Guitarist John Sykes is featured in the second edition of Rock Candy Mag. Highlights from the feature appear below (via

Sykes discussing Whitesnake’s ‘87 self titled record:

“[Singer David Coverdale] used every excuse possible to explain why he didn’t want to record his vocals. He blamed the weather. He wasn’t happy with the studio. He even went so far as to say the microphones weren’t good enough. I honestly think David suffered from nerves.”

On being let go from the band after the album was released:

He admits to still being “very bitter” about how Coverdale treated him. He adds, “David said nothing to any of us about having decided to kick us out of the band…I was furious and wasn’t about to accept this…So, I went down to the studio where David was still recording his vocals, prepared to confront him. Honest to God, he ran away, got in his car and hid from me.”

Sykes claims Coverdale blamed the record company, Geffen, for forcing him to change band members. “I knew he was f–king lying,” Additionally, he insists Coverdale’s claims to have written 95 percent of the album’s guitar parts are also false. “When I knew him, David could barely play the guitar,” Sykes said.

Would he ever work with Coverdale again?

“I know David has been saying recently that he and I have been talking about working together on a project outside of Whitesnake. That’s completely false. I really have no interest in ever talking to him again.”

Read the entire article in issue #2 of Rock Candy magazine, which can be purchased online at

additional source:

[Thank you, to Harry Taint, for passing this along]

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  • DR Is Live on

    I knew you were going to post this story Dana.

    • Dana on

      I know when it comes to Sykes, I am a predictable penny. But, I have never hid my love, and admiration for him, and Judas Priest. 😉

  • Keith G on

    I love John Sykes! The guy is a KILLER guitar player. The first BLUE MURDER record is one of my favorite records of all time! It’s too bad that David Coverdale and him can’t seem to get along, and from John’s perspective I can’t blame him. I just wish he’d get back together with the other guys in Blue Murder and make another record like that first one!

  • robert davenport on

    I Don’t really know much about john and David’s history , who played what on what albums , but I can say john and David are both great at what they do, I think when you get into your 50’s and 60’s you should be able to act like it , “he said she said” crap is very juvenile, I’m curious why john is bringing this up seemingly out of the blue , Dana, you are a huge fan of john Sykes , is there some real bad blood between these guys ?

    • shannon mehaffey on

      This isn’t “he said, she said,” this his account first hand, and said record was a blockbuster, a decade defining record…from a band that straddled both the glam and “authentic” metal acumen dye cast of intra-personas. For God’s sykes man….that was a traumatic experience, you don’t get over something like that…. 🙂

    • Doug R. on

      Life is too short for this drama s–t, time to let bygones be bygones.

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Doug Really?

    • shannon mehaffey on

      If Dana could only get over her mommy patterns I don’t know why she tolerates these wimps on here.

    • Dana on


      Sadly, I do believe there is, and it is more likely on John’s end, at this point. It seems as though, Coverdale has been trying to make mea culpa’s with many of the musicians, with whom he has worked, over his decades long career.

      In my own personal opinion, I always suspected that this was the typical lead singer/lead guitarist rivalry.

      I remember reading an interview with Coverdale back in the day, where he recounted the first time his mother had met John. She asked David, “Is that your new guitar player?” He replied, “Yes, he is,” and he said that lhis mother stated that he would never get any girls with John standing next to him. When your own mother says that to you, no matter how confident you are, I cannot imagine that was an easy pill to swallow. I was actually surprised that he admitted that in an interview. I would venture to guess, he might have mentioned it, because he possibly felt the same way.

      I always thought John looked like he could be a member of the band, Europe. In my opinion, especially back then, he could easily pass for a Nordic God, Skol!-lol!


    • Doug R. on

      Yes, Shannon, really. I want to hear about the long, long, long awaited new material we’ve all been waiting to hear now for years, in full! How it’s coming along, progress, possible release, not this soap opera bullsh-t. I don’t think anybody really cares if Sykes and Coverdale ever speak again. Focus on the music, and fu-k everything else!

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Doug that stuff is important, this isn’t schoolyard stuff; Sykes is in the studio busting his butt to make a radio ready uncompromising hard rock opus replete with guitar solos with bluesy phrasing that shred, and here Coverdale is, having Sykes in there, the whole time knowing he’s going to fire him….that kind of thing scars a man for life. …men, we hold to these kinds of things, it’s built in us….:)

    • Doug R. on

      That’s why we end up with ulcers!

    • shannon mehaffey on

      …I would rather be obnoxious than end up with an ulcer….it’s Darwinian in me 🙂

  • RTunes68 on

    Hey Dana,

    I bet you never thought, growing up, that you would one day have to write the words, “Thank you, to Harry Taint…”


    • Dana on


  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    Ah Sykes. I saw him with Thin Lizzy. Great show.

    Coverdale isn’t the only one to cross paths with him. Joe Lynn Turner says he was going to be the vocalist for Blue Murder, but there was the awkward detail of a shared flame. The autobiography of Anvil (which is very different from that famous movie) also has a hilarious account of how Sykes indirectly sabotaged the recording of their album by stealing the wife of the album’s producer.

    • Dana on


      Yes, he is far from perfect, but so are so many other rock stars, and people in general. It the same story with Kotzen, the reason why he was thrown out of Poison is more famous than some of the band’s songs.

      I am in no means defending poor behavior, because it is not right, but I am sure there are many skeletons in all of these musicians’ closets, Coverdale included. He seems like a real charmer, so I am sure he has seduced someone else’s significant other along his rock star road, as well. Hence the famous saying, “never meet your heroes.”

      It seems Sykes’ biggest flaw now, is that he is a procrastinator. Which is rather a shame, considering the level of his talent. Oh well…

      All my best,

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