During an appearance on Loudwire Nights, Whitesnake leader David Coverdale talked about his health, the latest single “Shut Up and Kiss Me,” the ’80s, “Here I Go Again,” and more.
We wanted to talk about the 35th anniversary of ‘Slide It In.’
“It’s amazing. I’d say I was nine or 10 when I wrote ‘Slide It In,’ you know. Can you believe, 35 years…? Yesterday was the 41st anniversary of the very first Whitesnake gig, quite amazing. Every day is an anniversary when you catch to my age.”
I saw you did the unboxing of the ‘Slide It In’ special edition, your usual humor, and charm. Was there a particular moment, some of the most positive of memories?
“Well, really, you look at it and it’s heartbreaking for me because 50% of the band who made the record with me is passed away. So looking at pictures of people I truly loved, I still love actually…”
As you’re reliving the band’s past you’re also looking forward to the future – ‘Flesh and Blood,’ the band’s 13th album. We’ve already heard ‘Shut Up and Kiss Me.’ People love it, it has a very ’80s Whitesnake feel, it’s a great feel-good song. Is that what’s indicative about the rest of the record?
“As the guy who founded Whitesnake and structured all the elements, I wanted to be able to feature within that framework – after the kind of creative restrictions I had with Deep Purple, you know, if I wrote a song for Beyonce, I’d so totally look at not putting anything about me in there and everything about her.
“So the stuff that I write is all hard-rock rhythm-and-blues, hooks, melodies, emotional and physical themes that people can identify with and stuff.
“The stuff that I experienced in my life is certainly not unique. For instance, a song like ‘Here I Go Again,’ I’ve never heard so many stories on how that song helped somebody through a tragedy or a broken relationship, like, a backdrop of their lives, it’s extraordinarily humbling.
“So I’m really very careful and very precious about our stuff that my musicians get to shine as individuals, but the group is the big picture, and this group is fantastic.”
It’s all about the group, it’s obvious, but in the video – I have to ask, the star is the freaking Jaguar from ‘Here I Go Again’?
“When you see that car turned around the corner going into the alley going to club Snake – that is a sexy looking vehicle. That car could get laid on its own.”
Do you drive it around when it’s not starring?
“No, no, it’s been in storage for 30 years. Actually, it was such an iconic situation, there was a guy many, many years ago – some 25 years ago – who was negotiating with me to buy it for the Hard Rock franchise.
“And I thought, ‘oh that would be cool.’ Even though it’s in storage, it still costs money, you know, so, unfortunately, he passed away and I don’t think the Hard Rock franchise really took on any more of that buying expensive stuff from Gene Simmons… So it’s been in storage for 30 years.”
‘Here I Go Again’ is in that new Geico commercial, which is a hilarious commercial. I wonder, have you ever turned down an offer like that?
“Yeah. One of the things you have to be aware of that records sales aren’t what they were, so really in order to keep a band economically alive and not only surviving but flourishing, you really have to look at all different avenues of potential income.
“Whitesnake has a very significant catalog, we do a lot of stuff with this love for cars and career people looking at the cars.
“I’m very discerning about it because the song’s way too important, but the only one, the big one I turned down was a poop-load of money – no pun intended – for a Canadian fiber cereal, for six very significant figures. You do have to be discerning.”