Jeff Beck’s Deep Purple Chapter: David Coverdale Reveals Secret Plan

Following Whitesnake’s recent release of ‘The Purple Album: Special Gold Edition,’ David Coverdale sat down with Whitesnake TV and discussed his unrevealed plan about the late Jeff Beck’s journey with Deep Purple.

When asked whether Rory Gallagher or Beck ever auditioned for Deep Purple by a fan, the frontman replied by saying:

“Absolutely not. Please remember these were just names after Ritchie [Blackmore] said he was leaving. These were names of people that I thought were guitarists I really enjoyed.”

Recalling what he had in his mind for Beck and Rory, he continued:

“The first name on the list was Jeff Beck, and I told Jeff years later about it, which he thought, ‘Oh, that would have been farts and giggles.’ Bless his heart. To Rory, I told much later, and Tommy Bolin worked and inspired everybody for a long time. Thank you for your question.”

After Whitesnake released ‘The Purple Album’ in 2015, Coverdale spoke to Jeb Wright in an interview and again reflected on how they decided to hire Bolin at the time. He explained why they thought working with Jeff might be challenging:

“There were three names on my list of proposed musicians. The first one was Jeff Beck. I am the biggest Jeff Beck fan in the world to this day. I didn’t know him as well as Jon and Ian, and they both said, ‘Oh my God, after the challenges of Ritchie…’ Jeff was horrid about showing up in the early days with the Yardbirds if there was something fun on TV. They felt that would be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.”

As the singer revealed in the same chat, Gallagher also didn’t work out because his colleagues didn’t think Rory would be interested because he already had a successful career. Then he suggested Bolin, but his friends didn’t know much about him. Coverdale played some of Tommy’s music, and they were impressed.

So, the late musician joined the band in 1975 to replace Blackmore. During his time with Deep Purple, Bolin contributed his guitar and songwriting skills to the album ‘Come Taste the Band,’ released in 1975. However, his time with the band was cut short due to personal struggles with substance abuse, leading to his death in 1976.

You can watch the rest of Coverdale’s Q&A with fans below.