And here’s part two of a typically revealing chat with classic rock royalty as RUSHONROCK editor Simon Rushworth chews the fat with the Cov.
Don’t forget Made In Japan is out now and you can catch Whitesnake on the road with Journey and Thunder this month.
rushonrock: As well as the live album(s)/DVD you’re readying yourself for this summer’s UK arena tour with Journey and Thunder – can we expect something a little bit special this summer?
David Coverdale: Ever since we worked with Def Leppard doing the UK arenas a few years back I’ve been looking for another opportunity to do the same kind of thing. It was such a great move for both bands and such a great ticket for the fans. I’d been looking for another band of that calibre to deliver a three-and-a-half hour set that people can sing along to. Journey never, ever occurred to me until I was approached by our manager and Live Nation and it seemed like an excellent idea! Then Luke and Danny at Thunder said that if the deal was done they’d get Thunder back together again this summer and join us. It’s the best of British with the cream of the US and it should be another night to remember.
rushonrock: You’re also hooking up with Leppard and Europe for a titanic triple bill in Spain – was it always a friendly rivalry when you were fighting it out with them and Bon Jovi as the Big Four of 80s hair metal?
DC: I tried Jon Bon Jovi for that tour too! We’ve been good friends for years. It’s nearly 30 years ago that we played together in Japan on a bill that featured Whitesnake, The Scorpions, Anvil and Bon Jovi. That’s when I first got to know all the guys in the band – they were just kids and we’d have a bit of fun together. It was the beginning of MTV and of course Bon Jovi were made for music television. John and I and Richie Sambora got along great. I always used to say that if John didn’t have Richie I’d have him in my band in a second. And me and Joe from Def Leppard have been chums for years and years. I remember on the last arena tour we happened to be in Manchester at the same time as Bon Jovi and all three bands had a blast in the same hotel. It was just like old times. I can’t wait for the shows with Leppard and Europe. What a night that will be for the people of Spain – and I’m hoping some of my good friends in Portgual will be able to cross the border and catch us too.
rushonrock: Despite the current economic climate there’s still a demand for big arena tours by established rock bands in Britain – how come?
DC: I can only think it’s because people are looking for a release. The country’s on the brink of a triple dip recession but live music can be a release from the norm. I’m from a working class background in Teesside and I remember back when I was a kid there were unemployed people who would save for weeks and go to the pub for a knees up as a release. A friend of mine owned a whole string of clubs and he told me the best business they ever did was when unemployment was at its highest. People want to escape from that horrible reality. It will be the same when we go to Spain – they’re having it really tough over there and in Portugal and Greece. I’m hoping we can give them something to look forward to.
rushonrock: Are you proud that the reigning X Factor champion hails from your hometown of Saltburn?
DC: I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve as far as my North East roots are concerned – I’d write ‘Saltburn Rules’ on the wall given half the chance! It was a beautiful place for me in my formative years and I’m very proud of the fact that I hail from Saltburn. As a consequence I’m proud of any reflective glory on the town and I’m so happy for James Arthur. I didn’t watch the show and of course it’s a different X Factor over in the US. But the kid is fabulous.
rushonrock: Are you worried you’re no longer the most famous singer from Saltburn?
DC: Ha! I think I’d be rather shallow if my life’s ambition was to be the most famous person from Saltburn. I’m quite happy with what I’ve achieved over the years. I’m just pleased Saltburn is still producing singers and I’m right behind James.