Episode #34 – David Coverdale – White Snake

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Show Updates:

  • Comments from social media.
  • gardowp, 11/17/2019 – 5 stars – It is like talking to old friends – Nate and John’s conversations about Deep Purple and the extended family of Deep Purple are well researched and provide laugh out loud moments with their off the cuff banter. It is like I am with my life-long friends talking about our favorite records and concerts that we enjoyed 30 years ago. Never being much of a Deep Purple fan, these fellas provided me with insights to appreciate the work of the band and the associated acts to become a fan. If I could give this podcast 6 Pilgrim Hats, I would. Butters!
  • Slowed Down Chipmunks inspired Hazemaze?
  • Jorg Planer sends us King Kurlee Feat. Blackmore Jr. ‎– Smoke On The Water (More Black Mix) (1991)

Lead Up To Album & Writing:

  • Coverdale had been in the same music scene with Mick Moody coming up together in the late 60s.  After Purple imploded Coverdale reached out to his old friend to enlist his help in writing and recording his first solo album.
  • Roger Glover played a huge amount of the music and instrumentation on the album.
  • Coverdale was understandably upset about Purple coming to a premature close.
  • Glover acted as an adviser for Coverdale.  He had similarly been thrown from Deep Purple and could lend advice to Coverdale.
  • Glover: “Coverdale seemed happy enough making this album.  A producer is all of those things (above) and more besides . . . therapist, sounding board, salvage expert, tyrant, peacemaker, oh, and a good ear for music.”
  • Coverdale went into this process with the idea of being a band, not simply David Coverdale.

Album Art & Booklet Review

  • Front cover and design by The Cream Group.
  • Cream did hundreds of covers for The Bay City Rollers, Gary Glitter, Queen, George Harrison, Uriah Heep, and of Course Deep Purple (Made in Europe).
  • Cover photo by Thomas Schmid.
  • Inside photography by Fin Costello.
  • Features a hand drawn album title, listing White Snake as two separate words.
  • Where did the name “White Snake” come from?
    • From The Record Mirror  in 1977:
      • Coverdales says: “Because snakes are phallic symbols, and I like writing about phallic things. I’m also a romantic person. I don’t just like writing about raw sex. The songs I write are like a diary of my life. I write mostly from experience. If I look back at a year’s songs it’s like turning back the pages of a book.”
    • From ContactMusic.com in 2006:
    • From BraveWords.com in 2009 (republished from Metro.co.uk):
      • Metro.co.uk: Where did that name come from?
      • Coverdale: “From my penis. If I had been from Africa it would have been Blacksnake. But, no, it was actually a song I wrote in the dying embers of Deep Purple.”

Personnel:

  • David Coverdale – lead vocal, piano, percussion
    • Scotch ‘n’ Coke
  • Micky Moody [wiki, discogs] – guitar, percussion, backing vocals
    • Brandy ‘n’ Orange
    • Had previously been in a band called Snafu.
  • Tim Hinkley [wiki, discogs] – organ, percussion, vocals
    • Neat Brandy
    • Worked with Dr. Feelgood, Whitesnake, Roger Daltrey, Thin Lizzy
    • Had worked with Moody in Snafu.
  • Ron Aspery [wiki, discogs] – saxophone, flute
    • Beer
    • Played on Glenn Hughes’s “Play Me Out,” Roger Glover’s “Elements,” and many many more.
    • Was in the jazz-rock trio with bassist Colin Hodgkinson until the group broke up win 1977.  Hodgkinson joined Whitesnake in 1982 replacing Neil Murray on bass.
  • DeLisle Harper [wiki, discogs] – bass, percussion, vocal
    • Scotch ‘n’ Coke
    • Performed with Olympic Runners, Freddie King, 
  • Roger Glover – bass, melodica, synth, percussion, vocals
    • Iced Tea
  • Simon Philips [wiki, discogs] – drums, percussion
    • Soft Drinks ‘n’ Smarties
    • Martyn Ford calls him “the best drummer on the planet.”
    • Started in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, went on to play with Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Peter Gabriel, Mike Oldfield, Joe Satriani, Derek Shernihan, Toto, Jack Bruce, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker.
    • Credits among his main influences:  Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Ian Paice, Tommy Aldridge and Bernard Purdie.
  • Liza Strike – backing vocals
    • Vodka n’ Orange
  • Helen Chappelle – backing vocals
    • Coke
  • Barry St. John – backing vocals
    • White Wine Plus
    • All three backup singers covered in Episode #29.

Additional Personnel Credits:

  • Lou ‘Rolls’ Austin – Sonic Architect: (London) – Coffee
  • Hans Menzel – Needles ‘n’ Dials: (Munchen) – Social Beer
  • ‘William’ Fyffe – Chauffeur: Confidante: 7 Day Drinks: Meals: Percussion: Vocals: Sneakies
  • Chas [Watkins] – Alright Mon: Commissionaire (As above, I’m sure)
  • Bob – Great Mon: No thanks I’m driving
  • Magnet – For rather suspect but necessary accommodation
  • and Charles for odd welcome appearance
  • The music on this Album was conceived and given the ol’ once over in Deutchland (Somewhere in Europe).  The happy songs were written in my new home and also the Famille Ritzers fine residence – the moody ones were more or less the result of a three month sojourn in a hotel in Munich.  Anyway without Micky Moody an’ Roger I would have had to do it on me own GOD BLESS EM! Thanks to everyone, particularly Jools Dembreigh und John and me mother – who forgave me the day I was born.
  • This Album is dedicated to alf in NEVER-NEVERLAND;’ for whom one day it will all surely happen . . .

Credits:

  • Recorded in Kingsway Recorders, London, Aug 3-17, and the evening of the 25th.
  • Vocals recorded at Musicland Studios, Munchen, Aug 26-30 after midnight.
  • Mixed in Kingsway Recorders, London, Sept 1-7, 1976.
  • Produced by Roger Glover

Album Tracks:

  1. Lady (Coverdale, Moody)
    • Blindman (Coverdale)
      • Would be re-recorded in 1980 for Whitesnake’s album “Ready an’ Willing.”
    • Goldies Place (Coverdale)
      • Whitesnake (Coverdale, Moody)
        • Time on My Side (Coverdale, Moody)
          • Peace Lovin’ Man (Coverdale)
            • Sunny Days (Coverdale)
              • Hole in the Sky (Coverdale)
                • Single
                • Record Mirror: Former Deep Purple man tries his hand at an epic single which builds to a straining climax and could provide him with a hit.
              • Celebration (Coverdale, Moody)

                Reception and Review

                • There were two tracks that weren’t completed, Peace Lovin’ Man and Sunny Days.  They were both included on the reissue in 2000.
                • The album did not chart and was not very successful.
                • Coverdale: “It’s very difficult to think back and talk sensible about the first album.  White Snake had been a very inward looking, reflective and low-key affair in many ways, written and recorded in the aftermath of the collapse of Deep Purple.”
                • Very shortly after the album’s release (16 August, 1977) Elvis Presley died.  Coverdale was with his friend Alan Rainer when he got the news.
                • In an interview with Neil Priddey, Rainer said he had sung as an Elvis impersonator and when they two of them got the news they spent the whole day drinking and consoling each other as they sang Elvis songs.

                This Week in Purple History . . .

                December 16 through December 22

                • December 19, 1947 – Jimmy Bain is born
                • December 21, 1971 – Deep Purple concludes recording of Machine Head
                • December 17, 1989 – David Coverdale marries Tawny Kitaen – they divorce in 1991

                For Further Information:

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