David Coverdale was born on 22nd September 1951 in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. His parents managed a pub The Red Lodge in the town. This was also the scene of David’s first public solo performance at the age of 12.
He went to school at Huntcliffe Secondary Modern in Saltburn.
He studied for a short time at Green Lane Art College in Middlesbrough training to be a graphic design artist and a teacher.
During this time he sang with an assortment of local bands in his spare time, David soon discovered that his heart belonged to rock and roll and the outlet it offered him for emotional and artistic expression.
Inspired by his all-time hero, singer guitarist Jimi Hendrix, and American blues singers such as Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland and soul singers; Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, David decided to concentrate on making a career in music.
In 1973, aged 21 and working in a men’s boutique by day and singing in a local club band Fabuloso Brothers by night, he answered an ad in Melody Maker for the job of lead singer with Deep Purple, famously enclosing a photo of himself as a boy scout with his audition tape.
In a classic rags-to-riches story David was plucked from obscurity and became the front man of one of the biggest bands in the world at that time Deep Purple. He remained with Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976 and was featured on such classic albums as Burn, Stormbringer, Made In Europe and Come Taste The Band.
After resigning from the band in March 1976, David released a low-key solo album entitled David Coverdale Whitesnake followed by Northwinds the next year, by which time he had formed the band known as Whitesnake . It was the height of the punk era , he recalls, and I was told nobody was interested in hard rock. So I booked a tour of several little clubs and theatres in England, and found there were thousands of people waiting to get in. I thought, ’somebody is definitely wrong.
From these humble beginnings in 1977 Whitesnake was to go from strength to strength. Fool For Your Loving , a song David had originally written for blues artist BB King, became the band’s breakthrough hit in the United Kingdom. Through one EP (Snakebite) and 6 albums – Trouble, Lovehunter, Ready An Willing, Live… In The Heart Of The City, Come An Get It and Saints & Sinners, Whitesnake established itself as a major force in Europe and Japan over the next six years.
After sell-out tours, setting new attendance records and conquering the continental charts, the Snake was ready to take on the States. In 1984 Whitesnake was signed to Geffen Records and shortly afterwards David relocated to the US, which has been his home ever since.
1984 saw the band’s American debut album, Slide It In, including tracks such as Love Ain’t No Stranger Slow & Easy and the title cut, helped it become a Top 40 multi-platinum hit. Whitesnake had conquered the New World. Unfortunately, thanks to a serious sinus illness that threatened David’s ability to ever sing again, Whitesnake would not be a heard from for three more years.
When David did return, his voice as strong as ever, he led Whitesnake to global superstardom with the phenomenal success of the self-titled 1987 album. Selling more than ten million copies in the US alone, Whitesnake held the no. 2 position on the charts for more than six months and contained the no. 1 single Here I Go Again . The follow-up Is This Love reached no. 2. It also featured the rock anthem Still Of The Night .
Whitesnake was named Album Of The Year by music publications around the world.
In 1989 Whitesnake released the Top 10 multi-platinum-selling follow-up Slip Of The Tongue, continuing what Coverdale, with tongue firmly in cheek, calls the band’s Rock N Roll ’sex drama , exploring the themes of love on an assortment of different levels, mostly horizontal and perpendicular… knee-trembling levels.
In 1990, following a 3-year stint of constant touring and recording, David took a break from Whitesnake to collaborate with legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page on the highly- successful 1993 Coverdale/Page album and subsequent Japanese tour.
Following the no. 1 Greatest Hits release and accompanying tour in 1994, Whitesnake released the Restless Heart album in 1997, a no. 1 hit on the Japanese charts. Originally, the album was meant as a Coverdale solo record , but, the powers that be at EMI wanted it as a Whitesnake album. This was closely followed by an unplugged album, Starkers In Tokyo, which David explains as follows:
When Adrian (Vandenberg) and I were asked by Toshiba EMI to perform an acoustic set of songs whilst promoting the Restless Heart album in Japan, we were initially unenthusiastic. Even through we usually write our rock songs on acoustic guitars, it is with the vision of the finaldrum driven, electric guitar fuelled, chest beating Tarzan vocal approach that people know as Whitesnake. However, as writers, we also believe that if a song is of any worth you should be able to present it any way you care to. Fast, slow, loud or soft as long as the integrity and emotional essence is intact. So, we decided to accept the challenge of undressing our songs to the bare essential; one acoustic guitar and one voice . Recorded in front of an invited audience, Starkers In Tokyo followed Restless Heart to the no. 1 spot on the Japanese charts.
Following Whitesnake’s sell-out world tour of 1997, David put the band on hiatus to concentrate on being a husband to Cindy and father to Jasper, after missing out on most of the early years of his now grown-up daughter because of the constant touring schedules of the late 70’s and 80’s.
In 2003 Whitesnake enjoyed a triumphant return to the US live scene for the first time in 12 years on what David dubbed the Mmmm, Nice Package Tour .
David then headed to Europe with his New Snakes for the New Millennium , where they headlined the Monsters of Rock tour. The band finished touring in Japan in September 2003… I left home for a two month tour in January… and returned nine months later!!! … David said. It appears people missed Whitesnake as much as I missed performing .
The Early Years, a companion volume to the anniversary CD’s was released in 2004 to coincide with Whitesnake’s successful 3 month European tour.
The band filmed several shows on the tour for their first live DVD to be released in Summer 2005, and recorded many shows from the 2003-2004 tours for a new live CD tentatively scheduled for a 2006 release.
Whitesnake is back… and ready to rock in 2005!!!.
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