DAVID COVERDALE Recalls His Encounter With Iconic Actor JOHN WAYNE: 'They Asked Me For My Autograph'
During the third installment of his "QT With DC" video series, former DEEP PURPLE and current WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale recalled his encounter more than four decades ago with iconic actor John Wayne, who was the "favorite actor ever" of David's mother, Winifred. Coverdale said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "If you remember, there used to be a lovely dark bar at the Beverly Regent hotel called the El Padrino bar. And the amount of discreet assignations that went on there was quite remarkable. Anyway, I'm sitting there with our agent at the time, having a drink, and we have a show coming up at the weekend; this is DEEP PURPLE. And I went, 'Oh my God. There's John Wayne, for God's sake' — John Wayne in the corner with this beautiful young blonde. Anyway, I'm sitting there tortured, going, 'I should get an autograph for my mam. It would be amazing.' And I'm going, 'I can't. I can't do it. Oh, fuck it.' So I got up, and I'm in those big snakeskin high-heel platform boots, and I wander over. And it's happened to me a thousand of times. I said, 'Excuse me, Mr. Wayne. I'm so sorry to disturb you.' And the blonde just sort of looks away, like, 'Here we go.' And he goes, 'Yeah, kid.' I went, 'Listen, my mam's a huge fan.' I said, 'Could I ask you for [your] autograph?' He said, 'Yeah, sure.' And he got a coaster and he [wrote], 'To Win. Love, The Duke. John Wayne'. And I went, 'Oh my God. This is amazing. Thank you so much.' He said, 'What are you doing in this place?' And I said, 'Oh, I've got a show at the weekend.' He went, 'Really?' And he stands up. And [he was] still a very imposing man. But his suits were kind of hanging off him; he'd kicked cancer. And he went, 'What's the name of the group?' And I said, 'DEEP PURPLE.' He went, 'God, my daughter's been driving my office mad. It's been sold out forever. Could you do anything?' I said, 'Just a moment, Mr. Wayne.' So I went over to the agent, got all the numbers for his office and came over. Then they asked me for my autograph. So I thought that was pretty spectacular."
In a recent interview with "Paltrocast" host Darren Paltrowitz, Coverdale was asked whether he has any plans to release an autobiography, possibly under his previously floated title of "How White Was My Snake?" He responded: "If I do a book, [my wife] wants me to call it — what everybody says — 'Soldier Of Fortune', which is a well-known song I wrote with Ritchie [Blackmore] a lifetime ago. She said she feels 'How White Was My Snake?' is too diminishing to my legacy. But the problem is I can't do it, 'cause I can't not be honest about this, that and the other, who's the inspiration [for] this song, who was that… It would be a spilling of the beans, which I'm not interested in hurting anybody, and particularly my family. So I've been working now with my head of video on another concept which I think could be significantly more interesting and not as fucking boring as a biography."
When Paltrowicz noted that there is a sense of "mystique" surrounding his personal life, unlike those of many of his contemporaries, David said: "Most important, I don't pretend to be somebody I'm not. That's the important thing. I still embrace my privacy ridiculously. I live in a private community which is very protective of my family. These kind of things. It's not open season for me. I have to keep my space clean. As you can imagine, I'm talking to millions of people on social media a day. I'm having a laugh with a bit of philosophy in, playing 'em a video.
"We're starting now a [video series called] 'Q.T. [Question Time] With D.C.', so we're gonna answer people's questions, some things that they're curious about. I won't discuss Tawny [Kitaen, Coverdale's late ex-wife], of course; Tawny is an amazing memory. But the circumstances… There are certain things that weren't… I think it's just respectful to people I've worked with. Some of the aspects were unsavory. That's for me to know, really, and to clear it from my space."
Back in 2021, Coverdale told Antihero magazine that he didn't see an autobiography as something that he would be interested in doing. "I'd have to be totally honest, and that would be very damaging to those relationships," he explained. "So, to me it's not worth it. I don't need the money. People who usually know my story, and my songs, the lyrics are pretty much journals and diaries of experiences. The difference between me and country and western music is I don't use names."
Coverdale's recent comments are similar to the ones he made in 2013 when he told RockSverige about the prospect of writing an autobiography: "I don't have time, man, and I´m still living it. Honestly, there's a huge obstacle for me because I've read some of my contemporaries' work and I remember certain circumstances very differently. If I ever do this, and right now I don't have that enthusiasm, but if I do, I'm gonna be completely honest. Names will be named because, to me, that's the only way to do it. But I'm not sure I'm comfortable with being as revealing. I'm very revealing in my work, but I don't name names, so you don't know who this woman was who was behaving like a bitch or who broke my heart. [Laughs]"
WHITESNAKE canceled several European shows last summer and pulled out of its previously announced North American tour with the SCORPIONS last fall due to Coverdale's "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.
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 released a legacy retrospective, "Still Good To Be Bad". The collection was made 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.
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