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Whitesnake cancels North American dates

David Coverdale with Whitesnake in Shizuoka, October 10, 2016; photo © Kei Ono cc-by-nc-sa

Whitesnake is pulling out of their 2022 joint tour of United States and Canada with Scorpions. The following message from David Coverdale has appeared on the band’s website today, August 5:

It is with profound disappointment and a heavy heart that I must announce that Whitesnake will no longer be able to join The Scorpions on their US and Canadian tour due to my continued treatment for a persistent upper respiratory infection that affects my ability to perform. This includes the cancellation of our own headlining shows as well.

While Whitesnake will no longer be on the tour, the Scorpions will be continuing on. We Wish Our Good Friends, The Scorpions Every Success!!!

We Wish You Well

The tour was supposed to start on August 18 with a couple of standalone Whitesnake gigs before joining the Scorpions’ bandwagon in Toronto on August 21. According to Blabbermouth, Scorpions will proceed with the tour, with Swedish band Thundermother as sole support.

This raises all sorts of unanswered questions about the fate of Whitesnake as David had previously stated on numerous occasions that this is supposed to be their farewell tour.

26 Comments to “Whitesnake cancels North American dates”:

  1. 1
    DeeperPurps says:

    Very disappointing. Had tickets to see Whitesnake with the Scorpions in Montreal, Canada at end of this month. Not much of a Scorpions fan myself, so doubt if I’ll bother even going at this point.

  2. 2
    Peter J says:

    Well, it’s at the same time sad and a relief…DC’s performances were so awful on the European tour, I didn’t want him to be that much of a caricature of himself, it was embarassing.

    Good luck to him for a speedy recovery.

  3. 3
    Coverdian says:

    A bit… eh… bitter ending/closing of this so-called (an´ massive succesfull) journey so far.
    Get well soon you roaring lion of rock.

  4. 4
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Another one down the chute.
    To be honest sometimes we all have to stop so it’s not a crime but the real crime is to make money 💰 out of people by giving them false hope.
    Peace ✌️

  5. 5
    Uwe Hornung says:

    This is beginning to not sound good at all. I‘m not worried for his singing or farewell tours, but for his health/breathing. The man is over 7o, apparently not well and COVID ain‘t over.

  6. 6
    Rock Voorne says:

    So the MK3 singers are out of the race at the same moment.

    Time for appreciation and a cup of tea perhaps?

    Or is it now forbidden to come together?

  7. 7
    Peter J says:

    I’m with you Adel.

    Have a nice summer you all

  8. 8
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Rock Voorne: If David stuck to his baritone and Glenn did everything else vocally, they could probably still do that Motown tribute album that is in them waiting to get out. But I’m not sure how it would be received by DP-fans.

    But David’s days fronting a rock band, much less a hard rock band and out-of-the-question a sonic larger-than-life beast like Whitesnake are over.

    Dump the meanwhile silly hair, heavy make-up and all the high notes and you might still surprise us, David.

    Glenn and you were a great vocal duo once.


  9. 9
    Dan Russell says:

    Saw Whitesnake a couple years ago with Dead Daisies opening. DC owned the crowd from the first bar.

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    That must have been The Purple Tour, Dan, which was a long time ago. I saw him then too. Since then David’s voice has further diminished – much more than, say, Ian Gillan’s has. David has frontman talent (though quite a bit of cheese goes with it), no doubt, but you can’t continue that forever if your voice lets up. You can’t just be a conferencier fronting a rock band.

    Even after The Purple Tour, the following one in 2018 (I was there too, it wasn’t a bad gig in Cologne), David sang better than on the current, mercifully aborted one; the lack of practice during the pandemic seems to have done his voice in completely.

    And if you saw the Dead Daisies, then you also heard Corabi, their singer then (btw a great Coverdale & Hughes fan, Stormbringer is one of his favourite albums), “only” eight years younger than Coverdale: His vocal performance put David to shame at the gig in Utrecht that I saw. (He reminded me of Steven Tyler – and not just by the looks.)

    I believe David has had a medical condition with his voice for a long time, possibly as far back as when he lost his voice totally prior to recording the 1987 album and had a long period of recuperation after receiving a never disclosed treatment. Whatever they did back then, it only grappled with the symptoms, not the cause. Generally, you would expect especially a baritone voice like David’s to age better. Since Slide It In, his voice has sounded more “doctored” to me with every consecutive studio recording.

    I remember wincing when I heard this here (at: 03:17 where he climbs up an octave)


    and thinking to myself that this just doesn’t sound like healthy vocal cords. And that was 32 years ago.

    David’s voice needs a permanent rest from arena Whitesnake’s histrionics. Maybe he can still cut in the studio singing in lower keys and on gigs with more of an unplugged-surroundings where he can put the charming intimacy his voice can transmit to best use. That’s my hope. I do like hearing him sing when he’s not overstraining. I don’t go to Coverdale gigs to see/hear whether he can still hit the high notes – there were loads of rock singers who did that better than him even in his heyday, he was never a Steve Perry, Noddy Holder or Rob Halford -, I want to immerse myself in the warmth of his baritone voice. Whitesnake gigs weren’t really a sympathetic environment to that, it unfortunately took him long to find out and only the hard way.

    I hope he gets well again and has time to reassess things. Take down my name for that unplugged album of blues and soul classics.

  11. 11
    Fernando Azevedo says:

    Uwe Hornung, I totally agree with everything you said.

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’m no vocal coach or even specialist, but I found this exchange interesting:



    Vocal coach: “The baritone voice range generally starts around an E2 (the lowest note on a guitar), but often descends lower with various voice types and unique differences between each singer. My own baritone voice range starts around a C2 in the bass range, but I don’t really have the low timbre and tone of a true bass.”

    Comment section: “David Coverdale may have a great low range but actually is a tenor. His high notes have the weight and colour that only a tenor could have.”

    Reply of vocal coach: “Incorrect! Narrowed vowel from F4 up indicates a baritone, as does the tonal quality from G2-D4. His high range, especially in the 80’s, was awful – screechy, forced and quite ugly; nothing like the smooth, brighter quality of a true Tenor, such as Glenn Hughes, Steve Marriot, John Farnham. Ability to sing high (or in David’s case, screech) is no indication of voice type. Thanks for the comment though!”

    People like Jon Lord, never a fan of vocalists with a very high voice as his preference for Tony Ashton and Elmer Gantry (Stretch) suggests, and Micky Moody told Coverdale in the past that he was singing outside of his natural range rather than playing to his strengths, but he just never listened. I never understood what he was trying to prove, in a hard rock world full of tenor and falsetto singers he was one of the few baritones whose voice actually worked with a rock band. It’s what got him hired with DP – not helium yelps, they could have stuck with Ian Gillan for that.



  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    It has always been obvious since Coverdale sold out! He has always been insecure about who he is in many respects. Or should that be who he isn’t, enough said. Cheers.

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    Another classic example of a ‘baritone’ style rock ‘n blues vocalist attempting to sadly go falsetto at times is John Lawton. Having joined the Heepsters as they pursued a different direction, well Ken Hensley more than likely was keen to go another way. Lawton should have never tried that & a good example of his misreading of a vocal situation is on the wonderful song Little Chalk Blue from The Butterfly Ball album. Superb singing all the way through from Lawton until near the end when he does that excruciating false scream, just once. Why? Sad it is & I wish I could somehow delete that one false little piece of falsetto from that song, otherwise a lovely song it is. By the way, he never worked out for Uriah Heep either. Oh well, not to worry as they were done & dusted by then anyway. Cheers.

  15. 15
    Jaffa says:

    I first saw Whitesnake in the late 70’s, just before Paice joined. This authentic blues based rock band were really quite sensational and then managed to move up a notch when Paice joined. Saw that lineup a few times, quite a stunning live band with variable studio output. Coverdale was quite incredible and he really sounded good during this period. The history is simple: everything changed with that move to America and the operation he had just prior to recording the 1987 album. He claims the operation upped his range; I have no idea if that’s true. It certainly reduced his abilities and the lion has slowly shrunk ever since. I remember MOR in 1990… actually I was quite shocked at the time. Since he reformed the band in 2003 he has straddled most of the elements of his past (often thanks to Doug Aldrich I believe) but since Doug left we’ve had a mix of the Purple album and post Slide It In Snake. Hardly a way to say farewell properly. I’m not a fan of Reb or Joel and I don’t see they bring anything to the party that suits his voice. I will concede that the DVD of the London show from 2004 is really quite spectacular but a lot of work went into it to make it so.
    Covid has aged him, like many others. His voice has been reduced again due to the enforced lay off which is a huge shame. I saw one off the UK dates and I enjoyed it for what it was… my one note would be that David should share the vocals in a more Hughes/DC way rather than having someone hidden behind another keyboard set up. I did wonder during the show if he would get through the tour.
    I am curious about the lack of any real clarity about the cancellations. If an Upper Respiratory condition goes on past a few weeks it can be very serious. Is something going on we are not aware of? Has David lost his bottle? Is he just not able to do it (not just the singing but the travelling etc)?
    In recent times I have enjoyed his vocal contributions to Delta Deep’s album and Bernie’s Shine album. I thought he sounded good on both, far better than either The Purple Album or Flesh and Blood.
    I hope he choses to stop and think. Its not too late to change direction and find something that suits his current condition. Plenty of players he can mess about with from Hughes to Bernie, maybe even Page. He has his own studio so the future is his.
    I remember Johnny Cash thought he was done until he teamed top with Rick Rubin. The resulting music was some of the best he ever did and songs like Hurt and When the Man Comes Around now define Cash.
    David… make a change!!!!!

  16. 16
    Fernando Azevedo says:

    The future for David Coverdale is looking to the past. Mainly for your album “Northwinds”

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Jaffa. DC has artistically been treading water for the last three decades, his 2000 solo outing excepted (good hair and hair color too then!). Wrongly focused talent. And with all the grandeur he has erected around him and that larger-than-life persona which unfortunately he refuses to leave on stage (while Ian Gillan is taking more and more of his offstage persona with him on stage), it gets increasingly hard to catch a glimpse of the boy from Saltburn-by-the-Sea (the DC I liked, I thought he was an extremely cool DP frontman and handled the California Jam mega-event well).

    A Johnny Cash-type turn of his late career would be great, we can only hope!

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Fernando @16: What a perceptive poeta you are, very nicely put!

  19. 19
    Marcus says:

    Northwinds is one of my favourite albums.

    The Moody, Marsden, Murray line up was superb live, and got better with Ian.

    Thing went downhill in 1982 when DC parted ways with Bernie, Ian and Neil.
    Ian and Neil ended up in Gary Moore’s band with Don, another cracking band.

  20. 20
    Terry D says:

    We can all hope for some stripped down bluesy output but without “Whitesnake” DC is not a big name . He would need to find a financial backer, suitable players, producer who he could trust and be prepared to let go of total control. It will not happen, his ego won’t allow it.
    Would Page gain much from working with DC? Probably a reboot of Coverdale/Page with a few extra bits would be acceptable to Page but probably no new stuff.
    Coverdale/Hughes would have happened years ago if it was ever meant to happen and what sort of arrangements could they have to suit the diminished Coverdale voice and still strong Hughes voice.
    A final question, is DC’s capable of any type of singing ? Even his crooning sounds forced on recent releases. It just doesn’t come naturally to him anymore.

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ouch, Terry, some very true, yet very hurtful observations there, I don’t disagree.

    “Letting go of total control” is a key sentence. DC also has this unfortunate habit of getting caught in bygone eras which is why modern WS sometimes sounds and looks like Steel Panther, there I said it.

    Judging from the releases of the last ten years or so, yes, David’s voice is heavily doctored and “treated” in the studio recordings. But if he stopped singing/screaming high altogether, maybe some of that rich baritone would return with enough rest. His speaking voice (he worked so hard at all these years!) still sounds fine.

    He milked Whitesnake for all it was worth (and beyond), but I sometimes wonder whether he could not have been a worthy successor to Joe Cocker had he started out soon enough looking for that audience. He can sing the telephone book and still move you if the setting is right. There is a market for that type of ‘grown-up’ blues & soul-infused pop. All those people that go to Eric Clapton gigs.

    And I also sometimes wonder if David and Glenn are really still such cozy buddies as they always blare on about, why they never got around to recording something together in 47 years (ignoring Glenn’s barely audible contributions to David’s helium Meisterwerk Slip of the Vocal Cord). Had such a project been done properly, it would have both of them reach new (or old?) markets.

  22. 22
    MacGregor says:

    Forget the Page & Coverdale disaster & ego trip. If anyone ever needed a insecurity ego trip it wasn’t David Coverdale back then. I still cannot imagine what Jimmy Page was thinking. Clutching at straws or what. One of the most embarrassing moments in rock music for me. I agree with Uwe in regards to Coverdale & Hughes being ‘bruvvas’ etc. More like ‘Dames’ clashing at the mirror me thinks. Cheers.

  23. 23
    Jaffa says:

    Interesting view of Coverdale Page MacGregor. Personally this ranks as one of my favourite Coverdale albums. He seemed to enthuse Page who sounded great on this record. DC’s vocals are pushed (mostly) in the way they are on Slip but the songs are so much better. I love Shake My Tree, Take Me for a Little While (great lyric and vocal) Take A Look at Yourself and Don’t Leave me This Way (a great powerhouse vocal). Coverdale even plays guitar here and there which is interesting. The production sounds thin these days so a promised remix would be good. The unreleased songs Southern Comfort, Good Love and Saccharine are great. There are a few more I believe.

    It was a strange pairing but it was also a perfect fusion of Led Zeppelin and Whitesnake (if we ever needed one) and of course it greatly upset Plant who in turn worked with Jimmy again.

    I don’t believe Hughes and Coverdale are “bros” in any real sense; they may well have got together in legal terms over their Deep Purple past but beyond that….? A shame in one sense because a Coverdale Hughes thing could have legs I guess.

    In terms of DC changing direction I don’t believe he will at this stage. He has (had) so many options and could have come back to Whitesnake every other year enjoying a more creative output but it’s all in the past now I believe.

  24. 24
    Uwe Hornung says:

    As most of you have gathered by now, I don‘t lose much sleep over Led Zep, but the Coverdale Page album I liked, especially the ballads.

    Hearing Coverdale do Zeppelin numbers or Page play Whitesnake chestnuts on the live bootlegs was another matter – I could have done without those, neither sounded credible, but I understand they had to pad out their live set.

    Coverdale Page sounded more „grown up“ to me than the late Whitesnake stuff, that is why I welcomed it. Slip of the Tongue with all its „G-strings tuned to A“-adolescence had become really inane.

  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    Yes it was the live gigs that were unbelievably embarrassing. Me thinks that is why not a lot happened in that regard. I didn’t buy the album either initially having that feeling of, oh no!
    I did borrow a cassette of it & listened to it, cringing at times. There were one or two songs that were more along the lines of what I thought they should have been doing at the time. It was Coverdale that made me suspicious & it turned out that way. Not to worry, another one of those ‘one offs’ that occurs occasionally. Cheers.

  26. 26
    Kim says:

    I have tickets to the concert in Oakland, CA. has anyone been able to get a refund on tickets? I did pay ticket insurance and I am waiting to hear back from Allianz Insurance.

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