Some ripples of fear swept through the Whitesnake nation in the summer of 2009, when founder and frontman David Coverdale was diagnosed with a vocal edema and a throat lesion, forcing the group to pull out of its tour with Judas Priest.
Coverdale recovered by the following February and guitarist Doug Aldrich — who’s been the singer’s chief songwriting partner since Whitesnake resumed active duty in 2002 — says everybody took Coverdale’s situation in stride.
“At the time we had just come off 18 months of touring, and I think (Coverdale) was pretty much done with the whole process,” says Aldrich, 47, who co-produced Whitesnake’s latest album, “Forevermore.” “He was basically ready to go home, and the doctor said, ‘Look, you’re tired. You need to go home or you’re really going to hurt yourself.’
“So that’s what we did. We only really canceled a week of the tour. And then the doctor signed off on it about a month later — ‘You’re ready to go back out there.’ At that point we started to figure out how to make a new record.”
Aldrich says that any time he starts working on a new Whitesnake album, the goal is “to get (Coverdale) off, and it’s got to be fun.” But given his long tenure in the band, the guitarist says he’s pretty familiar with how to do that.
“We have a really good, organic creative relationship,” explains Aldrich, who played with Dio, Lion, House of Lords and other bands before joining Whitesnake. “It’s not like we can sit down and say, ‘We need this’ or ‘How are we going to write another ‘Here I Go Again?’ Well, you can’t, really. You’ve just got to write and see where the chips fall.
“I feel like (‘Forevermore’) encompasses lots of flavors of Whitesnake and heads back a little more to the bluesy that was part of the older Whitesnake. We hadn’t done that for a while, so that made it really interesting for us.”
Whitesnake and Tesla perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $45 and $25 pavilion, $15 lawn with a $44 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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