As previously reported, on August 18th, Whitesnake members: David Coverdale, guitarist Adrian Vandenberg, guitarist Steve Vai, bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge, reunited online for a question-and-answer session prior to a live stream of the band’s legendary Live At Donington on the band’s YouTube channel.  Watch the zoom reunion below.

In an interview with Guitar World, on April 7th, guitarist Vai recounted his time with the band.

“David was a prince! He had a lot of confidence in me and basically knew he needed to just let me do my thing. David knew what I was capable of and didn’t really interfere with what I wanted to do. I just did it, and if there was something he didn’t like I was happy to change it because it was his thing. Working with David was great and there was something in his phrasing as a singer that I just adored….”

When asked about not staying [completely] true to Whitesnake’s old signature sound? Vai said, “”You have to find a balance between what’s expected of you from the band, what the fans are expecting, what the song requires and is telling you to do – and also being true to your own voice. I had no choice but to express my own voice because that’s all I know.”

He continued, “”If I had tried to sound like Yngwie [Malmsteen] when I had joined Alcatrazz, it just wouldn’t have worked because I’m very satisfied with the way I play, but I also can’t play like Yngwie. It was the same thing when I was playing with Dave [David Lee] Roth; I needed to deliver in a rock context – which was very natural to me – but I’m not going to compete with Edward Van Halen!…

…The foundation of Whitesnake’s sound was rooted in rock blues, and there’s a whole culture that emanated from Europe in that traditional solid rock blues guitar playing that had a real authenticity to it.Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Adrian Vandenberg, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page – that was the sound all Whitesnake records had been built upon. But Whitesnake had gone through different permutations of guitar sounds throughout the years, and the previous one to me was John Sykes, and he absolutely had his own sound. 

Sykes didn’t sound like any other previous Whitesnake guitarist, but his thumbprint is an indelible part of the Whitesnake record he did. The fatness of that record and the rock integrity it had was all Sykes. So I knew I wasn’t going to sound like Sykes and I wasn’t going to try to.

You cheat yourself when you try to do that and play like someone else. And the audience is a lot smarter than you think; they’re very intuitive and perceptive and if you try to pull anything over on them – like biting someone else’s thing – you’ll get beat up for it.”

Read all of Vai’s interview with Guitar World, here.

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  • shannon mehaffey on

    “Slow and Easy” is one of my favorite songs…(the other two are “Bad Attitude” by Deep Purple and “Stairway to Heaven”)…..sophisticated and completely stupid. ..that fine line…is this song. ..you have to be some kind of genius to do that.

    This site is the only hard rock site that doesn’t beseige you with malware. So, how about more reviews from our hosts? ..pick classic or newer releases….talk about bands or live shows, DVDs…Thanks.

    • Dana on


      I completely agree with your choice of Slow N’ Easy, it is probably my favorite ‘Snake song, as well.


    • Doug R. on

      I was thinking about doing a WS T20, but I don’t have the energy right now! Maybe next time. 😉 “Slow An’ Easy” would definitely be in my top 5! Favorite song from Slip Of The Tongue ~ “The Deeper The Love.”

  • robert davenport on

    Even though I really liked the slip of the tongue album, sailing ships might be my favorite W.S. tune ever – My favorite album was slide it in , I like the john Sykes line up the best , he was a bit more bluesy in his playing I liked his tone better and he’s a great songwriter , I love steve vai , and vandenderg as a players but I liked the songs on the slide it in album better overall than any other album the snake put out , just for fun here are my top 10 W.S. tunes
    Sailing ships
    Love ain’t no stranger
    Slow and easy
    Still of the night
    Judgement day
    Fool for your lovin’
    Here I go again
    Deeper the love
    Slide it in
    Spit it out

    • Dana on


      You are preaching to the Sykes choir.

      D 🙂

  • robert davenport on

    Didn’t john play guitar and co write still of the night ?

    • Dana on

      As far as I know…


  • Doug R. on

    Here’s my Whitesnake Top 20, kinda rushed it, but I’m happy with it.

    20. Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues
    19. Judgment Day
    18. Crying In The Rain ’87
    17. Don’t Break My Heart Again
    16. Guilty Of Love
    15. Standing In The Shadow
    14. Wings Of The Storm
    13. Gambler
    12. Long Way From Home
    11. Looking For Love
    10. Fool For Your Loving ’89
    9. Slide It In
    8. Ready An’ Willing
    7. Love Ain’t No Stranger
    6. Give Me All Your Love
    5. The Deeper The Love
    4. Slow An’ Easy
    3. Still Of The Night
    2. Is This Love
    1. Here I Go Again ’87

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Coverdale blew it when he fired Sykes…his ego mislead him…he killed the golden goose…that lineup was good for four more years of prime time….making hasty decisions in the heat of the moment is never a good idea…Steve Vai was just too clever for its own good…then he goes and makes a record with Jimmy Page…..smh….at least we got two great records. ..and if you haven’t experienced Whitesnake in a Jaguar…..you will never really understand it.

    • Nathan Denney on

      Does this set the stage for the next Trunk Top 20??

    • Dana on

      He said he is not sure, yet…

  • bobrod on

    Sorry, but this “hair band supergroup” is not Whitesnake. To me, Whitesnake was that bluesy, soulful hard rock band from the late 70s/early 80s that put out amazing songs like “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” and “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More.” I do love the Slide It In album, but that “Here I Go Again” crap? No thanks!

    • Dana on

      My favorite ‘Snake line up was ’84…Coverdale, Sykes, Powell, and Murray.

      FYI, John Sykes had nothing to do with Here I Go Again, that song was written by Coverdale and Bernie Marsden, long before it was even recorded on the ’87 Whitesnake album.

    • Doug R. on

      Crap? “Here I Go Again” is undeniably a great song! Wasn’t crazy about the radio mix, or even the original version, but the ’87 album version is absolutely perfect!

    • Dana on

      It’s not a Sykes song, so I don’t care, just kidding.

      Actually, it was never one of my favorite songs, either. Then, it got ridiculously overplayed, which made it even worse, and the video, in my opinion, was gag inducing. But again, to each their own.

    • Doug R. on

      I always thought Sykes played on the song, and Vandenberg only played the solo. Well, whoever actually really played on it doesn’t really matter, in my opinion it is a great song, no matter who played on it.

    • Dana on

      Sykes played on it, I just meant he had no hand in writing the song.

      So, therefore, bobrod, cannot hold John responsible for what he deemed as “crap.” 🙂

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