David Coverdale’s Emotional Decision That Cost Him Over A Million Dollars
David Coverdale made his name heard in the music world first as a member of Deep Purple in the early 1970s and later as the founder of Whitesnake. His tenure within Deep Purple just lasted three years as he wasn’t content with the creative direction the band moved. When the internal conflicts he experienced with his bandmates started to grow on him, the singer left the band.
Although he intended to pursue a solo career following his departure from Deep Purple, he soon formed his new band, Whitesnake. However, the band didn’t make their mainstream breakthrough until the release of their seventh self-titled studio album in 1987. They are now has been making music for over four decades. However, they had many ups and downs during this long period, as almost all the other bands did.
There were also some tragic moments throughout the band’s career that even affected the group’s future. Many of these incidents were related to the band members’ private lives. One of the most devastating things the band experienced happened when David Coverdale’s daughter contracted an illness, which marked one of the lowest points of his career.
What Was The Illness Of David Coverdale’s Daughter?
In early 1981, Whitesnake had started to work on their fourth studio album, ‘Come an’ Get It,‘ which would chart in seven countries and mark their highest ever UK chart position at number two. Following the album’s success, the band embarked on a five-month tour in Europe, then continued with Japan and US. After the tour, David Coverdale began writing new songs for the band’s upcoming album.
However, the band members were not in good mental shape due to their intensive schedule and the tiredness that came with it. They were also having some financial troubles due to the band’s mismanagement. David Coverdale learned around this time that his daughter had contracted bacterial meningitis, which would cause him to make new decisions regarding the future of the group.
Coverdale chose to put the band on hold to look after his daughter, but his decision wasn’t well-received by his bandmates. Micky Moody had already left the band due to ongoing problems. The remaining Whitesnake members, Bernie Marsden, Neil Murray, Ian Paice, and Jon Lord, thought that David Coverdale didn’t treat them as equal members as he wanted to thrust himself to the forefront.
During an old interview with Classic Rock, Coverdale was asked about his career’s highest and lowest points. As a response, he quickly recalled this period and said that his daughter’s illness was one of the lowest points of his career. The doctors couldn’t initially diagnose the disease, so it was a pretty stressful period for him. The doctors thought it could be Kawasaki syndrome that Coverdale might have brought from Japan.
Later on, it turned out that Coverdale’s daughter, Jessica, had bacterial meningitis. Coverdale stated that her illness encouraged him to change the band’s ongoing situation. He cut his ties with the band’s manager, John Coletta, although it cost him over a million dollars. He took some time and wanted to wait for his daughter to recover until deciding to put the band together a few months later.
Here is how David Coverdale reflected on this challenging period:
“A horrendous low was when my daughter was ill in ’82, and the doctors had no idea what it was. One doctor guessed it was Kawasaki syndrome, which I think I brought back from the tour in Japan. My daughter’s illness gave me the balls to realize that I could change the situation. That’s when I broke my management contract, and my life went from black and white to Technicolor. And the highs just continue today.”
Marsden, Murray, and Paice departed from the band but Coverdale convinced Micky Moody and Jon Lord to return to the band. The singer hired new band members, Mel Galley, Colin Hodgkinson, and Cozy Powell. Whitesnake’s first album with the new lineup, ‘Slide It In,’ was released in 1984. Besides the new lineup, the band also embraced a new glam metal sound rather than a harder sound with this album.