Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale says that he went from the brink of financial ruin to being “richer than I ever was in Deep Purple” in the space of three months when Whitesnake’s 1987 release Whitesnake took the U.S. charts by storm, reports blabbermouth.net.

Coverdale recently spoke at length with Rock Candy magazine editor Howard Johnson, telling the personal stories behind some of the most revealing photos of his almost-50-year career.

Commenting on a shot of Whitesnake at the 1987 MTV Music Awards, Coverdale said, “It was a ridiculous time for around about three years when MTV became this global monster. I’d go into a hotel room, and eight times out of 10, the TV would be showing MTV. And nine times out of 10, it was playing the video for Still Of The Night, Is This Love or Here I Go Again.

Was I prepared for the level of success the ‘1987’ album had? Professionally, yes. It was such a validation of the really hard work that went into that album. It wasn’t entirely the guys’ fault in earlier versions of Whitesnake that we often took six steps forward and four back. Management decisions were made that didn’t serve us well and it became incredibly frustrating. But once I took over the running of the operation myself everything changed… and to go from almost three million in debt and within three months be richer than I ever was with Purplewas very reassuring.”

Coverdale, of course, was one of the most famous faces in ’80s music after starring alongside his soon-to-be-wife Tawny Kitaen in those memorable band videos. But he admits that the level of fame he experienced at that time was hard to handle.

“I wasn’t prepared for that at all,” he says. “I was with Tawny in L.A. and we couldn’t go anywhere. If we stopped at a red light on Sunset, we’d be chased by the paparazzi like something out of The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. It was whack. That was the primary reason why I moved out of L.A. to Lake Tahoe to live in a village of 5,000 people.”

Coverdale is still performing today as the leader of Whitesanke and he is no longer with Kitaen, but has since remarried. And the 67-year-old is perfectly happy to say that the days when he was one half of Hollywood’s most in-demand showbiz couple are long behind him now.

“I’m still Mr. Saturday Night on tour even now,” he laughs. “But at home, I’m just a husband and a dad.”

Read the whole of this revealing article, and many more fascinating features, in Issue 11 of Rock Candy magazine, available in shops worldwide or direct online at rockcandymag.com.

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  • shannon mehaffey on

    This guy understands semantically what the blues and Zeppelin music is…Greta Van Fleet sure as hell don’t….lol…they are like computers spitting out syntax; they can barely play, and they can’t write for squat. That singer can’t sing for squat…and we already went through this with Woflmother who were around just about a decade ago and now nobody has even heard of ’em. I get it, they’re retro, but the irony is that they are as robotic as any computer program; which pretty much sums up the state of the world we’re in. I would like GFV more if they called themselves “Blah Blah.”

    • Dana on

      So does Sykes, who Craig apparently thinks cannot hold a candle to GVF when it comes to talent.

      To each their own, but I am literally stupefied, eyes beyond rolling.

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Sykes is awesome, there’s a reason he’s up in the mix on that Lizzy record. He could sing too…the thing is, power trios don’t usually work, I know Rush did but their music was so academic…whereas that kind of grandiose, exaggerated spectacle that Sykes is so great at needs at least a four piece to give the audience more of a show…Sykes was too good to be in a band and the audience needs that frontman/guitar god Starsky and Hutch type thing…that’s just the aesthetic of people. Sykes’ own talent was also his achilles heel if you ask me.

    • Dana on

      Please post this on the Ozzy thread. That is where I left my novel length response-LOL!!

    • shannon mehaffey on

      …bands are like sports teams Dana, the audience wants to see the bands making “plays” where they throw the ball around….it’s too bad these guys’ egos get out of hand and they don’t see it from the audience perspective. I.e., it doesn’t matter who gets the freaking credit, just give us a good show.

  • g man on

    Your thoughts,
    ’87 was a great accomplishment for Sykes as well, yet looking back as strictly a fan of John’s it was so successful for him that I think he somewhat became content living off those royalties and putting out new music isn’t priority.

    • Dana on

      G Man,

      I cannot dismiss your theory about Sykes. I am sure there is an element of truth to it, as to why he has not released any new music, in a timely fashion.

      However, I still believe that the first Blue Murder record, which was some of the material John was writing for the next Whitesnake album, is a great record. The second one has its moments, but the debut record, rocks.

    • MikeyMan on

      Interesting, Dana,

      I’m picturing Coverdale sing “Love can break your heart”….
      Always was and still am a big fan of everything DC and Whitesnake have done.
      Also, thanks to you and Eddie, I learned about and really appreciate John Sykes talent.

    • Dana on

      Of course, and just because, my love for Sykes is never ending, does not mean that I do not highly appreciate Whitesnake, nor Coverdale’s smoky, bluesy, voice.

    • Dana on


      If John had remained in Whitesnake, how do you think David would sound singing some of those Blue Murder songs?


    • MikeyMan on


      That would have been fantastic!
      Maybe David could sing a couple today. Idea for a new DC project: gets together with a bunch of musicians from his past bands and re-makes a bunch of songs. We can call the album Coverdale’s Covers.

    • Dana on

      Very interesting idea.

  • Dana on

    Coverdale has credited Sykes, here is just one quote, “It’s a fascinating journey. But hearing the studio stuff… We were in the studio, I think it was ’85, ’86 — I can’t remember — working on the ’87 album, and in the studio, you can hear how really good those songs [were] that [guitarist] John Sykes and I had worked on. It’s just really cool. And we’re finding alternate vocals, alternate guitar solos and stuff. It’s a real fun journey. It’s like being a musical archaeologist — digging up the past in order to get the dust off it and present it and put it in a museum as part of special editions. It really is exciting.”

    Also, they did not have a congenial separation. If you had a bad break up, would you be extolling the virtues of your former partner, even if they were responsible for a great deal of your success? Highly unlikely, as you have shown yourself to be less than mature, when even responding to me.

    Furthermore, at least John’s career wasn’t made off of repurposing an entire band’s musical catalog. You only hear elements of Zeppelin? Then, might I suggest a hearing aid. Their music contains far more than just components, with even Plant, and Jason Bonham, acknowledging they are HEAVILY influenced by Led Zep. I am sure they would like to say copying, but since they are both gentleman, they would never want to accuse a young band of plagiarism, even though that is what they are doing, especially the singer, good lord.

  • RTunes68 on

    Anyone else find it funny that a 67-year old man, un-ironically says, “It was whack”?

  • Dana on


    I wholeheartedly disagree, you initiated this from the get-go, and have been riding my behind about John Sykes, and Blue Murder, for quite awhile.

    Additionally, you seem to think that just because you end your snarky statements with a ha, ha, that it negates the cattiness of your previous one. It is all a matter of one’s opinion, and taste, which is fine, but when you start making one feel that you are singling them out, that is a horse of another color. Despite your stating otherwise, I felt as though you have been specifically targeting me, and my love for Sykes, for quite some time.

    As a matter of fact, on a past story, which I cannot seem to locate, because it was quite a while ago, I remember you even agreed, after initially criticizing it, to give the Blue Murder debut album another listen, to try and comprehend, why so many were praising it. You also agreed to check out Lizzy’s, Thunder and Lightning record, but I never revisited the topic with you.

    Also, no one loves Zakk more than I, you can ask Eddie, or anyone else on this site. I even had the privilege of getting to meet him a couple of times after specifically asking Eddie if I could come to his Q104.3 show, to do so. You, however, chose to take a comment that I made, which I subsequently removed, as I agree it was spiteful, and I apologize for that, and use it as targeting specific bands/musicians, but was meant as a generality.

    Finally, I have known Eddie, for what will be going on 18 years, and I have a pretty good idea of what he thinks, and how he thinks, but I would never presume to speak for him.

    I am sorry that you feel that you can no longer post here, but just know, regardless of what you think now, your opinions, and comments, are always welcome.

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