The Reason David Coverdale Fired All Whitesnake Members

After leaving Deep Purple in 1976, David Coverdale initially formed Whitesnake to back him up during his solo performances. The backing band was such a success that they later became an actual band. They gained commercial success with their 1987 album, ‘Whitesnake,’ which included their most prominent singles ‘Here I Go Again’ and ‘Is This Love.’ This album’s creation process was so challenging for the band that their entire lineup changed after the release.

The band had gained recognition even before their 1987 album, but the American audience had started to lose interest. Therefore, they had to develop a new and improved version of themselves to get back in sync with their fans. Their drummer Cozy Powell quit the band before the album’s production, and therefore they had to hire a new one.

While auditioning drummers, Coverdale thought they needed a change in style to sound more ‘electrifying’ and hook the listener. It was a struggling period for the band as they had to force their name into the rock world while their members were quitting. However, little did they know that this was only the beginning of their conflicts.

What Happened During The Production Of The Album?

This was the first and the final times Coverdale and the successful guitarist John Sykes worked together. While helping Coverdale co-produce the album, Sykes wanted to get to a specific guitar sound quality and started to work with the legendary producer Bob Rock. During the production, Coverdale faced a severe sinus infection that required an operation and prevented him from singing. This delayed the album’s release, making the members, especially Sykes, angry.

There are two sides to the story; according to Coverdale, Sykes was being selfish and self-centered as he never asked about him while he was in his lengthy recovery period. Lacking support, Coverdale thought that John was taking advantage of his situation and finishing the album by replacing him with a new vocalist, which planted the seeds of doubt into the singer’s brain.

However, Sykes addressed this in 2017 and stated that Coverdale was doing everything possible not to record his vocals, further delaying the band and acting egoistical. This annoyed John so much that in 2017 he stated that he would still not reunite or be included in any project with Coverdale ever again.

What Happened After Coverdale Recovered

When Coverdale was back, he started collaborating with Ron Nevison but then switched to Keith Olsen. The band was stressed because they had already lost a lot of time with the singer’s illness and his attitude. There were more disagreements over the sounds and Coverdale’s reluctance to produce the album, as it was claimed that he complained most of the time.

The album was done in 1986 and was ready for release when the seeds of doubt in Coverdale’s mind started to sprout. He fired the entire band, losing trust in each one of them. Even though the album became the most successful record of Whitesnake, that lineup was fired by Coverdale due to ‘personal differences,’ indicating that he couldn’t get over his trust problems.