After “The Purple Album: Special Gold Edition” was just released by Whitesnake, David Coverdale spoke with Whitesnake TV about his previously undisclosed plan regarding the late Jeff Beck’s involvement with Deep Purple. In response to a fan’s question about whether Rory Gallagher or Beck had ever tried out for Deep Purple, the leader said: Definitely not. Recall that these were only names once Ritchie Blackmore announced his departure. These were the names of guitarists I truly liked, in my opinion.
He went on, recalling his thoughts for Beck and Rory: “When I told Jeff Beck about it years later, he said, ‘Oh, that would have been farts and giggles,'” even though his name was the first on the list. Pray for his heart. I told Rory much later, and for a long time afterward, Tommy Bolin worked and motivated everyone. I appreciate you asking.
In an interview with Jeb Wright following Whitesnake’s 2015 release of “The Purple Album,” Coverdale reiterated their reasoning for hiring Bolin at the time. He clarified the reasons they believed dealing with Jeff would be difficult: Three names were suggested musicians on my list. Jeff Beck was the first. Even to this day, I remain the world’s biggest fan of Jeff Beck. Even though Jon and Ian knew him better than I did, they both remarked, “Oh my God, after the challenges of Ritchie…” When the Yardbirds first started out, Jeff used to get really excited when he saw something entertaining on television. That seemed to them like jumping into the fire from a frying pan.
Gallagher didn’t work out either, as the singer disclosed in the same discussion, because his colleagues didn’t think Rory would be interested given his great profession. Then he recommended Bolin, although his pals were largely unaware of him. After Coverdale sang some of Tommy’s songs, they were won over.
Thus, the late musician took Blackmore’s place in the band when he joined in 1975. Bolin provided guitar and songwriting for the 1975 album “Come Taste the Band” while he was a member of Deep Purple. His personal battles with substance abuse, however, cut short his time with the band and ultimately resulted in his death in 1976. The remainder of Coverdale’s fan Q&A is available to watch below.