ADRIAN VANDENBERG On Being Unable To Record Guitars For WHITESNAKE's Slip Of The Tongue Album - "It Was Incredibly Frustrating; I'm Very Happy That STEVE VAI Played The Guitar Parts"
November 23, 2020, 2 months ago
Former Whitesnake guitarist Adrian Vandenberg spoke with Kylie Olsson for Life In Six Strings, and during the conversation he looked back on the injury that orevented him from playing on the band's 1989 album, Slip Of The Tongue. Guitar duties were taken over by Steve Vai for the record.
Vandenberg: "It was incredibly frustrating. What happened was - I only found out actually in 2000, so 10 years later, what the actual problem was. And then I had surgery. I was in a car crash in the early '80s and apparently, I developed a whiplash, but nobody told me. I had pain in my neck for a couple of weeks and then the pain went away, and I thought, 'Well, that was it.' But apparently, I had two neck hernias resulting from that, and they were pushing against the nerves that go to my right hand. So at one point, my wrist just kind of stopped.
The surgeon compared it to a garden hose - you double it over here and you double it again over there, and there's no water coming out. The nerves didn't have enough time to send back the signal, so to speak. So yeah, that was a big bummer, of course. I'm very happy that Steve, a player of his caliber, played the guitar parts. And Steve and I have become good friends on the road, so we're in touch and everything.
It's just one of those unfortunate things that make life worth living. You got your ups and downs."
Vandenberg recently guested on the Eddie Trunk Podcast, and during the chat he looked back on recording guitar parts for "Here I Go Again", the smash hit from Whitesnake's self-titled album released in 1987. All guitar parts on the album were recorded by John Sykes except for the breakthrough single.
Vandenberg: "David (Coverdale / vocals) asked me to make new guitar arrangements for 'Here I Go Again' because John from Geffen records thought it sounded like 'metal-country-western.' It's how he described it. So, I was in the back of the studio working on a record to figure out the new guitar arrangement, and there was a lot of noise in the control room, with John Sykes and David arguing about the fact that John didn't really accept not being in Whitesnake anymore.
John Sykes was in England at the time, and David let John know that the cooperation didn't work anymore. So, I was working in the back room when John Sykes and David were arguing; it was quite a historic event, especially looking at it afterwards. At that particular moment, nobody could have predicted the immense success of the record so, yeah, I'm still really proud to have been a part of it all.
I just bought a cheap-ass Japanese Stratocaster copy or something, and David asked me to play the parts on 'Here I Go Again,' and I did. So it was quite a strange experience to watch the song go all the way to #1 on a cheap Japanese guitar."