David Coverdale to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Deep Purple Debut

Though his time with Deep Purple only ran from 1973 through 1976, David Coverdale is aware of the impact it had on his life and career and is planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of when he joined the classic rock band with the release of some special recordings.

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To commemorate the anniversary, Coverdale, 71, is hoping to record something special to share on social media in October, with former Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes, who also joined the band shortly before Coverdale in 1973.

“With me celebrating the 50th anniversary of [Deep] Purple, we’re going to be doing something, probably around October,” shared Coverdale. “I spoke with Glenn Hughes last year and asked if I could fly him up, to just sit down there and video us talking about our memories of getting the gig. He got the job with Deep Purple before me.”

He continued, “I’m hoping I can pull that off, so we can just put that on the internet for both him and I and our respective social media because it’s such a fucking game-changing, life-changing thing.”

Coverdale, who recently came across some of the belongings of his later mother Winnifred May, who had his early audition tape for Deep Purple, plans to share the rare recording with fans later in 2023.

“There’s this gift from the grave, which sounds awful, but it’s the tape that got me the audition with Deep Purple,” said Coverdale. “That’s one of the things that we’re putting together now for a special release in October. I remember Pacey [Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice], they’d all go into the Purple office and get a bunch of albums or tapes or whatever—or the roadies would come in and take them out.”

Following the departure of founding member and vocalist Rod Evans in 1969 and his replacement Ian Gillan, the band was auditioning new singers, and Paice came across Coverdale’s audition tape.

“Ian had gone in and took a bunch of stuff out and in there was my tape,” recalled Coverdale. “He called Ritchie Blackmore and said, ‘I think I’ve found a contender. He’s got a great tone,’ but how did my mother have this? This is so precious. It’s like finding the capstone from the Giza Pyramid.”

After officially joining Deep Purple in 1973, Coverdale recorded his first album with the band, Burn, released in 1974. He would go on to record two more albums with the band—Stormbringer in 1974 and Come Taste the Band in 1975—before pursuing his solo career, and eventually forming Whitesnake in 1978.

“This is for people up and coming, who will go, ‘Oh, my God, listen to how shitty he sounded and he got the job with Deep Purple,’ joked Coverdale. “Hopefully, there’s some kind of inspiration or motivational aspect. Finding it, it was like, ‘Thank you, Mom.’ I had no idea she had it because once I got the job with Purple, I was all over the world—almost immediately. I’d just go over and say, ‘Oh, can you look after this stuff’ or whatever. There’s lots of polaroids. Hopefully, she didn’t go in them.”

Coverdale added, “But yeah, it’s an absolute gift. Things turn on a dime. Something will come up and we had an idea a month ago.”

Along with his engineer and producer, Tom Gordon, Coverdale is also commemorating his other bands, including Whitesnake, with a symphony project.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of his Coverdale-Page collaborative album with Led Zeppelin‘s Jimmy Page. Though a box set commemorating the album was teased several years ago, no official release around a reissue has been revealed.

Photo by Per Ole Hagen/Redferns

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