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Coverdale talks Purple

…And not just the album.

Jeb Wright did an interview with David Coverdale for Classic Rock Revisited. It is one of those longish, in depth interviews that you’ll never see in the mainstream media. David talks at length about his Purple days and tells many revealing stories.

One of them is that a major motivation behind the Purple Album project was raising Purple profile stateside:

Jeb: Let’s jump in and talk about The Purple Album. I am 48 years old, so I was introduced to Whitesnake when Slide It In came out in America. I, then, went back and discovered the earlier Whitesnake albums and I had no idea you had even been in Deep Purple until I later discovered those albums. When I saw the press release for this album, I just about shit. I could not believe Coverdale was going to revisit the Purple era.

David: What was fascinating for me was that Purple in Europe was the equivalent of Zeppelin over here; they were huge. Whenever I would go to Europe to do promo, invariable the first question was, “David, how was it with Deep Purple?” The interview would have an immediate transition. I am the least nostalgic person I know, as I am totally happy with who I am, where I am, and with what I’m doing now and what I plan to do tomorrow.

In America, it was really underreported when we had the success of Slide it In, then the fucking POW of the 1987 album. It was a shock to most people over here. When we first played “Burn” in 2004, which was at the bands request, this is prior to Facebook and Twitter, Whitesnake.com lit up with people going, “Oh my God, what is this song? Is this a new Whitesnake song?” I think a lot of these songs may be new to a lot of fans in the USA.

Quite a bit of new light was also shed on the abortive Mk3 reunion:

Jeb: How close did a Deep Purple and David Coverdale reunion come to being a reality?

David: Glenn Hughes and I are very close and Glenn’s been after me to do some sort of a Purple reunion for some time. To be honest, and I mean no disrespect to my former colleagues, but it was never something that was interesting enough to stop me from doing what I love, which is Whitesnake.

I certainly loved working with Deep Purple and it was the beginning of my journey. I am forever grateful to those guys for having the courage to give me the opportunity, but it was not something I was wanting to do. I am totally happy to create new stuff working as Whitesnake.

A representative of Jon’s called me just after he’d been diagnosed with cancer, to give me that information, which was chilling enough. He said, “Jon said, on his recovery, would you be up for doing some kind of Deep Purple reunion, whether it was Mach III, or whatever?” I said, “Absolutely, I will be there for you.” As we know, sadly, Jon passed away. This opened up an opportunity to reach out, after thirty years of acrimony, with somebody that I truly respected, as a musician, which is Ritchie Blackmore. One reason was to express and commiserate the loss of Jon.

Regardless of whatever, those guys basically formed Deep Purple and were incredibly influential to me. I’ve been able to tell everyone else I worked with how much I appreciated the opportunity, and still do to this day, other than Ritchie. Ritchie doesn’t really bother reading rock mags and stuff like that. When I’ve said these things before, he doesn’t see them. It was important for me to reach out to him for those reasons, with no other agenda whatsoever.

Jeb: When was this happening?

David: This was in 2012, and we communicated into 2013, and then he asked me if I’d speak to his manager to which, of course, I said, “Absolutely.” She came on and said, “Can you keep a secret?” I said “Of course not, I’m a fucking singer.” She said, “Would you be interested in doing something with Ritchie? My first thought was like Blackmore Coverdale like I did with Jimmy in Coverdale Page. That would be a very exciting musical premise because he introduced me to his first songs that he did on the first Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow album. They were initially songs he was proposing for Deep Purple.

I love the early Rainbow stuff. Rainbow Rising, are you kidding me? When Cozy Powell came on board? That was fantastic. The idea of being able to do Purple, Rainbow and Whitesnake was interesting, but then she said, “Ritchie is curious, who would you go for, Roger [Glover] or Glenn?” I said “I really appreciate the musicality of Roger, and he produced two of my solo albums, but Glenn is my soul brother.” I recommended Keith Emerson as the keyboard player. He was a fan of Purple and Jon and Keith had a very healthy musical rivalry. Keith is a breathtakingly gifted musician. Nobody had spoken to Keith, as this was just a discussion.

It was during the talks for this that I started digging into our original work. I was going, “I hope he’s into a fresh coat of paint on some of these songs.” I was a fucking kid then. It was the first time I had written for an album. I can hear naivety all over the place. I started working on bits and pieces. I thought my arrangement of “Sail Away” could have been a nice transition for what he is doing with his Blackmore’s Night and we could tie it in with that thing and maybe even do something with Candice on that song. Once Carol, his manager and I, started talking about their vision for touring and stuff it just did not resonate and I wrote her a very, very respectful email withdrawing from whatever that project could have gone forward with.

There’s lots more of interesting stuff there. This is just scratching the surface. Just go and read it.

10 Comments to “Coverdale talks Purple”:

  1. 1
    Ljubisa Raimovic says:

    “There’s lots more of interesting stuff there. This is just scratching the surface. Just go and read it.” did I miss a link for main article or what?

  2. 2
    The Highway Star says:

    … ‘read it’. Our editor hid the link behind those two words. Naughty. 🙂

  3. 3
    Ljubisa Raimovic says:

    I did, I read it… but let me get back and search now for the link, tnx you guys for existing, I am with you long before Facebook etc… *edit, wow, there is all in blue… don’t know what happened and I overlooked it 🙂

  4. 4
    al says:

    amazing interview! Great stuff from Coverdale,hopefully Blackmore will send some music for Coverdale to sing it! it is about time.

  5. 5
    Yvonne says:

    Another in-depth radio interview with DC can be heard on YT, conducted by Mitch Lafon for One On One


  6. 6
    al says:

    it would be logical for Blackmoer to do a electric project with guest singers,like Coverdale,Gillan,Paul Rodgers,JLTurner,Bonnet,Doogie White with old stuff from Rainbow and Deep Purple with a new input….or maybe even new stuff if we re lucky enough to see that.It is very possible and doable with the technology today.No touring,not getting together in the studio,just a studio album with all the singers.cmon Ritchie it is time for you to pick up where you left off 20 years ago.

  7. 7
    Roland says:

    Oh God… Blackmore / Coverdale / Emerson / Hughes… what a band… it’s a shame it didn’t happen!!

  8. 8
    LRT says:

    As if Roger could be sidelined for something like this, remarkably hilarious. I knew Carole threw something in the mix concerning Candice and they way they operate, nice to see I called that one. 😀

  9. 9
    MacGregor says:

    One song I am interested in hearing is Holy Man. I have always wondered what old Cov’s (or Dorothy as one commenter calls him at Classic rock) would sound like singing that wonderful song! Cheers.

  10. 10
    Heepfan says:

    That would have been REALLY cool….. but I kind of lost hope that we will ever see Ritchie playing Hard Rock again, which is really sad.

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