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Conductor that sits at the back


Burrn! in Japan has published a special issue of Metallion magazine commemorating the 40th anniversary of Whitesnake. The issue (vol. 64) includes exclusive interviews of past and present members of the band: David Coverdale, Micky Moody, Bernie Marsden, Neil Murray, Ian Paice, John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell, Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge, Steve Vai, Doug Aldrich, Reb Beach, Joel Hoekstra, Michael Devin, and Michele Luppi.


Here are some of the more interesting tidbits as sent in by our Japanese correspondent:

David Coverdale

On the new album:

I made music with Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra for the first time in the new album “Flesh & Blood”. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, there was that terrible computer mishap and all the mixing was lost. We need to remix after the US tour.

On Cozy Powell:

Cozy and I were close friends. When I dissolved Whitesnake after the 1981 album “Come An’ Get It”, Cozy asked me if I’d be interested in joining the Michael Schenker Group, but I passed. I drank all night with Cozy when he came over to my house outside of London. He was interesting to talk to, and very professional.

On upcoming projects:

“Unzipped” will be released in the end of October. Early next year, there will be a special edition for the 34th anniversary of “Slide it In”. Also probably a special package of “Slip of the Tongue” in a few years. We are currently planning for a greatest hits album to be released in 2020.

Bernie Marsden


I was introduced to Jon and Ian through Cozy Powell. They were looking for a guitar player, but could not find anyone. I think they hired me because I did not know Deep Purple tunes, and they wanted to do something different. I really enjoyed working with such world-class players, but the project was not a financial success, and Jon told me they could not fund it any further. I thought I would never play with them again, but my next project was Whitesnake.

Ian Paice

On success at an early age:

I think people deal with success differently depending on
their personality. Some handle it well, and some don’t. I think drummers, in general, handle it well. There’s something in the drummer’s spirit and ego that says “I don’t mind sitting back and doing this all my life.” So we are tough and persevere.

On David Coverdale at the DP audition:

David was such a mess! He was extremely tense, on the heavy side, with an outdated hairstyle and weird-looking clothes. But within his 40 minute demo tape, there were 3 seconds of mid to upper range vocals, and I saw the blues singer in him. I told everyone this is the guy. In a way, he was lucky, since he had the wonderful vocal support of Glenn Hughes from the beginning.

On playing on stage with Whitesnake:

I think I was focusing on making sure things were under control. I made sure Neil and I were in sync, and that Bernie and Micky Moody knew what was going on. I think I looked at David most of the time, in case he changed something. In a rock’n roll band, the conductor sits at the back of the stage.

On leaving Whitesnake:

I left because David fired me, but not for musical reasons. David was seriously working on marketing the band, making sure he was seen by the media, etc. I could not do the same. David was friendly with Cozy, and Cozy was a better fit for the band at the emotional level. I didn’t like it that I was fired, but I accepted it. In retrospect, I had a really good time with Whitesnake. I don’t think I laughed as much as I did throughout my career than during my days with Whitesnake. More than making good records, I remember laughing a lot!

Many thanks to Akemi Ono for the info.

2 Comments to “Conductor that sits at the back”:

  1. 1
    Steve28 says:

    Intelligent comments as ever from Mr Paice. So level headed throughout all the years – and for all those Glenn haters out there, read the bit about how the dual vocals worked so well.

  2. 2
    KristerA says:

    What nice excerpts from interviews – really interesting.
    I Think Whitesnake was at its best in the beginning – and also including the Slide it in record, but I’m probably a dinosaur 🙂

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