By the time his band Whitesnake became a platinum-level attraction in America during the second half of the 1980s, David Coverdale had already been British rock royalty for over a decade.

Born in Saltburn-on-sea, Yorkshire, David Coverdale started out with ambitions of becoming a guitarist, before finding his calling as a vocalist. Between 1967 and 1973, he performed with various local acts. One of those combos opened for Brit metal titans Deep Purple at an August 1969 gig, where keyboardist Jon Lord took Coverdale's number, just in case the Purps' then-new singer Ian Gillan didn't work out.

After Gillan moved on in mid-1973, Coverdale read that the band were considering unknowns for the vacant slot, and successfully auditioned for the job. Coverdale's vocal and songwriting skills were featured on a trio of Deep Purple albums-Burn, Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band-and the live Made In Europe before leaving the group, which disbanded soon after in March 1976.

Coverdale launched his post-Purple career with a pair of bluesy solo LPs, David Coverdale's Whitesnake and Northwinds. He assembled the first version of Whitesnake-including guitarists Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody, bassist Neil Murray and drummer David Dowle-to tour in support of the latter LP. The new outfit made its recording debut on 1978's four-song Snakebite EP, whose gritty cover of Bobby "Blue" Bland's "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City" became a minor hit in Europe and remains a staple of the band's live sets to this day.

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