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A story of the great band that wasn’t making any money

Mickey Moody gave an interview to RockPages.gr. Not surprisingly, good three quarters of it revolves around his days in Whitesnake:

Rockpages.gr: Did you feel a full member of Whitesnake or just a player in David Coverdale’s band?

Micky Moody: Full member, indeed. I wasn’t getting the full money, but that’s another story! The only time when I didn’t feel a full member of Whitesnake was in 1982 when David asked me to rejoin the band. I had left in late 1981, because I had had enough of the business side of things…anyway, when I returned Cozy Powell and Mel Galley were in Whitesnake…great musicians, to say the least. But, I kinda felt like a session guitar player in that line-up. We had a different management and the vibe was not the same, by any means. I don’t blame David for this decision…we weren’t making any money and he needed something better for his career. But, in that particular line-up, I was treated like a session player…it was all about David and Cozy. I didn’t enjoy that period with Whitesnake.

Read the resy of his interview at RockPages.gr

Thanks to Daniel Bengtsson for the info.

25 Comments to “A story of the great band that wasn’t making any money”:

  1. 1
    Marcelo Soares says:

    Hm. Gillan also wasn’t making money. Did David Coverdale have the same kind of tax problems?

  2. 2
    Moreblack says:

    I love to see those guys speaking of a great time.
    I’ve allways thoutgh DC a bit of an A*** H****,tough a great singer.
    But it’s allways nice to read such interviews.

  3. 3
    Bo says:

    Imagine Micky Moody in what Coverdale is calling Whitesnake these days. He will hate it – just like do. Whitesnake WAS a greats band, but it’s LONG LONG time ago.

  4. 4
    T says:

    Despite the inclusion of 3/5 of Deep Purple Mk III, Whitesnake never interested me as much as some of the other spin-off bands, particularly Rainbow. Even so, Whitesnake had its moments with songs like “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues,” which had a purple tinge to them, and by Slide It In, the band had found its footing. However, Jon’s inclusion remains a mystery to me, as he was hardly utilized to his full potential–if at all–and would have better served a *Rainbow* that contained 3/5 of Purple.

    Having said that, Mickey Moody was correct when he said, “I think that the original version [of “Fool for Your Lovin'”] is better. Not because I was in that line-up, but because I truly believe that Bernie’s particular solo is far better than the one that Steve Vai came up with.” I have real “Trouble” listening to the overblown, exaggerated metal pop guitar that stylistically does not fit “Fool for Your Lovin'”. Mardsen indeed composed a far better solo.

    The same could be said for “Here I Go Again”. The remake cannot touch the original, from the soft-touch, cathedral-like Hammond introduction to the bluesy, double-line guitar solo. The newer version again suffers from that poppy “chug” that just does not go with this type of song. The “metal” Whitesnake may have glitzy production and a polished sound, but overall, the classic era produced far more memorable numbers–lower album sales notwithstanding. Besides…”Like a drifter/I was born to walk alone”? I make sure I vocalize “HOBO!” louder than the radio when this version comes on!

    The metal version of “Cryin’ in the Rain” has a great sound–fantastic production that brings out the instruments in a way the classic Whitesnake never managed to. However, the feel of the song is all wrong, and one misses the bluesy, heavily reverbed introduction of the original–as well as the slow crescendo in the middle of the song not tainted by overzealous phrasing.

    The glitzy Whitesnake had its high points–the epic “Still of the Night” comes to mind–but the newer version of the band could not compete with the older in the artistic sense. The late 80’s Whitesnake relied on the classics of the past to propel it to super-stardom.

    I cringe when some people admit that they’d never heard of Whitesnake prior to 1987, or that they did not know Whitesnake’s most successful numbers were re-makes of a previous incarnation of the band. Even more frustrating is that they do not know David Coverdale came to his own in a band called Deep Purple back in the 1970’s.

    Deep Purple? Who’se that?

  5. 5
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Unfortunately another great example how morality tends to work within the Deep Purple ranks.

    Whitesnake never was the same without the originals.

    I completely agree with Micky, the outfits after them might do a decent thing but it is EMPTY inside…..

  6. 6
    Moreblack says:

    Whitesnake turn into Glittersnake!!Only DC is able to do that.

  7. 7
    kraatzy says:

    But – in fact – who make THE Money ???


  8. 8
    Roberto says:

    music business is about appereance too…sad but true…

  9. 9
    Crimson Ghost says:


    “Even more frustrating is that they do not know David Coverdale came to his own in a band called Deep Purple back in the 1970’s.”

    How do you really figure this?
    Coming into your own is flourishing beyond your starting point and surpassing it.
    It can be argued that DP was his finest hour but I’d say it wasn’t at all and that by the third or fourth WS album he’d ‘came to his own’ and found his feet. I really can’t see how he can be ranked as better in DP than WS as a singer at all, but that’s just my opinion, yours obviously might vary.

    The albums he did with Purple might be better than any WS album, but thats hardly the point, he went on to sing much better if you ask me, so he ‘came much more into his own’ after Purple, not during. He was just a replacement and didn’t exactly find his feet with them, he found his feet with WS.(imo) I’m quite certain I’d have very little respect for his work to this day as a vocalist if it were not for WS. I had to enjoy WS to appreciate him, its not the case for me with Purple. For just an example, as you *might* think Morse is not Purple, I think Coverdale was not Purple, just the same. He seemed to change them beyond just as much recognition as Morse seems to have. But the difference is that a band is more recognized by who the singer is than who the guitarist is, people just seem to easier identify with a voice than an instrument, whether its right or wrong, it is what it is and they remain recognized as DP with Morse simply because of Gillan. It must be because of him, Morse doesn’t even play Purple style guitar in the first place, just as Coverdale didn’t sing Purple style music either, both addmittedly, but both obviously had/have enough talent to work with them and pull something decent off.

    Micky Moody? I always got a kick out of David after Micky played a solo.
    “Micky Moody, he’s the best!!!!!!!!!”
    Its as retractable now as just about anything he says in the press anymore.lol!

  10. 10
    Moreblack says:

    In a interview to a brazillian mag Jon said DC never paid him.I guess those guys were playing for free.

  11. 11
    AndreA says:

    Mickey Moody, You are Whitesnake,you are the Band! You have the soul!

  12. 12
    Sami says:

    I think that both IG & DC were making decent money…

    it’s just the band members who weren’t(excluding Cozy Powell, Paice & Lord) , ha!

  13. 13
    T says:

    Re: #9

    Regarding my comment at #4, Crimson Ghost commented “How do you really figure this?
    Coming into your own is flourishing beyond your starting point and surpassing it.”

    Coverdale was in a band before Deep Purple. Certainly his work in Purple was “flourishing beyond [his] starting point and surpassing it.”

  14. 14
    The Handsome Sage says:

    In the early 80’s the band was generating significant income from the UK, Europe and Japan. Most of this income was used to pay for DC, Jon Lord and Ian Paice. The other band members, rather like Gillan band members, earned a relative pittance in comparison. DC has often referred to an inequality in the way some were looked after better than others. Make no mistake though, WS was a money making machine with an expensive head honcho and equally expensive management at the time.

  15. 15
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Unfortunately I only saw the OLD Whitesnake once.
    But that was a great evening……
    And DC in top form, never sounded better.

    That was 1983, maybe his peak vocally?

  16. 16
    james jay says:

    @4 @9 DC was a amatuer singer and shoe salesman scraping toe jam off of customer’s feet. he was discovered by DP who had listened to one of his tapes HE(DC) sent to the band for IG replacement.apparently answered an ad in some rock mag advertising for a vocalist. DC should get of his feet and on his knees to thank DP for that opportunity he got to sing in the band. that said–DC is a fantastic singer. thanks.

  17. 17
    Moreblack says:

    His peak vocally ocurred from Northwinds to…say…maybe Saints and Sinners,maybe Slide it in,but,to my taste,in Trouble,Love Hunter and Ready and Willing DC was in top form vocally and musically.On Slid it in,he start to emulate robert plant on Slow and Easy.Today his after Brian Jonhson from AC.don’t know why.Maybe it what it last of his voice.

  18. 18
    Crimson Ghost says:


    Not according to David himself. But I do like the Government recordings, interesting at the very least.


    No kidding?


    The Gillan band members didn’t earn as much more than Coverdale’s WS boys as it seems, he wasn’t making big bucks to begin with either in order to rake in all this money more than his band mates. .

  19. 19
    james jay says:

    @18–correct–stinky feet and all. how many people heard of his Gov recordings vs DP recordings? DP and R-bow put a few unknowns into stardom.

  20. 20
    paiceypaicey says:

    Ian Paice opinion about Whitesnake era is: “We have worked for peanuts”

  21. 21
    Rodrigo Fernandes says:

    I remember Jon Lord saying in a interview for Circus magazine, way back in the 70s: “I believe that David Coverdale will make it big in a few years from now.”
    Jon Lord was right, I just think he didn´t expect somethings to happen.
    Micky Moody couldn´t expect either.

  22. 22
    Aishah Bowron says:

    Forget flashy posers like Adrian Vandenberg and Steve Vai !. Micky Moody, Bernie Marsden and Mel Galley are the best. I have all the Whitesnake albums from the Snakebite EP to the UK version of Slide It In. For me, Whitesnake died in 1984 after Jon Lord left

  23. 23
    Paul says:

    I saw WS a number of times during the early days. In my opinion, it was around the time of the Ready an Willing album that they really found their feet. Their live performance at the Reading Festival in 1980 was superb.
    I saw them again at the end of 1982, on the Saints & Sinners tour, when Ian Paice, Bernie Marsden and Niel Murray had been replaced by Cozy Powell, Mel Galley and Colin Hodgkinson. Although these new guys were superb musicians, but the feel of Whitesnake’s music had been lost.
    Ian Paice and Neil Murray did a superb job with Gary Moore until Ian rejoined Deep Purple!

  24. 24
    purrfect stranger says:

    Not sure how these guys never got paid for playing. In fact saw a Sabbath biography where they played for years and got almost nothing. At Cal Jam they played for 400 thousand people and they only made a mere one thousand dollars. Great management is hard to find, GO FIGURE. As far as Coverdale, I say his best vocal work was his first album work with MISTREATED and Coverdale/Page EPIC work.

  25. 25
    Bruce says:

    Whitesnake is one of my favorite bands – one of the first songs I learned to play on bass was “Come an Get It.” The days with Micky and Bernie were awesome as the whole band had a much bluesier sound. DC has such a soulful and rich tone it’s a shame he goes for the metal squealing so much – that’s fine but he is so much more.

    I agree with several of you that said the Vai version of Fool for Your Lovin’ was inferior. I find it unlistenable. I really like Steve Vai as a player and he can play circles around most others, but he never fit into Whitesnake. I read an interview with him and didn’t particularly enjoy it and does not speak of it much.

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