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Q&A: Whitesnake’s David Coverdale

Illinois Entertainer: What made you pick Japan as the site of Whitesnake’s new concert collection?
David Coverdale:
I didn’t. It just turned out that way. Originally, we were just going to release a double audio CD, Made In Britain, then suddenly we were offered a big show in Tokyo. The film quality and the actual show was too good to pass on [resulting in Made In Japan].

IE: You’ve been on an extensive world tour and the American leg extends all the way until October. Will the setlist on this jaunt through the States mirror that CD/DVD’s track listing or do you have a different show in store?
You shall have to see. I never give away what we’re going to be playing. I like surprises.

IE: How would you describe Whitesnake’s musical direction these days?
All over the place. You call it whatever you want. It’s all Whitesnake to me.

IE: Whitesnake achieved massive success in the ’80s, in part thanks to MTV putting the band’s sexy videos in near-constant rotation. What were the benefits and drawbacks of reaching fans through that medium?
It made Whitesnake a massive global entity. Thankfully, we’re still flourishing. Drawbacks? Not according to my lifestyle.

IE: Do you ever regret the outrageous fashion choices you made in the ’80s or do you just chalk it up to being typical of the era?
I don’t give it a seconds thought.

IE: How did your time in Deep Purple help pave the way for Whitesnake?
Learning from two musical colossi like [Ritchie] Blackmore and [Jon] Lord was the most incredible education I could possibly imagine. It set me up for the amazing journey I’m still on.

IE: Do you ever think we’ll see another Coverdale/Page collaboration?
We just had one in London! Pagey came to see us at Wembley. He’s just one beautiful man and soul. Love him to bits. We shall have to see. He’s busy; I’m busy, but who knows?

IE: Give us a preview of Whitesnake’s upcoming Made In Britain double live album.
It’s one CD recording during the U.K. Forevermore tour and it kicks serious arse. Drier than the soundtrack CD [at] smaller venues, the second CD is The World Record. Each song was recorded – wait for it – in a different location: Oslo, Sao Paulo, Singapore . . .

IE: If you had to pick a crowning achievement from your entire career thus far, what would it be?
My marriage to Cindy and my two children. My career pales in comparison.

Whitesnake appears at Star Plaza Theatre (800 E. 81st Ave.) in Merrillville, Ind., on July 19. Q&A conducted by Andy Argyrakis.

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