While speaking on Whitesnake TV, David Coverdale recently revealed how Deep Purple put him through a test to determine whether he would ‘cut it’ with the group.
The group’s “test” took place during Coverdale’s first Scandinavian tour with DP in 1973. The singer recalled how his brand-new comrades surprised him by pulling a joke on him after a long night of partying, saying:
“I told a story earlier about my first Scandinavian tour with Deep Purple. I think it was like a testing area to see if Glenn [Hughes] and I could cut it. Glenn, obviously, we know, but I was the unknown factor. Anyway, we went to a recording studio in Copenhagen.
I was supposed to write the lyrics for a song to a rift that Ritchie had, and I’d been partying so hard I’d fallen dead asleep on the couch in the studio. And in those days, you didn’t have iPhones; obviously, you had little Instamatics you’d take with you.”
The group decided to screw with their new frontman “a bit” after noticing that he was “dead asleep”:
“I was fast asleep [and] the band covered me in Scandinavian porn, the most graphic stuff you can imagine; took thousands of photographs and then put my phone back. So, I didn’t know what was on my phone until I went to collect the pictures from the local pharmacy.”
And to exactly no one’s surprise, really, the public reaction to the ‘prank’ pictures wasn’t the best, as Coverdale recalled:
“And, of course, the girls [in the pharmacy] are looking at me like I’m the most perverted b*stard, and it was quite understandable. It was pretty graphic, but… That was a funny one.”
The song David Coverdale was attempting to “write” prior to the practical joke was later revealed by David to be “Coronarias Redig” from Deep Purple’s 1974 album “Burn.”
As a result, the “test” was one of the first difficulties Coverdale had in the band, however subsequent “difficulties” weren’t as “funny” as you can see why Glenn Hughes believed Coverdale and him to be the “black sheep” of the group.