David Coverdale has revealed that he and former Deep Purple bandmate Ritchie Blackmore discussed the possibility of getting back together after the death of Jon Lord in 2012.
And although the idea didn’t come to fruition, it may have informed Coverdale’s decision to record an album of his Purple-era tracks with Whitesnake.
The singer – who fronted the MkIII and IV version of Purple from 1973 to 1976 – confirmed the launch of The Purple Album yesterday, describing it as “a huge thank you from me to Deep Purple for the opportunity I was given over 40 years ago.”
Coverdale says in the latest edition of Classic Rock, on sale now: “The tragic loss of Jon made me finally realise that life is too fucking short to hold animosity, bitterness and resentments.
“So I decided to reach out to Ritchie to share the sense of grief and loss of Jon with him, and to express my gratitude to him for bringing me on board Deep Purple.
“During the conversation we did discuss the idea of getting back together in some way, which was Jon’s wish.”
He says he didn’t pursue the idea because: “After several discussions with Ritchie’s manager I felt I didn’t share their vision of the project. I sincerely wished them well and respectfully withdrew.”
But Coverdale adds: “During this time I pulled out the albums and started messing around with some of the songs – rearranging ideas, adding a new bit here and there.
“The bonus for me was I rediscovered my love for that time and the work all of us achieved together. Magical times.”
Looking back on his stint with Purple, he reflects: “I felt I had to prove myself. I knew I had been given an incredible opportunity and didn’t want to blow it.
“But, my God, I was so young and naive. Thrown in at the deep end to sink or swim. The two sci-fi lyrics I wrote for Mr Blackmore, Burn and Stormbringer, I’d never written like that before. But then again I’d never been given music like that before.”
Burn and Stormbringer both appear on Whitesnake’s The Purple Album, released on May 18 in the UK (May 15 in Europe, May 19 in North America). Deep Purple are the cover stars of the latest edition of Classic Rock, on sale now and also featuring Motorhead, Roxy Music, Free, Kate Bush, Chicago, Kyuss, The Cure, New York Dolls and much more.