Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions??
Date: November 22, 2012 11:29PM

Ok here's the article from GFTPM. It's a retrospective of the guitarists that Coverdale has sang with. These are Coverdale's thoughts.

Reprinted from Guitar For The Practicing Musician. February, 1990.

Chapter IV: John Sykes "Millionaires"

I poached a guy called Mel Galley, more for his voice, because he was like Glenn, but without the problems. We wrote some nice songs together; he was a real nice guy, but he had a very bad accident with his hand. I still wanted two guitarists, and my agent in Europe had recommended this guy, John Sykes. Whitesnake was headlining the "monsters of rock" in '84 and I put a Thin Lizzy album on, to check him out. There were always two guitarists in Lizzy, too, so it was difficult to know who was playing what, but it wasn't over-the-top good. John was a very good looking boy and nowhere near the guitarist he is now, but he was still interesting. I flew him over to Munich, where I was making the "Slide It In" album. I put on this old Little Willie John tune that i'd done with just a church organ, and me in a chapel singing "Need your love so bad..." I said to him "Take the vocal out; just play along with these passing chords." It's a very moving piece, but he really didn't know what to do with it. Cozy (Powell), Martin Birch, and everybody around was going, "No, no, no. Forget it." I couldn't let it go. At that time, it was hired hands, and he wanted too much money. I was also speaking to Adrian, who at that time was having a hit with "Burning Heart." Adrian said it was the most difficult decision he ever made, 'cause he was a major fan. I couldn't close the door on John, so I started talking to him again. I was totally unsupported by everybody I was involved with. Maybe it was a way to go, "I'll show you!" I don't know. Anyway, Mel broke his arm in two places, and we had to do five shows. It ended up that Jon Lord had to play harder than ever to cover spaces, and Sykes had to play harder than ever, and it was really good. They were the most exciting Whitesnake shows I'd had, to that point. I was very excited, so I made a very difficult decision about Mel. I said, "You're not in the band anymore. We'll have you, if you wish to still be involved, as a writer and on albums."
The label wanted to remix the album, with Keith Olson, which was when I first met Keith. I said, "You can, but I have a new guitarist, and I've got my old bass player back." The American album was my focus. I wanted them represented on the album, so they spent a couple of weeks working with Keith on the "Slide It In" album. Keith's a great radio mixer, but I was disappointed with a lot of the playing. Sykes' solos, like on "Slide It In," are not really that good. I wasn't in the studio with him, 'cause I'd almost washed my hands of it. I'd worked my nuts off with Martin Birch to give them a good album, so in essence, there are two Whitesnake albums. There's the American "Slide It In" album, with John, Mel, and Neil Murray, the bass player, and Jon Lord. The rest of the world was Mickey Moody, Mel Galley, Jon Lord, and a guy called Colin Hodgkinson. He was like a childhood hero of mine, when he was working with a jazz/rock trio called Backdoor.
I liked the European record, although the mix isn't as competent, isn't as radio oriented. At first, I was furious with the remixes. The only time I bought it was when I heard "Slow and Easy" and "Loving a Stranger," played to death when I was touring with Quiet Riot at the end of '84. One can only learn by keeping all the antennae out, and it was the first time I'd heard my voice right up here, and it worked. That's what came out of "Slide It In" and turned into the "Whitesnake" album. It was that focus to keep everything crisp.
All of the songs that John and I worked on came out of a five-day spurt, and ultimately made he and I millonaires. A Czechoslovakian film producer I know had a villa in a place about 30 minutes from San Tropez. We got a little ghetto-blaster with condenser mikes, because I loathe exotic demos. I said, "Let's not try to write a Whitesnake album." He'd written with Lizzy, of which I was totally unimpressed. I never got him involved for his writing ability. We just bounced off each other. We came up with much more than is actually featured. There were acoustic guitars, and the Rockman amplified through little speakers. John plays with a fabulous rock attitude. He hits, and the effort is evident at the end of a track. It was great. My stock quote was, "If he was 10% the person that he is as a musician, he would be easy to work with," but it was impossible. The biggest problem starts when he takes the guitar off. Actually, we fell out when we were working down there, and then kissed and made up, and he came back and brought Neil with him, so we worked with Neil on the tunes. The tunes were cool, John Kalodner at Geffen Records flipped, and we spent the summer of '85 auditioning drummers in the Valley, until I said, "That's it. The songs have been been ready for too long. I'm going nuts. I can't tell the difference between a guy who's good or bad. We're gonna use the Billy Idol/Keith Forsey method, and use a drum machine." Then Aynsley came into the picture, and he was the only one who had the energy to keep time, and keep up with the actual frenzy that was going on at the top. And it worked.
The most striking thing that I realized when we were in Vancouver, was John's frustration of not being able to get a sound. I think he expected to plug in and just get a sound. I came to the studio one day, and there was this whole monitor system, which was exactly the same as we'd used rehearsing in L.A. There he is with this huge rig. Mike Stone was going, "I've never had trouble getting a guitar sound with Schon or Brian May." I realized that John didn't have an identity. Regardless of whatever's been said in print, I fired John on the telephone and to his face. I had Adrian Vandenberg in the studio when John came to say "What's going on?" I said, "It's over. It's just over." He'd spent a fortune in the studio, on the guitars. He didn't support me when the producer, Mike Stone, refused to leave England to continue work on the project, and I, for tax reasons, am unable to go to England, so, you know, it was all compromised, all the time. This guy said that he wasn't going to do the guitars until I gave him a set amount of money, and I was already three million dollars in debt. In the end, it was just a mutual dislike for each other. There was a resentment that I was known and he wasn't. It was a very difficult thing. His favorite people are all rebels, in terms of thinking they're bulletproof, in terms of what they can do to their bodies, and not see how debilitating it is. I encouraged John and it was a situation I will never take away from. He played magnificently, but working with him was intolerable for me. He worked with me for the smallest period of time of anybody else within the Whitesnake framework, and made more money than all of them put together. There was a percentage that I would not have been able to accomplish without Sykes, but in my heart of hearts, I know there's a great deal more that he would not have been able to accomplish without my involvement

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 750 rickyboy999 11/22/2012 09:53PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 526 Probie Sheen 11/22/2012 10:06PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 448 RAMSAY 11/22/2012 10:11PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 459 rickyboy999 11/22/2012 10:11PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 426 rocknut 11/22/2012 10:48PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 345 Laurent 11/23/2012 02:07AM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 294 rickyboy999 11/23/2012 04:09AM
Coverdales strange reasoning in that article... 316 rickyboy999 11/23/2012 04:10AM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 241 Probie Sheen 11/23/2012 10:46AM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 512 Andrew 11/22/2012 10:15PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 399 rocknut 11/22/2012 10:40PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 363 RAMSAY 11/22/2012 10:41PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 377 Coco 11/22/2012 10:43PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions??346 Darren In Florida 11/22/2012 11:29PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 326 Coco 11/22/2012 11:45PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 305 nivjourney 11/23/2012 12:36AM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 286 rickyboy999 11/23/2012 01:34AM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 295 gary191265 11/23/2012 01:40AM
sycophantic music journalists 373 Michael Eaton 11/23/2012 12:56AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 320 gary191265 11/23/2012 01:16AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 306 Coco 11/23/2012 01:29AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 289 nivjourney 11/23/2012 01:36AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 264 Coco 11/23/2012 01:57AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 319 rocknut 11/23/2012 01:43AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 285 gary191265 11/23/2012 01:45AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 277 Darren In Florida 11/23/2012 02:22AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 237 AndyC 11/23/2012 09:50PM
Re: Phil Alexander 254 rocknut 11/24/2012 02:52AM
Re: Phil Alexander 225 rickyboy999 11/24/2012 07:20AM
Re: Phil Alexander 203 rocknut 11/24/2012 07:05PM
Re: Phil Alexander 200 rocknut 11/24/2012 07:20PM
Nope, it was definitely Phil Alexander 186 rocknut 11/24/2012 09:21PM
Re: Nope, it was definitely Phil Alexander 184 rickyboy999 11/25/2012 04:00AM
Re: Nope, it was definitely Phil Alexander 179 rocknut 11/25/2012 04:03AM
Re: Phil Alexander 206 Wardy 11/24/2012 07:50AM
View From the Bar (Kerrang!) 267 Ydde 11/23/2012 08:27PM
Re: View From the Bar (Kerrang!) 226 rocknut 11/24/2012 02:49AM
I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 253 RAMSAY 11/24/2012 04:03AM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 235 rocknut 11/24/2012 04:07AM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 196 Tony Bainbridge 11/24/2012 06:17AM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 203 Coco 11/24/2012 06:18AM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 181 Tony Bainbridge 11/24/2012 06:22AM
Re: "no real friends"...... 217 rocknut 11/24/2012 07:17PM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 175 Ydde 11/24/2012 06:41PM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 204 Coco 11/24/2012 06:07AM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 198 Tony Bainbridge 11/24/2012 06:33AM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 195 Coco 11/24/2012 08:12AM
And Here You Are :) 246 Coco 11/24/2012 08:11AM
Re: And Here You Are :) 214 RAMSAY 11/24/2012 08:35AM
Re: And Here You Are :) 215 Coco 11/24/2012 08:37AM
Re: And Here You Are :) 206 RAMSAY 11/24/2012 08:44AM
Re: And Here You Are :) 183 Coco 11/24/2012 09:08AM
Re: And Here You Are :) 195 RAMSAY 11/24/2012 09:13AM
Re: And Here You Are :) 197 Andrew 11/24/2012 02:07PM
Re: And Here You Are :) 174 Tony Bainbridge 11/24/2012 07:32PM
Re: And Here You Are :) 172 RAMSAY 11/24/2012 11:16PM
Re: I've actually been in Kerrang!!! 165 Chazz 11/25/2012 12:15AM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 243 Wardy 11/23/2012 08:58PM
Re: sycophantic music journalists 193 rickyboy999 11/24/2012 07:23AM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 289 JJ 11/23/2012 04:52AM
Interview from Pyro sessions 283 JJ 11/23/2012 04:59AM
Re: Interview from Pyro sessions 247 rickyboy999 11/23/2012 05:13AM
Re: Interview from Pyro sessions 168 rocknut 11/24/2012 07:25PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 256 MIKE 11/23/2012 05:43AM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 212 AndyC 11/23/2012 09:51PM
Re: Why do rock magazines never ask bands some awkward questions?? 209 MIKE 11/24/2012 08:49PM
it's about the $$$$ 193 Ydde 11/24/2012 06:50PM
Re: it's about the $$$$ 173 rickyboy999 11/25/2012 04:08AM
Re: it's about the $$$$ 166 Tony Bainbridge 11/25/2012 04:16AM


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