Taking his band Whitesnake out on a Greatest Hits Tour is something of a statement for newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee David Coverdale.
"You know, I don't have anything to prove anymore," Coverdale, 64, says by phone from New York. "I certainly don't have anything to prove to anyone else. I've been writing very successful classic rock for over 40 years, with an amazing catalog which still feathers our next as it were.
"I can do what I want now, which is a beautiful thing, lemme tell ya."
Coverdale has spent the past year or so immersed in another part of his past -- Deep Purple. The iconic group's frontman from 1973-76 (playing his first ever U.S. show at Detroit's Cobo Arena), Coverdale remade some of his favorites from his time in the band with Whitesnake for last year's "The Purple Album." And in April he was inducted into the Rock Hall with Deep Purple, though because of band politics he did not perform during the ceremony with Purple but rather during the night-ending jam on Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame."
With Whitesnake, meanwhile, Coverdale is celebrating 38 years and 12 studio albums, including multi-platinum titles such as 1984's "Slide It In," 1987's "Whitesnake" and 1989's "Slip of the Tongue." He's in love with the group's current lineup, which he calls "incendiary," and Coverdale is enjoying a certain independence after spending years with major labels.
"It's really amazing because I don't need to go to the corporation for a bankroll," he explains. "The corporation doesn't (care) as we know; They're just looking to milk the hits of any young talent that comes out. It's really obscene. Fortunately I'm out of all that anymore."
He's definitely into making more music, however. With his touring schedule on the wane -- "I've turned 64, man; This stuff is hard anymore," he says -- Coverdale is focusing on "all these other projects I've got on the back burner, which he hopes to start ticking off in the near future.
"I want to do an unplugged greatest hits, which is very exciting to me," Coverdale says. "And it won't be just 'The Love Songs of Whitesnake.' It won't be the songs to cut your wrists by. It'll be, like, 'Still of the Night,' as well as 'Is This Love' and 'Here We Go Again,' all done in my inimitable way.
"That's something that will let me tell my stories and maybe go into more intimate venues and do up-close and personal stuff, which is really hard for me to do when I'm in rock 'n roll mode. I'd like for it to be something other than, 'Omigod, I've got two hours to kick ass!' and maybe dial it down just a touch."
Whitesnake and Whitford/St. Holmes
8 p.m. Friday, June 17.
The Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
Tickets are $19.50-$99.50.
Call 313-471-6611 or visit olympiaentertainment.com.
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