Whitesnake’s David Coverdale: ‘I wrote ‘Here I Go Again’ rat-arsed on white port and 7 Up’

David Coverdale wanted to retire from touring last year, when he was 69. The flamboyant Whitesnake frontman, blessed with the voice of a golden god and the innuendo-laden sense of humour of a naughty schoolboy, has instead been forced by the pandemic to reschedule his band’s last stand until next spring. “It’s unbelievable to me that I’m still working and active at 70,” he tells me, his rich, sonorous tones singing down the line from Hook City, his home studio on the outskirts of Reno, about 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe. “Reno-by-Sea!” he announces theatrically, then, “He wishes!” He’s in good spirits, despite having had his retirement plans pushed back. “I have bluebirds flying out of every orifice,” he trills happily in a way that suggests the sensation is less painful than it sounds. “That’s not too shabby for a man of my dotage.”

Coverdale didn’t expect to still be squeezing himself into leather trousers at 70 because he thought it was all over four decades ago. Back in 1981 he was living in a rented villa on the Algarve and sleeping in a separate room from his first wife Julia as their relationship crumbled. Whitesnake’s prospects didn’t look much rosier, with tensions rising to the point that within a year Coverdale would sack all his bandmates. Worst of all, he was fast approaching 30, surely over the hill for a rock’n’roll star. He couldn’t have known he was only then coming up with what would become their signature hit. “As I was writing ‘Here I Go Again’ and crying in the rain about the breakdown of my first marriage, inconsolable, rat-arsed on white port and lemonade – actually, it was white port and 7 Up, let me give credit where it’s due – I thought: ‘The party’s over,’” he recalls. “In those days, nobody thought Jagger would still be touring at 78! Are you kidding? These guys keep raising the bar, the bastards!”

Continue reading at The Independent.