1949 – David Coverdale of the groups Whitesnake and Deep Purple is born in Saltburnon- Sea, England.
David Coverdale (born September 22, 1951 in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire) is an English rock vocalist most famous for his work with the English hard rock band Deep Purple, and his later band Whitesnake.
Coverdale, briefly a student at Middlesbrough Art College, was largely unknown until he was selected to replace Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan (who had resigned) in September 1973. He was living in Marske-by-the-Sea and working in a clothes shop in Redcar, Teesside fronting a local group called Government which had supported Deep Purple.
With Deep Purple advertising for a vocalist, he sent them a demo tape of his vocals. Impressed by his deep blues timbre, Coverdale was recruited to the band, sharing vocal duties with bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes. Coverdale immediately became an international rock superstar with the million selling albums Burn, Stormbringer, and Come Taste the Band. In April 1974, he sang to over 200,000 music fans in his first trip to America at the California Jam. He also sang on Jon Lord’s Windows and Roger Glover’s Butterfly Ball. His tenure ended in March 1976 when Deep Purple (in that incarnation) finally split up.
Coverdale soon formed Whitesnake and during the late seventies and early eighties, with ever changing line-ups, recorded a series of well-received blues-rock albums. With ex-Deep Purple founders Jon Lord followed by Ian Paice joining in 1979, Whitesnake worked hard to become international superstars. According to British heavy metal magazine Kerrang!, in 1982, Coverdale was considered for the vocalist position with Black Sabbath following the departure of Ronnie James Dio. Coverdale declined. Whitesnake gained large popularity in the UK, Europe, and Asia but North American success remained elusive. In 1984 the album “Slide It In” dented the US charts but not enough to be considered a success. In time for the US release of “Slide It In” David Coverdale made a calculated attempt in updating Whitesnake’s sound and look by recruiting guitarist John Sykes. Sykes brought a more contemporary, aggressive guitar sound with him and had stage manners to match. In 1985 Sykes and Coverdale started working on new songs for the next album but Coverdale soon contracted a troublesome sinus infection that made recording close to impossible for the most part of 1986. Coverdale eventually recovered and recordings were continued but before “1987” (the name the album has become popularly known as) was fully recorded and released, Sykes and the rest of the recording band had parted company with Whitesnake. The split with Sykes was not amicable. In many period interviews David Coverdale openly stated that the next album was a make or break album for Whitesnake and if not successful he would disband the band altogether. During 1987 and 1988 North America was finally won with the multi-platinum self-titled Whitesnake album, co-written for the most part with John Sykes.
The 1987 album has sold 8 times platinum since its release, propelled by hit singles such as “Here I Go Again.” Through the late 80’s and early 90’s, caught in the “hair-band” era, Coverdale kept Whitesnake going with great success and with changing lineups until the end of 1991. It is no secret that Coverdale wanted out of the business at that point. He’d grown uncomfortable with the entity he then felt Whitesnake had become and admits that he got “caught up in it”. In a candid period interview, Coverdale sums it up in one sentence:
“It got louder and louder, and so did I, to the point now where I have to get dressed up as a “girly man” and tease ones questionable bangs (or hair) and it’s all getting a bit… boring.”
In 1994 Whitesnake was put on the road again in support of a Greatest Hits compilation. Citing weak sales figures for this compilation, Geffen Records elected not to renew Whitesnake’s recording contract, and Whitesnake was again put on ice.
In December 2002, Coverdale re-reformed Whitesnake again for an American and European tour, with Tommy Aldridge on drums, Marco Mendoza (bass), Doug Aldrich (guitar), Reb Beach (guitar) and Timothy Drury (keyboards). In 2004-2005 saw Whitesnake embark on a tour of the U.S., South America and Europe. A live DVD, shot during the 2005 tour at the legendary Carling Apollo (better known as the Hammersmith Odeon) in London, was released in February 2006. In June 2006 David Coverdale signed a new record deal with Steamhammer/SPV. The first release under the new contract was the double live album Live: In The Shadow Of The Blues (released Nov. 27th 2006), the album also contained 4 brand new studio tracks written by Coverdale and Aldrich. Coverdale recently (2006) had a song written about him by Australian independent band the Fauves. The song alludes to buying one of his albums at a gas station and driving through the night listening to it.
In 2008, Coverdale with the new Whitesnake line-up embarked on a European Tour as part of a double bill with fellow Yorkshire rockers Def Leppard, featuring a triumphant return to Wembley Arena.
David Coverdale, singing with Whitesnake in Ljubljana, Slovenia in Summer 2006
David Coverdale has been in many different well known musical movements other than the one he is best known for (Whitesnake).
* The Government (1968 – 1972)
* Fablosa Brothers (1972 – 1973)
* Deep Purple (1973 – 1976)
* solo (1976 – 1977)
* Whitesnake (1978 – 1982)
* Whitesnake (1982 – 1991)
* Coverdale/Page (1992 – 1993)
* Whitesnake (1994)
* Whitesnake (1997-1998)
* Solo (1999-2002)
* Whitesnake (2002-present)
Mural depicting David Coverdale on the wall of an apartment block in Kavarna, “the rock capital of Bulgaria”
David Coverdale was first married in 1974 to Julia, and their daughter Jessica was born in 1978. Coverdale’s second marriage was to actress Tawny Kitaen, from February 17, 1989 until their divorce in April 1991. Kitaen was known for her “provocative” appearances in Whitesnake’s music videos for “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love.” Currently he is married to Cindy (they married in 1997), an author, her most recent work being The Food That Rocks. They have a son, Jasper (b. 1996). Coverdale is also a grandfather to his daughter Jessica’s two children, Georgina and Mathilda. He has been linked to Gabrielle Jamae (83-97) but no photographic proof has been produced (or found) to substantiate these allegations. On March 1st 2007 David Coverdale became a U.S. citizen, in a ceremony in Reno, and now holds dual US/UK citizenship. He has lived near Lake Tahoe for more than 20 years.
Over his 30 year career, Coverdale has worked with many of rock music’s most accomplished guitar players.
* Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Blackmore’s Night) – in Deep Purple (1973-1975)
* Tommy Bolin (The James Gang, Deep Purple) – in Deep Purple (1975-1976)
* Micky Moody (Juicy Lucy, Whitesnake, Company of Snakes, M3) – in Whitesnake (1977-1982, 1984)
* Bernie Marsden (UFO, Whitesnake, Bernie Marsden SOS, Company of Snakes, M3) – in Whitesnake (1977-1982)
* Mel Galley (Trapeze, Whitesnake) – in Whitesnake (1982-1984)
* John Sykes (Tygers Of Pan Tang, Badlands (UK), Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Blue Murder, Sykes) – in Whitesnake (1984-1987)
* Vivian Campbell (Sweet Savage, Dio, Whitesnake, Riverdogs, Shadow King, Def Leppard) – in Whitesnake (1987-1988)
* Steve Vai (Frank Zappa, Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth, Whitesnake) – in Whitesnake (1988-1991)
* Adrian Vandenberg (Vandenberg, Whitesnake, Manic Eden) – in Whitesnake (1988-1991, 1994, 1997-1998)
* Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin, The Firm, Coverdale/Page, The Yardbirds) – in Coverdale/Page (1992-1993)
* Warren DeMartini (Ratt) – in Whitesnake (1994)
* Earl Slick (David Bowie, John Lennon, Phantom Rocker & Slick) – in David Coverdale solo work (2000)
* Doug Aldrich (Lion, Hurricane, Bad Moon Rising, Burning Rain, Dio, Whitesnake) – in Whitesnake (2002-present)
* Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken, Alice Cooper, The Mob) – in Whitesnake (2002-present)
With Deep Purple
* Burn (1974)
* Live in London (1974)
* Stormbringer (1974)
* Made in Europe (1975)
* Come Taste the Band (1975)
Post-1976 Albums with Deep Purple
* Last Concert in Japan (1976)
* Singles A’s & B’s (1993)
* On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat: Live in California 1976 (1995)
* California Jamming: Live 1974 (1996)
* Mk. III: The Final Concerts (1996)
* Days May Come and Days May Go, The California Rehearsals, June 1975 (2000)
* 1420 Beachwood Drive, The California Rehearsals, Part 2 (2000)
* This Time Around: Live in Tokyo (2001)
* Listen Learn Read On (2002)
* Just Might Take Your Life (2003)
* Perks and Tit (2004)
* Live in Paris 1975 (2004)
* Burn 30th Anniversary Edition (2004)
* Live in California 74 (DVD) (2005)
* White Snake (1977)
* Northwinds (1978)
* Into the Light (2000)
* Coverdale Page (1993)
* Snakebite (1978)
* Trouble (1978)
* Lovehunter (1979)
* Live at Hammersmith (1980)
* Ready an’ Willing (1980)
* Live…In the Heart of the City (1980)
* Come an’ Get It (1981)
* Saints & Sinners (1982)
* Slide It In (1984)
* Whitesnake (1987)
* Slip of the Tongue (1989)
* Restless Heart (1997)
* Starkers in Tokyo (1997)
* LIVE In the Still of the Night (DVD+CD Recorded on the 2004 UK Tour) (2006)
* Live: In The Shadow Of The Blues (2 CD set Recorded during the 2005-2006 world tours) (2006)
* Good To Be Bad (2008)
* Various artists – Days of Thunder soundtrack (song “The Last Note Of Freedom”) (1990)
* Coverdale/Page – Coverdale-Page (1993)
* Butterfly Ball – Behind The Smile (voice)
* Steve Vai – song “For The Love Of God” (voice at the end)
* Bernie Marsden – And About Time Too (vocals on “Who’s Fooling Who (live)” -bonus track on CD)