Legendary Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale has revealed he will officially retire from touring once the band has completed their farewell tour.
As part of The Rocks 2021 awards ceremony on Friday (11th June), David Coverdale spoke to Planet Rock from his home in America to accept the inaugural Rocks Honours Award recognizing his outstanding contribution to the rock music genre.
Commenting on his distinguished career, which has spanned more than 50 years, David told Wyatt that his farewell tour will be his last.
Whitesnake previously cancelled their entire 2020 UK, European and US tour so David could undergo an operation for a bilateral inguinal hernia. Ultimately, the shows wouldn’t have gone ahead anyway due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve been very passionate about what I do. I try not to let my audience down - we've got a really loyal hardcore fan base around the world,” David told us.
“Last year we were supposed to do what was going to be my farewell tour, and it was sold out and it was amazing. Of course, everything was cancelled to Covid. So, God willing, I'll be able to do it hopefully next year.
“I'm going to show my appreciation and gratitude for the support that I've had, because you can't do it without an audience supporting you. It’s that simple. They know – the hardcore who follow me – they know that I do my best, the best I can do at that time. And that’s been my work philosophy for as long as I can remember.”
Despite the retirement from touring, David insisted that Whitesnake will still remain an active band: “I'll be still involved in music. We've got a relatively long-term deal with Warner's. We have a poop load of projects to do under the Whitesnake banner, it's just the touring. It's not the performance so much that is exhausting, it’s the touring and I can't tour any more comfortably than I do.
“I spoke to my agent and said, ‘I want to do this (play a farewell tour) more than anything, it's after 50 years of incredible support for me.’ Not to be able to say thank you to the UK, not to be able to say thank you to Germany to Japan, Brazil, it would be heart-breaking.
“I'm getting up there for this kind of stuff, and so it's gonna have to be an easier tour schedule for me to be able to handle and recharge the batteries so I'm not hobbling around or doing wheelies in a chair.”
He added: “It's impossible for me not to (continue). I play guitar every day - the moment I start playing, I come up with ideas for songs. It's impossible for me not to (play music). It's like my hobby. It’s something that I'm supposed to do otherwise I think I wouldn't receive all these amazing ideas for melodies and naughty lyrics including ‘Slide It In’, darling!”
Later in the chat, David said he’s hoping to reconvene with his Whitesnake bandmates before the end of 2021.
“Right now, I have some great pieces of music, but it's still unsafe for me to fly Joel (Hoekstra) in from New York, Reb (Beach) in from Pittsburgh. Michele (Luppi) my keyboard player is from Italy for God's sake! I've never recorded remotely; I don't think we've ever done that.
“I'm hoping I can get the guys in later in the year. It seems to be calming down over here with more people getting the vaccination. I can't go out if there's a risk to any member of my audience, any member of my crew or my band.”
“I've been talking to (Jimmy) recently about… I've got a couple of ideas to present to him if he's up for it,” David said. “But this was kind of the depth of Covid and he was in his country place. I said ‘I’ll do the Coverdale mix of the ‘Coverdale/Page’ album, you do the Page mix. The fans will love it! Because it's gonna be the 30th anniversary (of the album) - put the running order that you want, and I’ll put the running order I like’ because it always was a 50/50 project.
“He goes, ‘I'm not going in the studio right now’ and I said ‘I get you!’ He says ‘you've got your own studio, I don’t.’ So there’s plenty of time, I’m hoping to sweet talk him into that if he's up for it.”