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A lad from Saltburn-by-the-Sea

David Coverdale was a guest on the June 23 issue of the Rock and Roll High School podcast, hosted by Atlantic Records A&R boss Pete Ganbarg. It was recorded some time before the start of the current tour. It’s a lengthy affair at 1 hour and 24 minutes, so we’ve skimmed through it for your convenience.

  • 0:02:05 studio, wildfires, tax exile, the farewell tour;
  • 0:05:10 early influences;
  • 0:09:30 first band;
  • 0:11:45 art school, big city of Middlesbrough;
  • 0:15:00 joining Purple;
  • 0:22:20 California Jam;
  • 0:27:42 Mistreated;
  • 0:30:40 extraordinary musicianship within DP;
  • 0:32:22 Ritchie laying down the law;
  • 0:34:08 Tommy Bolin;
  • 0:37:25 last call from Jon, reconnecting with Ritchie, the Purple Album;
  • 0:42:15 Coverdale/Page;
  • 0:49:55 forming Whitesnake, Trouble, Jon and Paicey joining, Ready an’ Willing;
  • 0:55:27 Fool for Your Loving, Don’t Break my Heart Again;
  • 0:59:15 Saints and Sinners, song remakes;
  • 1:02:26 Slide it in, stadiums and arenas, John Sykes;
  • 1:09:00 1987, MTV;
  • 1:13:42 Slip of the Tongue, turning blonde, making videos;
  • 1:19:58 50 years in music, social media;
  • 1:22:23 conclusion.

DC is an extraordinary jovial narrator, so we highly recommend you to find time to listen through the whole thing.

Listen below or through one of these providers:

Thanks to BraveWords for the info.

8 Comments to “A lad from Saltburn-by-the-Sea”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    One-and-a-half-hours of largely self-aggrandizing statements and the inflationary use of the term “extraordinary” with very little substance. David is the king of dodging questions that go deeper (not that the interviewer had many to ask of those), he buries the interviewer in anecdotes, but beyond the outward flamboyance David is as shut as a clam shell. And in a very Californian way, he needs to be adamant to the point of insulation how hunky-dory everything in the last three-and-a-half decades of his life has or needs to have been.

    If you’re looking for answers to

    – what he in hindsight thought the reason was for the Vandberg/Campbell/Sarzo/Aldridge handpicked line-up’s utter failure to replicate the magic of the Sykes/Murray/Dunbar/Airey 1987 studio crew even with the addition of Vai (as a replacement for Campbell and, when it came to recording, also for Vandenberg) on Slip of the Tongue,

    – whether he doesn’t think that his vocal problems today are a direct consequence of his early 80ies decision to move from his natural range to the helium highs he felt necessary to make Whitesnake a grander sonic experience (akin to Paul Rodgers having all of the sudden decided to emulate Brian Johnson or Lou Gramm), this against the explicit advice of experienced musicians such as Moody, Galley and Lord who knew both him and his voice,

    – whether it irks him not that both the project with Jimmy Page and his musically mature 2000 solo album were failed attempts to leave the stadium rock albatross of Whitesnake behind which has held the development of his career captive ever since,

    you’ll have to look elsewhere.

  2. 2
    Graham Payne says:

    Uwe, why did you listen to it then?

  3. 3
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Easy, for the same reason that I buy U2 and Coldplay CDs or read conservative newspapers where I disagree with nearly every line – to pass informed judgement! I even bought Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music fully knowing what to expect. Or the new Ted Nugent CD though that took some real overcoming, but for all his unspeakable inanities he’s still one heck of an organic rhythm and lead player.

    And perhaps because I was hoping that we would get to see a glimpse of the real David Coverdale underneath all the layers of shallowness, but I believe he got lost in the bear-infested woods near Lake Tahoe long ago and they’ve presented us a doppelgänger. That would also explain the vocal issues.

  4. 4
    MacGregor says:

    Uwe @ 3 – do you mean there are possibly two David Coverdale’s, spare us the thought. I do enjoy your take on things at times, even if it conjures up the impossible & hopefully not the feasible. Cheers.

  5. 5
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’m a disenchanted lover! I really liked the young DC with his insecurities, but a great gut-feel, who at times sang “like his mouth was filled with popcorn” (as one German critic once wrote, I knew what he meant). But he has self-optimized (he thinks) himself into something he really isn’t (and makes him a target of Ritchie’s very perceptive mockeries) and he also often shows appalling lack of judgement, yet never – even in hindsight – is able to face that.

    Deep Purple and Ian Gillan are dinosaurs, but nothing about how they act and perform today is cringeworthy, they’re a legacy band, but it doesn’t overshadow them. Whitesnake (an avatar, not a real band since the Marsden departure) and DC are in contrast forever caught in a time bubble where Nirvana never happened. They reenact mid to late 80ies glory days to this day – they’re Kiss without make-up.

    Somehow I had expected something more from David given his indisputable natural talents and gifts.

  6. 6
    Coverdian says:

    Even if I can see massive disappointed view of nowadays DC in some of Uwe latest comments, with which I can disagree. If I can defence my last stand of my all-life favourite singer, if I can lie to myself that the situation is not so desperate and who can fullfill farewell tour more than “the lad from Saltburn” for and of that past 50 years in business… if all this on the table… it´s very painful to see (only via youtube, I admit) David´s last gasp of grabbing some vocals and… in vain. Uuuuh, baby, it hurts so much…

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    For the record, I think this here is one of the greatest vocal performances and love songs of ALL time:


    The way David’s voice almost cracks at 02:48 puts him in the league of crooners like Marvin Gaye. He doesn’t have to emulate Robert Plant’s banshee screams for me. There was a time when David could grip me emotionally like no other Purple singer – Big Ian’s singing and his lyrics are more of a cerebral experience for me while listening to Glenn is akin to watching (well-performed) athletics, you listen open-mouthed.

    And I’m fine with David doing it a little (or even a lot) deeper today. If he can get musicians that can provide an empathetic instrumental background to this here, I’ll be happy to see him in the future.


    But I cannot bear another rendition of In the Squeal of the Night (I feel my balls shaking, honey), forgive me, David.

  8. 8
    MacGregor says:

    @ 5 – well said regarding Ole Cov’s. The term ‘sold out’ does apply to Mr Coverdale unfortunately. He was a wonderful vocalist & a good co songwriter back in the Brit days. Cheers.

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