David Coverdale Discusses His First Deep Purple Challenge

While appearing on Whitesnake TV, David Coverdale recalled how Deep Purple tested him to see if he would ‘cut it’ with the band. The act’s’test’ occurred during Coverdale’s first Scandinavian tour with DP in 1973, when the singer recounted how his then-new bandmates caught him off guard after a long night of drinking and decided to pull a prank on him, recalling: “I mentioned before my first Scandinavian trip with Deep Purple. I believe that was a trial run to see if Glenn [Hughes] and I could cut it. Glenn, we plainly know, but I was the unknown. In any case, we visited a recording studio in Copenhagen.

I was meant to write the words for a song about Ritchie’s rift, but I’d been partying so hard that I’d passed out on the studio couch. And you didn’t have iPhones back then; obviously, you had little Instamatics you’d take with you.” When the band noticed that their new frontman was ‘dead asleep,’ they decided to screw with him ‘a bit:’

“I was fast asleep [when] the band covered me in Scandinavian porn, the most graphic stuff you can imagine; took thousands of photographs, then replaced my phone.” So I had no idea what was on my phone till I went to the local drugstore to get the images.” And, to no one’s surprise, the public reaction to the ‘prank’ photos was not positive, as Coverdale recalled: “Of course, the girls [in the pharmacy] are staring at me as if I’m the most perverted b*stard, which was understandable.” It was somewhat graphic, yet… That was a good one.”

David then revealed the song he was attempting to ‘create’ prior to the prank, admitting it was ‘Coronarias Redig’ from Deep Purple’s 1974 album ‘Burn.’ So, that ‘test’ was one of the first hurdles Coverdale encountered in the band, however subsequent ‘challenges’ weren’t as ‘funny’ as you can see why Glenn Hughes thought he and Coverdale were the act’s ‘black sheep’.

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