David Coverdale spoke to Kyle Meredith of Louisville's 91.9 WFPK radio station about the cancelation of all of WHITESNAKE's previously announced touring activities, including this summer's U.S. trek with SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE and NIGHT RANGER, so that he could undergo surgery for bilateral inguinal hernia.
He said (hear audio below): "Of course I'm missing performing. I'd just had the most successful ticket sales in WHITESNAKE's history in 2020, and it was devastating to have to cancel that tour. But I had to cancel for health reasons — it was prior to the world closing down because of the coronavirus. My issue started when I started the tour in Melbourne, Australia earlier this year, and the second song was 'Slide In In'. As I started projecting the song, I felt this unusual, uncomfortable pop in my nether regions, and my hernias had just popped out. It was very painful. So it was a necessary thing for me to do before the pandemic closed everything down.
"It's devastating," he continued. "To cancel one show is heartbreaking. To cancel a whole sold-out tour — just devastating. And particularly the kind of circumstances."
Coverdale also addressed the fact that the majority of people in the live events industry have lost all of their income since the COVID-19 shutdown, with indoor concert venues slated to be the last to fully reopen once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.
"We're all in the same boat in uncharted waters looking for a safe harbor," he said. "This is a time when we should be working together with a sense of community.
"I'm appalled by the political divisiveness that's being utilized with this dreadful virus that's going on — on both sides of the Atlantic. It's horrifying to me. This is one of the most challenging times in our species' history, and people are being told they could go out without a mask. No, it isn't. You're endangering other people — if you have it or you're gonna get it. It's indiscriminate. It baffles me — it really does.
"My wife and I have adhered to a lockdown, isolated protocols for [a few] months now. [I've had] my studio disinfected, cleaned. Everybody we work with is temperature tested. We're taking it really seriously. Why? Because it's necessary.
"The sooner we get that done, which I think is gonna be multiple vaccines, then we can all safely go and hang out together again in rock shows. You can't do a rock show to car park full of cars, with people in there. One of the things that people go to a WHITESNAKE show for is to let off steam, have a drink, have a good night."
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.
WHITESNAKE recently launched the "Red, White And Blues" trilogy, a series of fresh, new collections organized by musical themes that will include "Love Songs" (red), "The Rock Album" (white) and "The Blues Album" (blue).
"The Rock Album" was made available on June 19 on CD ($14.98), and as a double-LP set pressed on 180-gram, white vinyl ($31.98). The music is also available through digital and streaming services. The collection features the debut of "Always The Same", a previously unreleased song that was recorded during the 2019 sessions for "Flesh & Blood".