During an appearance on Monday's (April 24) episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", 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 "Trunk Nation" (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "To be able to tell people we're touring next year, I would love to. I keep getting invitations to Japan, but I really physically have to be well. Emotionally, technically, I can go out and do it. Physically is the question. And to watch people getting sick wasn't fun. It was tough out there — very tough… Our friend Steve Vai, he jammed with us at Hellfest [in France], and then it just went downhill from there. I was stuck in Milan for 10 days and just not getting any better. So we had to cancel Milan, and then we had to cancel Vienna. And it was just costing so much money to be out there, and no recovery in sight. And I literally flew home July the 4th, and it took all that time to actually — and an assortment of the worst antibiotics, I think, I've ever had to take, coupled with prednisone, which I don't recommend to anyone. That's big-fat-face stuff — steroids. So, yeah, it was very challenging in every way, shape and form for a long time."
Asked if he would like to "put a button" on WHITESNAKE's touring career in a better way, David said: "Well, really, yes, of course. There were two choices — one, to be able to go out. I went out with people I adore, which included the WHITESNAKE crew, which were just warriors beyond. Japan I'd love to pay my respects to; the U.S., my adopted home; South America — I would love to do this. As you know — we discussed before — I was hoping to retire at 69, which I felt was the entirely appropriate age for the singer of WHITESNAKE. However, it was not to be. That COVID bastard thing… I had a blast with the musicians, there's no question at all. Tanya [O'Callaghan, new WHITESNAKE bassist], who was so electrifying as a performer, was just broken-hearted. She felt like she found the perfect boyfriend in her band brothers, and suddenly it was taken away from her. So, yes, I would like to fulfill that, rather than do a video going, 'Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, thank you for 50 years.' It doesn't feel right for essentially a live performer. If you remember, I mostly made records in order to have new songs on stage. That's always been the M.O. for me — to create new music to take out and perform, as well as the classics. So, yes, I would like to do that. But it's gonna be dictated by my health, because economically it isn't necessary for me; I'm very fortunate. But I love, love, love what I do. But we do have three to five years' worth of projects to do, to finish off this 'legacy' series, with some new stuff inserted in there."
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."
According to David, the time off will give him a chance to address a torn rotator cuff and get back in shape for what will be the remainder of WHITESNAKE's farewell tour, which was originally announced in 2021.
"When you announce something like a farewell tour, certainly, I want it to be the best shows I've ever done," he explained. "I want them to be unforgettable for me and the crowd."
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 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.