Speaking of John Kalodner John Kalodner, here’s a band he entered in the American power-ballad sweepstakes at exactly the right moment. We all like to think of David Coverdale (and Tawny Kitaen) as having sprouted like mushrooms from the fetid depths of an album-rock station in Cleveland, but in reality, Coverdale had been kicking around with Whitesnake since the late ’70s, after leaving Deep Purple. Initially Whitesnake was sort of an electric blues band, but over time, Coverdale started to realize where his bread could be buttered, and by the early ’80s, the band was releasing albums with titles like Slide It In.
And then along came Kalodner (Kalodner), who shepherded the band through its Geffen debut, a re-recorded version of Whitesnake. (Technically speaking, the band was pretty much Coverdale at this point, as he had recently fired everyone, something he seems to enjoy doing every few years; in this case, Coverdale’s pink slip frenzy necessitated the hiring of guitarist Adrian Vandenberg, who, I assure you, we will someday be meeting over at Cutouts Gone Wild!.)
Anyway, uh, Whitesnake sucked, or sucks Á¢€” it’s hard to tell, because Coverdale has been breaking up and reforming the band on a regular basis since 1994 Á¢€” and so do “Here I Go Again” (download) and “Is This Love” (download). I submit that, were it not for Kitaen’s participation in both of the songs’ videos, they would not have been nearly as popular; rock listeners would have thought that Robert Plant was just having an off day and changed the station.
But they were big hits. In fact, “Here I Go Again” had been a big it before, in Britain, during one of Whitesnake’s six dozen earlier incarnations. I know this not because I am a Whitesnake scholar, but because of Wikipedia, where I also learned the following:
The song was written by lead singer David Coverdale and former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden. The most notable differences between the original and revamped version are the style of the music (blues vs. rock) and a slight change in the lyrics. The chorus of original version features the lines:
“An’ here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a hobo I was born to walk alone”
whereas the newer version is:
“Like a drifter I was born to walk alone”
The change was made because even before finishing writing and recording the 1987 album, Coverdale had decided to release a new version of “Here I Go Again” as one of the singles. He was afraid an American audience might think he was singing “Like a homo I was born to walk alone” so he had the lyrics changed.
Wikipedia isn’t always a reliable source of information, so the above might not be true, but I’m praying it is.