Health played a significant roll in Whitesnake shutting down their 2022 touring and it will also play a big role in whether the band eventually returns to the concert stage. During a recent interview, singer David Coverdale spoke about the possibility or a resumption of the group’s farewell tour and the factors that will determine whether or not it will happen.
The band was out with the Scorpions and Thundermother last year when Coverdale had to miss shows while being treated for a “persistent upper respiratory infection.” This came shortly after guitarist Reb Beach had missed several shows due to illness as well.
Looking back on his 2022 health issues, Coverdale told the Rockonteurs podcast (as heard below), “That was really bad. When these things get on your chords, that just closes you down entirely.”
“I spent a fortune keeping the guys [in my band] as safe as we could; we called it the ‘COVID bubble.’ Private jet wherever we went. And still COVID came in and took some of the crew out. It was really challenging.”
As for whether or not the band will eventually return to the road, Coverdale admitted there are several factors keeping them off the road right now and some things would have to fall into place for their touring to return.
“I’m working now on a torn rotator cuff. So literally this year I gave my fantastic band the year off, ’cause I didn’t know what was gonna go on. I could make any particular commitments. Nowadays [you need] six months to set up a tour. So I’ve got recording to do. We’ve got projects for the next three to five years,” revealed the singer. “I’m hoping to get the band in, when they’re free.”
“I’m being approached a great deal with [Las] Vegas residencies. I’d love to get to Japan and South America,” he added. “Really it’s gonna depend on health and people’s availability.”
Within the chat, Coverdale also reiterated that he doesn’t see the band’s “farewell tour” as being open-ended leading to a years-long run.
“I know contemporaries of mine that have been doing a farewell tour for 20 years,” he said. “That’s not it. I’m 71 plus. It’s a number that I see and go, ‘Really?’ Because most of the time I certainly don’t feel like that kind of age that would be the perspective we had growing up, when 20 looked old, 25 was ancient. 30? You’re kidding. It’s just fascinating to look at.”
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The singer had initially intended to wind down his touring career in 2020 before the pandemic altered those plans. Now, at age 71, the singer says, “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.”
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