18)
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena (May 20)
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (May 22)
Manchester Arena (May 23)
Nottingham Capital FM Arena (May 25)
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (May 26)
Birmingham LG Arena (May 28)
London Wembley Arena (May 29)

Stills on this page taken from the 'Whitesnake: Made In Japan' DVD and Blu-ray release.

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