A FEW MOMENTS WITH…DAVID COVERDALE (WHITESNAKE)
A FEW MOMENTS WITH…DAVID COVERDALE
This month we feature David Coverdale of Whitesnake, in tribute to some damn good wine and music as well. I have reviewed both the Whitesnake Zinfandel and their new album, Forevermore and David Coverdale also took a few moments to answer some questions for ya…..
Future A Few Moments With’s will feature chats with individuals from all walks of the industry. We hope you enjoy this new page…..And as always we’d love to hear your comments. Cheers!
WHITESNAKE – 2008 ZINFANDEL REVIEW
Now here’s a wine I’ve been wanting to taste for a while….and when I received a couple of review samples from De la Montoya Winery, I discovered it was definitely worth the wait. First off, dlm Winery has done a beautiful job all the way around. The bottle is dark and the label is accented by the well-known gold Whitesnake script logo with the WS seal emblazoned in a bold red as is the foil cap. I give this wine an A+ in presentation. Now on to the tasting…
Whitesnake Zinfandel is strong, with sweet berries on the nose, I detected hints of raspberries and boysenberries. The aroma is also quite hefty and as I was anticipating, it’s a big wine. The taste was as I had anticipated, heavy in berries with some red plum flavors and a bit of anise. A very fruit forward wine with a nice long finish and minimal tannins. Due to these traits, it leans much more towards being classified as a fruity Zin rather than a peppery one, so that may give me second thoughts about pairing it alongside a spice-rubbed rib eye. But trust me, there’s plenty of other meals I would be proud to serve it with. My only complaint would be that I experienced some slight alcohol spikes, but this is a minor issue when dealing with what Mr. Coverdale refers to as “a bodacious, cheeky little wine, filled to the brim with the spicy essence of Snakeyness”. Less the spiciness, I agree 100%, and as David has mentioned maybe once or twice….Is this Love?…it just might be. Highly recommended
Find it while it lasts at www.dlmwine.com
DAVID COVERDALE INTERVIEW –
…a few moments with David Coverdale.
David, it’s a pleasure to speak with you as the inaugural interview of Booze Press. I have followed your career since you joined Deep Purple back in 73′ and as a matter of fact, I clearly remember riding my bike about 10 miles to the only record shop in the area where I could get the import version of Burn. I have been a keen observer of your career and the take no prisoners attitude towards music you possess, ever since. With that in mind, why don’t we tackle some questions focusing on Wine, Women and Song.
BP: Where did the idea for the Whitesnake Zinfandel come from, had you met with Dennis (de la Montanya) previously?
DC: A mutual friend, Ken Ciancimino brought us together…I love rock & roll & wine…Dennis loves wine & rock & roll!
As a significant percentage of Whitesnake IS wine, women & song…
BP: What is your background in wine, when did you first becoming seduced by its alluring qualities?
DC: Being working class English, I wasn’t introduced to wine until my teens when I started art college…I had no understanding of palate…We just drank cheap chianti & Blue Nun until we achieved nirvana…in other words…got dizzy drunk…
After I joined Deep Purple all bets were off…I was introduced to amazing wines that only chubby wallets can afford…It is still a motivating factor for me to work…Those Chevalier Montrachet’s ain’t cheap!
BP: Do you plan further explorations in the world of wine other than from the ever-enjoyable consuming end? More collaborations with de la Montanya?
DC: Dennis has told me he’s preparing to introduce the Whitesnake Merlot…if it’s even close to the samples I tried, I can assure you of an alternate nirvana…Shangri La…whatever sensory heaven you fancy…It’s really quite delicious…
BP: This section will hopefully be of benefit to both the men and the ladies. What would you rate as a perfect evening with Cindy?…and this one’s for Cindy, what is your perfect evening with David?
DC: Cindy’s company is all I require for a perfect evening…We are a very, very fortunate couple…When I’m with her there is no where else in the world I would rather be…
Cindy: I love our evenings when we just get to snuggle up together at home, in our oversized chair watching a movie. Actually, that can work on the road too. Only it’s in a nice hotel with lots of fluffy pillows and a feather duvet. As long as we get to be together that’s all that matters!
BP: When writing the “lady friendly” tunes, where do you derive your inspiration from? Is it usually based on actual events & feelings or just creative thought? Take for instance the ultimate female fan favorite, Is this Love?
DC: Love is my greatest inspiration…the many levels of love…
You may have noticed that since getting involved with Her Ladyship, my songs have take a distinctive turn for the positive…Any broken heart or bad, bad girl stuff is drawn from the distant past…& it is very rare I feel the need to ‘go back’…Some of the naughty stuff I can most definitely attribute to Her Ladyship…
’Is This Love’ was written before Cindy was a twinkle in my eye…You shall have to wait for my book ‘How White Was My Snake’ to find out…
BP: What is it about your wife that makes her the ultimate girl for you, what traits do you find in her that maybe were missing from previous women in your life?
DC: Everything I experienced was in preparation for meeting Cindy…All my errors…mistakes…all were necessary in order for me to truly appreciate this woman for the goddess she is…We just ‘fit’…it requires minimal effort…It simply works on all levels…
BP: I think with Forevermore you bring all the eras of David Coverdale together. I hear some of the blues feel from the early releases, though maybe in a higher octane version, definitely some of the 1987 vibe but even hints of Coverdale – Page and Into the Light. Was this a conscious effort or was it just all of the aspects of the musical you coming out?
DC: The only conscious effort was for Doug & I to write a great Whitesnake record…The Muse was upon us from day one…There are obvious relatives in the bloodline of Whitesnake…but, no re-treads…When we listened back to the finished mix…it was with glasses raised…
It was destiny for Doug & I to come together & create…It’s a grand partnership…I wouldn’t change it for the world…
BP: Through the numerous versions of Whitesnake I’m sure there are things that you felt could have been done better. But was there ever a line-up of “snakes” that you thought could have reached even greater heights but for one reason or another didn’t?
DC: I don’t do ‘comparisons’…Everything is how it should be…& how it was supposed to be…It would be wasting precious time to be constantly looking back…What’s done is done…
BP: It seems throughout all of the years you have always been the undisputed leader of Whitesnake. Though I’m sure this is still the case, it appears that your respect level for Doug is such that his opinion may pull a little more weight than that of any previous writing partner. Correct assessment?
DC: Doug & I are partners…my respect for him knows no bounds…as a musician & a co-composer…We bring out the very best in each other…We are friends…a very special bond…
You are correct…Whitesnake is my baby…I started the band…& one day, I’ll very likely have to finish it…but, not for as long as we are as charged as we are now…It’s an incendiary chapter of the band…Far too much fun being had…
BP: David, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with us for the premier feature of a Few Moments With…and as premier guest, you will always have a home here on Booze Press. Good luck with the tour and the new album and we’ll see you when you’re back in California.
DC: Thank you…my pleasure…Salut!
WHITESNAKE – A BRIEF HISTORY
For those of you who only know Whitesnake and David Coverdale from the hair teased melodic rock of the late 80′s, you only know a small part of the story. Mr. Coverdale got his (real) start with hard rock monsters Deep Purple in the 1970′s, when he replaced Ian Gillian for the Burn album in 1974. He recorded 2 more studio albums, Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band, before everyone headed out on solo careers. David released 2 somewhat personal and more or less low key albums shortly thereafter, before putting together the 1st incarnation of Whitesnake….there would be many, many more to come.
Throughout the late 70′s and into the mid 80′s, Whitesnake would release 5 excellent blues/rock albums, which made them huge in England but only an import cult group in America. With the signing by Geffen Records however, the attack on North American shores began. Starting with a reworking of Slide it In, followed by the monster release now known as 1987 and featuring the classic hits Here I Go Again and Is This Love, and ending the run with Slip of the Tongue. In a just a few years, Whitesnake had become a group that nearly everyone in the world had heard of.
However, it had all become too much for Coverdale and he decided to put the band on the shelf, and for the next 13 or so years, a legitimate version of the “snakes” did not exist. Various projects kept him busy until the idea of sinking his fangs into the road with a new litter of snakes came to him in 2003 (sorry…couldn’t resist). Since that time there have been tours, a live album and 2 studio releases. The latest, Forevermore, sees Mr. Coverdale and his latest band in near mid 80′s form, sans a few years. Here’s to years more slithering…cheers!
WHITESNAKE – FOREVERMORE
– REVIEW –
Steal Your Heart Away – Explodes out of the gate like an early Whitesnake blues number on Red Bull. Coverdale growls “I want it all, I want it now” and he means it. Doug Aldrich and new drummer Brian Tiichy do their best to beat their instruments senseless (while of course maintaining all musical subtlties). A great choice to launch this release.
All Out of Luck – Has a real Good to Be Bad feel to it. An OK song but never fully gets out of the gate for me, I think it lacks a catchy riff that grabs my attention, and the solo, though speedy, seems rambling. Luckily, the traits of this song dont pervade the album.
Love Will Set You Free – This song would have fit very nicely on 1987 or Slip of the Tongue with no problem. A catchy chorus and a nice little shuffle rhythm…and of course that voice. It may have lost a titch through the years…but not much and for crying out loud, the man’s gonna be 60 this year. The first “single” release from Forevermore, with a nice little tongue in cheek video.
Easier Said Than Done – The mid 80′s style ballad of this release, however unlike All I Want All I Need from GTBB, David’s voice seems right on for this cut. So crack out your lighters and dream back to the days when the ladies wore spandex and you still used (or even needed) hairspray.
Tell Me How – The main riff in this song reminds of me a 70′s hit but I just can’t place it (little help?) I really like this song as it has all of the elements of a great Whitesnake song. The riff is not standard nor repetive and the melody transitions throughout. Listen for underlying musical nuggets on this one.
I Need You (Shine a Light) – A tune that reminds me of David’s 2000 release Into the Light. A nice little number that though not necessarily proto-typical Whitesnake (what is anymore) fits very nicely midway through this release.
One of These Days – An interesting song that borrows liberally from early 70′s Eagles, but does something quite interesting…it actually “out Eagles”, the Eagles, at least post-Walsh joining. Especially ironic since the Eagles had an album titled One of These Nights
Love and Treat Me Right – This song doesn’t do a whole lot for me except in the vocal delivery, a little popish but with just enough of an edge. Dare I say this is a single material…providing you could find a radio station with the nads to play it. As if that’ll happen…eh Britney?
Dogs in the Street – A tune definitely in the 1987 vein. Think of a cross between a hit from the late Robert Palmer and the mythical Steel Dragon in the film Rockstar. I’m not saying it’s not enjoyable…I really enjoy it’s pace, style and delivery. A cool song for “cruisin” down the highway…
Fare Thee Well – The bookend song to We Wish You Well from the Lovehunter album all the way back in 1980. David’s voice is emotional but suffers from time and the years of smoking on this one. A very nice farewell tune that I’m sure will get plenty of play at the end of shows during the upcoming tour.
Whipping Boy Blues – Starts with a Coverdale / Page voice effect, then launches into a nice little shuffle. Now this is blues with balls (blue balls?) The boys seem to be having a great time on this one. The beginning of the solo even has some tinges of Vai-isms before settling into the more recognizable feel of the current axemen.
My Evil Ways – I’ve seen some reviews toss this cut, quite frankly it’s one of the most fun rockers on the album. Lyrically amusing and set up as a perfect live cut, it features a solo intro that is unique yet smooth before launching into some of the speediest runs on the record. This tune also boasts one of the best lines I’ve heard in some time “I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich, but I’ve always been a son of a bitch”….nuf said.
Forevermore – Some have called this the greatest Whitesnake song ever, I think structure wise they may be right. From it’s soft emotionally dripping first section it leads into a beautiful Phrygian tinged solo a la Blackmore or Malmsteen as the intensity builds. Not known for epics, this could be classified as their’s.
This is an outstanding effort from the ‘snakes and should rank near the top of albums they have produced. Easily the best since 1987 and though I adore the early blues releases, the diversity of this album delivers a more rewarding listening experience. Highly recommended.
group photo: Ash Newell