Coverdale made the comments while speaking to Eonmusic about the WHITESNAKE‘s new album, Love Songs, which comes out on November 6 via Rhino Records.
He said: “[Ritchie Coverdale and I] had been talking about it. We’d been nominated before and never got in, and I said, ‘Are you going to go?’, and he said, ‘Nah.’ I said, ‘Well, I won’t go then.’ [Laughs]”.
“But what had happened in 2016, literally, once it had been announced that we were officially being inducted into it, the current DEEP PURPLE refused to go if Ritchie Blackmore was going to be there,” he continued. “And this was, like, 72 hours before, when I was ready to fly with my family. And this cost me, like, $75,000 or $85,000, because you have to pay for all the tables apart from the one you’re on, and I had my daughter fly in from Germany, my son came out of college. It was a family affair.”
“Suddenly, Glenn Hughes and I were told, ‘Well, we don’t want you singing with us.’ Initially, I’d spoken to Ian [Gillan] about coming up and singing the backgrounds of ‘Smoke On The Water’, because originally they were going to close the show. So, that suddenly was pulled, the plug.
“They tried to stop us doing speeches, and my wife was f*cking furious, apart from the fact she spent a fortune on posh dresses. [Laughs] And I said, ‘F*ck it! Nobody’s going to keep us off.’ I got in touch with Carole, Ritchie‘s manager, and I said, ‘Tell him to come with me. Nobody’s going to f*cking touch him. Tell him to come with me,’ and he didn’t want to do it.”
“The first thing I said when I was up there, was, ‘None of us would have been standing here without Ritchie Blackmore,’ and I made sure of that point,” Coverdale added. “Steve Morse and Don Airey [current DEEP PURPLE members] were more complimentary to Glenn and I than the other guys. We had a blast; we had a f*cking great time. I’m very happy that I am who I am, and I just talked to Glenn the other day about it: ‘What the f*ck was up their a—s?!’ “So we didn’t get to jam, which was fine. We were back doing press while they were performing, just having a good old time like the unrighteous brothers always do.”
He said about Ritchie Blackmore: “He doesn’t give a sh*t, and he knows he was responsible for the majority of the music there, and it’s true — none of us, none of us would have been on that stage without Ritchie Blackmore. None of us.”
You can read full interview over at Eonmusic.