DAVID COVERDALE Says Working With RITCHIE BLACKMORE For First Time Was A 'Mindblowing' Experience

November 8, 2020

In a new interview with Jenn of Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits, former DEEP PURPLE and current WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale was asked to name the top three songs that he is most proud of from his career. He responded (hear audio below): "It's the old cliché of they're all your children. One of the questions I was asked at the management meeting for DEEP PURPLE was do I write. And I could honestly say yes, because I'd been encouraged by local musicians. We never announced them as written by me; we'd say, 'This is a song by STEPPENWOLF.' [Laughs]

"So the first thing I had to do was go down to Ritchie Blackmore's house and see if we connected," he continued. "And it was mindblowing to work with this guy who was like a [Jimi] Hendrix. I mean, Hendrix was my muse, and Ritchie had all of these elements there. And I was so enthusiastic, I wrote six lyrics for the song 'Burn'. I actually used one of the lyrics not many years ago on a different song, which wasn't used a more bluesy song. But that's how enthusiastic I was. [Laughs] And 'Stormbringer' I wrote for him, 'cause he loved that mix of sci-fi. It really didn't float my boat — I was much more of an emotional, physical theme, relationship scenario, search for direction…

"But, yeah, so probably 'Burn'. And then 'Mistreated', which came from me just making words up on the spot. That's when my muse was just coming straight in. And I think maybe I flushed out a lyric here or there. But in essence, it was just an improvised lyric, and that song still has legs nearly 50 years later."

Coverdale recently expressed his exasperation at DEEP PURPLE for how he and Glenn Hughes were treated by their former band ahead of their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2016.

Blackmore is a co-founder of DEEP PURPLE and wrote many of their most memorable riffs, including "Smoke On The Water", but he has not played with the group since his 1993 departure.

Steve Morse effectively took over Blackmore's slot in 1994 and has since been in DEEP PURPLE longer than Ritchie.

Despite Blackmore being a no-show at Rock Hall, he was given several shoutouts during the induction speeches of the DEEP PURPLE members in attendance. In addition, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, who inducted DEEP PURPLE into the institution, praised "Ritchie fucking Blackmore" for one of the most memorable guitar riffs of all time on "Smoke On The Water".

DEEP PURPLE's first three lineups were inducted into the Rock Hall, including Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice, keyboardist Jon Lord, and various singers and bassists — Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Coverdale and Hughes.

DEEP PURPLE's acceptance speeches included turns from Gillan, Glover, Paice, Coverdale and Hughes before the current lineup of DEEP PURPLEGillan, Glover, Paice, Morse and Airey — took the stage and played a short set consisting of "Highway Star", "Green Onions" (with an image of Lord behind them),"Hush" and "Smoke On The Water".

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