It’s been a disappointing couple of years for Whitesnake and David Coverdale. The singer has seen the band almost embark on their Farewell tour, but have to drop off due to health issues. Their 1987 album Whitesnake is among the best in the history of hard rock. The brainchildren behind that album, Coverdale and guitarist John Sykes, caught lightning in a bottle but couldn’t contain it for long. Before the album was even released, Sykes departed Whitesnake. The guitarist is credited with co-writing on nine of the album’s tracks including classics like “Still of the Night” and “Is This Love”.

In a recent interview with Metal Edge, Coverdale talked about Sykes and his place in the history of Whitesnake.

“As you know, things went squirrely between us, which was unfortunate. But John was and is an incredible talent. Our musical chemistry was great, but it didn’t work personally. The truth of the matter is no matter how incredible of an album that we made together, we were unable to connect as people.

You can hear that there was creative magic in that relationship, but it stopped the moment we put the mics and instruments down. John was critical to that record and a superb live player. But there were many important aspects of things that were not there. It wasn’t meant to be. With John, things just exploded. I think rock bottom would have been when he tried to fire me from my own band. As you can imagine, that didn’t go over very well. [Laughs]”

Although they can’t work together because of differing personalities, Coverdale still had glowing things to say about John Sykes.

Here’s what he had to say about getting back in touch with the guitarist.

“I was talking to a mutual acquaintance some years back and said, ‘I haven’t heard anything from John for a long time.’ And this acquaintance got John and me talking while I was working on demos for the Into the Light record. So, after something like 15 years of animosity, we spoke and got on well. Thoughts of working with him again crossed my mind, but the more we spoke, the more I realized that I had changed significantly, and John had been his own boss for so long, so it would never work.

I thought, ‘The chemistry is not going to work; it’s going to be as it was all over again; I can’t have that.’ Truthfully, I simply don’t want to do anything at this time in my life that will open the door to regret. I know that’s perhaps disappointing to fans, and I wish John every success, as I know he’s a much-loved and admired player. And I hope everything’s okay with him as I haven’t heard from him for a while. But I guess what guides me now is something I learned from Jimmy Page, John Lord, and the great Ritchie Blackmore, and that’s: what’s the point of working with someone if I don’t think I can teach them anything or get something in return?”

Is Whitesnake Hitting The Road In 2023?

They might not ever record or write any music again, but the album we did get is among the best ever. As for the future of Whitesnake and the farewell tour they were supposed to embark on, Coverdale ruled out any appearances in 2023 in an interview with UCR.

“Last year, I was so incredibly compromised by, without any doubt, the worst sinus infection I’ve ever had in my life. And as a singer, I know them like fucking relatives of mine.

This was one of the ugliest illnesses I think I’ve [ever] had. For seven months, I was taking ever-increasingly strong antibiotics and horrifying Prednisone steroids.

I don’t know what kind of condition I’m going to be in for 2023.”

Whitesnake recently released the Still Good To Be Bad boxset, and David Coverdale is always working on new Whitesnake music. Let’s hope that everyone in Whitesnake including Reb Beach and Tommy Aldridge heal up and they can hit the road to tour in 2024.

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Source: Metal Edge, UCR

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