WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale, who turned 70 last month, has opened up about his plans to retire from touring after the band's next batch of concerts around the world.
Coverdale discussed his decision to stop performing with WHITESNAKE while appearing on the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast to promote the newly remastered and remixed CD and LP deluxe editions of the "Restless Heart" album.
He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I planned to retire on the 2020 tour when I was 69. I thought that was the perfect age for the singer of WHITESNAKE to call it a day. But sadly, it was not to be, as we know; other events were in store. So now the t-shirt designs don't resonate as well for 70. But it's mind-blowing to me that I'm preparing my farewell tour. And it is — make no mistake, this is the farewell tour. I'm 70. It's a very physically challenging thing for me to do at the best of times. But it's very important for me to achieve completion and to express my appreciation and gratitude to all the people — the millions of people over the years — who've supported me for five decades, fifty years. It blows my mind — it really does."
"A lot of my peers and contemporaries are on their 20th retirement tour. I don't intend to plan that," he clarified. "I must explain, though — it's me, just David Coverdale, who's retiring from touring at that level. WHITESNAKE will still make projects. I've been writing music all through COVID. I wrote some beautiful new ideas. I have ideas in case Jimmy [Page] wants to do anything — write on FaceTime, which is an alien concept to him. But all songs that we can utilize for a WHITESNAKE project. But the music of WHITESNAKE will continue. That's most important that people know. I'm just stopping touring at this level — that's it."
According to Coverdale, there could very well be new music from WHITESNAKE in the years following his retirement from the road.
"I've got a bunch of ideas for WHITESNAKE, so we may have another project there — I don't know — without the pressure of having to go on tour," he said. "We have such a solid fanbase, I think fans are gonna buy the record with or without a tour. This is just emotionally for me to be able to go out there and do stuff. And also, you've gotta remember, we've started this legacy series of box sets, similar to the 25th anniversary. We have, I think, the 35th anniversary of 'Slide It In'; the 30th anniversary of the WHITESNAKE '87 album; we have a very special project planned to accompany the tour; we have another box set planned for this time next year. And then in 2023, we have the 30th anniversary of COVERDALE/PAGE, and the 50th anniversary of me joining DEEP PURPLE. Mind-blowing. So it's not like I'm retiring. [Laughs]
"Thankfully, physically and vocally, I still have the goods," he continued. "As my wife reminds me, I was actually touring up to spring in 2020, before lockdown. And I was 68 years old, and I'm still kicking ass. Of course, having an amazing band and an incredible and enthusiastic audience gives you that energizing aspect. It's just the traveling is challenging for me. But music is oxygen to me. I'm not gonna go fishing or take up crochet; I'm gonna definitely be doing projects. I'm lucky enough to have my own studio. It's the best of a bunch of worlds. And I have to thank people in person around the world for helping me to be in this position that I am in my life at this time. I don't wanna do it through a video [on] social media: 'Sorry we can't get out there, but thank you for 50 years.' That would be heartbreaking for me."
Coverdale had both his knees replaced with titanium in 2017 after suffering from degenerative arthritis. He later explained that he was in so much pain with arthritis in his knees that it hampered his ability to perform live.
WHITESNAKE had been touring in support of its latest album, "Flesh & Blood", which was released in May 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.
This past July, WHITESNAKE announced that it had enlisted Croatian singer/multi-instrumentalist Dino Jelusick for its upcoming tour. Jelusick is a member of multi-platinum selling band TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and was previously part of DIRTY SHIRLEY (with George Lynch), ANIMAL DRIVE and recorded with many others.