During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen And Shane McEachern" podcast, WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale spoke about the band's decision to cancel several European shows last summer and pull out of its previously announced North American tour with the SCORPIONS last fall due to his "continued treatment for a persistent upper respiratory infection."
On June 28, 2022, WHITESNAKE scrapped three shows on its spring/summer European tour due to Coverdale's infection of the sinus and trachea. Three days later, the rest of the trek was also called off. At the time, David blamed the decision on "continuing health challenges, doctor's orders, and our concern for everyone's health and safety."
David was not the first member of WHITESNAKE to fall ill during the group's spring/summer 2022 European tour. Guitarist Reb Beach missed several shows on the trek in June 2022 after being "under the weather." On June 25, 2022, WHITESNAKE canceled its show at the Rock Imperium festival in Spain due to the fact that drummer Tommy Aldridge "went down" and "was bad enough at the time to have missed the first show ever in his career," according to Coverdale.
Regarding the possibility of WHITESNAKE resuming its farewell tour in 2024, Coverdale told "Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen And Shane McEachern" (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's not really a professional decision. It's literally a health decision.
"Last year it took me seven months to get rid of a sinus infection that went so deep into my body… And then we discovered a secondary one, which is why I had to cancel the U.S. tour," he explained. "So all of that appalling antibiotics I had for three months, all the damage it did to my system, was a waste of time because this other infection was canceling it out. So I had to go on to heavier medications and steroids, and at the same time ignoring a torn rotator cuff.
"When I was onstage with Steve Vai at Hellfest [in France last June], which turned out to be the last WHITESNAKE show — hopefully not the last WHITESNAKE show [ever] — underneath my shirt, my shoulder was taped up like I was going into the arena to face another gladiator," Coverdale revealed. "And you couldn't really tell. And thank God I could still fling the mic stand around. But as soon as I got signed off back in January, the infection had gone, I realized that we had to sort out the shoulder, 'cause that had been of secondary importance — minor compared to this, 'Am I ever gonna be able to sing again?' That's a big deal. It's something you wake up and almost take for granted.
"So, I'm getting a lot of approaches [regarding Las] Vegas residencies. I'm not quite sure about that. I feel I owe Japan. I feel I owe the U.S. I feel I owe South America. 'Cause I've been pretty successful for 50 years, and you can't buy that. It's people who've supported you to be in this position. It was a personal choice. I didn't wanna do a video going, 'Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, brothers and sisters of the 'SNAKE, thank you for 50 years. I'm done.' I wanted to be there.
"I wanted to retire in 2020," David added. "I thought the appropriate age for the singer of WHITESNAKE to step down was 69. But, of course, bloody COVID came [and ruined those plans].
"We have three to five years of projects here at my studio. So I'm certainly not finished with music. But my health will dictate whether I can take on [a full tour]. 'Cause it's incredibly physically demanding for me. I don't wanna do a half-assed [tour], standing-there stuff. I love telling my stories and moving and working."
Earlier this month, Coverdale told Ultimate Classic Rock that the illness that forced him off the road in 2022 was "the worst sinus infection I've ever had in my life. And as a singer, I know them like fucking relatives of mine," Coverdale said. "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."
WHITESNAKE launched its farewell tour on May 10, 2022 at Dublin, Ireland's 3Arena. The band's 14-song set, which was part of a European tour with special guests EUROPE and co-headliners FOREIGNER, marked WHITESNAKE's inaugural performance with the group's two latest two additions, keyboardist, guitarist and backing vocalist Dino Jelusick and bassist Tanya O'Callaghan.
Coverdale had both his knees replaced with titanium in 2017 after suffering from degenerative arthritis. He later explained that he was in so much pain with arthritis in his knees that it hampered his ability to perform live.
Prior to the pandemic, WHITESNAKE had been touring in support of its latest album, "Flesh & Blood", which was released in May 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.
On April 28, WHITESNAKE will release a legacy retrospective, "Still Good To Be Bad". The collection will be available in different configurations, a few days after the 15th anniversary of "Good To Be Bad", the band's tenth studio album and its first in over a decade. The first collection is a 4-CD/Blu-ray with two new versions of the original album (one remastered and the other newly remixed),a selection of rare and unreleased studio and live recordings from the period, and videos all the music videos, interviews, and electrifying live performances from the "Good To Be Bad" world tour. Three other versions of "Still Good To Be Bad" will also be available. The album's 2023 remix will be released on vinyl as a double-LP and a single CD. "Still Good To Be Bad" also comes as a 2-CD set that includes the remixed and remastered versions of the album. The new alternate mixes also feature new background vocals from the "Hook City Harlots", Cami Thompson, Misty Rae and Jackie Landrum, plus the "Hook City Horns" with Rick Metz on saxes and the trumpet of Joshua Reed.