Whitesnake: Heeding The Tarzan Call

Regardless of the version of Whitesnake you’re familiar with, one thing remains consistent: Vocalist David Coverdale has held onto his position as one of music’s most iconic performers. Founded in 1977, the band has seen its fair share of members come and go, while Coverdale’s position at the helm has remained intact and instantly recognizable. Of the current line-up, now on tour with veterans Judas Priest, Coverdale glows and jokes, “The band is just excellent. I have absolutely no complaints, which is probably one of the reasons they’ve lasted so long! There has to be some synchronicity. It has to just come together.” For more on Whitesnake past, present, and future, visit whitesnake.com.

The 20th and 25th anniversary editions of Slip Of The Tongue and Slide It In are remarkable milestones. Congratulations.

This is an artist-driven project and they’re slammed packed with goodies! For instance, on Slide It In, which is the 25th anniversary, we’ve remastered it with a fantastic guy in Los Angeles named Dave Donnelly, a great guy who genuinely cares about what he’s doing. That was my prime motive for this: To get the best possible sound so it would work on modern technology. These albums were recorded on analog for vinyl so it was an entirely different time. He’s done me proud and has beautiful sonics. On that album—it was my first Geffen album—there are two mixes: The U.S. mix and the European mix. There’s always been controversy among Whitesnake fans about which was the superior mix. We’ve put both of them on this disc so you can judge for yourself. It’s not just getting the same song twice. You’re getting different musicians, different solos and it’s doing very well in Europe, thank God. People are very excited about the package. It’s a jewel disc thing. One is audio, slam packed with acoustic versions, alternate mixes, live tracks of the pertinent songs and then there’s also a DVD accompanying that which will have the videos you’re familiar with from MTV and also live footage, some unseen stuff like John Sykes’ very first public performance with Whitesnake which was on Top Of The Pops, a British TV show. It’s just fun stuff. Also, on whitesnake.com there are two little mini movies that have behind-the-scenes stuff that are fun to watch.

Whitesnake recently played at The Download Festival. You played there before in 1981, 1983, 1990, and 2009. That’s quite a span.

Yes. It’s the first time I’ve played it as Download, to 80,000 people. The other three times it was Monsters Of Rock. Pretty wild. In fact, it’s interesting. I was doing a press conference the day of the show and I could not remember the first one. I thought the first show was in ‘83,but you know, I’m getting on a bit so I can be forgiven certain mistakes. But, yeah, I think the biggest crowd we worked was 96,000 in 1990. Let me tell you, with this economy in this day, to have 80,000-pus, are you kidding? It was amazing. A friend of mine took pictures of us taking a bow at the end, which is on the website I think, and it’s just astonishing! There’s an ocean of arms in the air. Perfect! We did it in a kind of mini three-week tour that culminated in that show.