An excerpt from former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden’s new book “Where’s My Guitar? An Inside Story of British Rock & Roll” has surfaced online via Classic Rock Magazine, featuring the part where the musician talks about the demise of the band’s lineup back in 1982.
Apart from singer David Coverdale and Bernie, Whitesnake at the time featured Jon Lord on keyboards, Ian Paice on drums, Micky Moody on guitar, and Neil Murray on bass.
“One song on [1982’s] ‘Saints & Sinners’ literally changed my life: ‘Here I Go Again.’ I have a demo of it, recorded on an old Revox tape machine, and the basic ideas are already all there.
“I wanted to get it all sorted before playing it to David Coverdale. Jon Lord was particularly taken with the song from the very start, I played him the opening chords, and he asked me to run them by him again.
“‘You are a clever little sod, aren’t you?’ he said and smiled. He really loved the opening figure of the song and insisted he play it on the Hammond organ.
“David went into lyrical overdrive at Clearwell [castle in Gloucestershire used as a recording and rehearsal studio by Whitesnake, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and others] that afternoon. Most of the song was already written at that stage, including the complete chorus, but he was very animated and disappeared to write new lyrics.
“He disappeared into his room much in the same way he had for ‘Walking in the Shadow of the Blues’ during the  ‘Lovehunter’ sessions. He went on to sing the song in a quite magnificent way, sensitive, and yet so powerful.
“Neil, Jon, Ian, and I are on the backing track. At one point I thought a collaboration might help me deal with some frustration, and I asked Mick Moody to jam with me, but he said he was just a bit too busy. I played all the parts of the harmony guitar solo, and there was a nod to John Lennon’s Woman in the arpeggio guitar parts. If I’m honest, I truly believed we had a big song on our hands and David was very pleased too. But I never dreamed how big it would become.
“We moved to Britannia Row to mix the album with Guy Bidmead. But even as he threaded the tapes, things were starting to move dramatically for the good ship Whitesnake. David was in talks with his lawyer, as I would shortly find out, but more immediately Moody abruptly quit the band. It was a real shock; I was pretty upset. I hadn’t seen it coming at all, although I had thought it was mainly only me and David at Britannia Row, with me doing all the guitar overdubs.
“Guy, David and I continued to work on finishing the album. Jon was due to record Hammond solo overdubs, but never showed. Then he and Ian would be coming in the next day, but again, they never showed. We later discovered they had been at the horse-racing at Ascot and Windsor. David was visibly disappointed and upset. I was too. Micky was gone, Jon and Ian seemingly weren’t interested, and we hadn’t seen Neil Murray since Clearwell.
“I looked at David in the control room at the studio and uttered the fateful words, “We might as well end all this, David, knock it all on the head, mate.” I didn’t quite grasp the full effect of what I was saying. David’s eyes widened. He smiled wryly as though a weight was off his shoulders. He said that he thought he was the only one thinking it. I assured him he wasn’t. He explained that he had already been having meetings with his legal people in order to extricate himself from the managerial mire.
“It wasn’t quite over yet. We made one final, doomed, attempt to keep things going – collectively deciding to fire Seabreeze [Whitesnake management company]. A band meeting with John Coletta was arranged at the Newman Street office. We agreed to plan out our approach at my flat in Paddington beforehand. Everyone showed up at the Dungeon except David and, having waited without any sign of him, we left for the 2 o’clock meeting.
“I was delighted to think that we would all be getting away from Seabreeze. How could John Coletta still be the manager? He had been barred from the dressing rooms in USA, barred from the recording studios, was never issued a backstage pass, and blanked completely in Japan. But I couldn’t help wondering where the hell David was. We assumed that he would be waiting at the office, but he wasn’t.
“The rest of Whitesnake gathered around the great Purple onyx table: Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Neil Murray, and me. I was getting butterflies in my stomach. We were all looking at each other. Where was David?
“‘Before you say anything,’ Coletta said, ‘I have spoken with David’s lawyer this morning, and Whitesnake is over for you lot.” He walked around the room, pointing his finger. “You are out,’ he said as he pointed at Ian, Neil and, to my total surprise and shock, he pointed at me.
“I had been the author of my own demise with my comment to David about ending the band. There was a palpable silence in the room. I thought about the last time David and I talked at Britannia Row. I didn’t realise but he had been advised to break up the band in order to escape the Seabreeze banner. He later told me that he thought it was the only possible way out.”