My first exposure to Whitesnake was seeing a vinyl copy of LOVEHUNTER (1979) on display at Good Vibrations back in the early ’80s. Good Vibrations was my favorite record store and it was my weekly stop while my Mom did her food shopping at the super-sized supermarket in the same plaza. I was flipping through the vinyl and there it was!
I remember thinking to myself that I couldn’t get buy this and get it by my Mom but it was a discovery that I kept looking at every week. I’m not sure how long it was after my discovery but I finally heard a Whitesnake song on 94 WHJY, the local Rock station in Providence. It was ‘Slow An’ Easy’ and I remember listening to my boombox on the patio and cranking that sucker when I heard the DJ announce: “And here’s the new Whitesnake…..on HJY!” I was hooked!
All I could imagine was a bunch of long-haired guys in leather getting all the naked girls…..with big snakes all around them! I was a kid, what do you expect? I had a pretty good imagination! there was something about the song, something cool. At the time I couldn’t put my finger on it, now I know it was sex. Anyway, from then I saw the video on MTV and I knew what the band looked like. The next shopping trip, I picked up a cassette of SLIDE IT IN (1984). I got exposed to ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ & ‘Slide It In’ quick because they were on Side 1 of the tape. I used to listen to Side 1 of tapes until I knew every part by heart, then I would flip’em and do the same with Side 2. I wore that tape out.
So now I had a new band to listen to but new bands were coming out of the woodwork in ’84 so i kind of put Whitesnake on hold until their new album. Three years later, the band explodes because of the WHITESNAKE (1987) album.
This is the record that propelled the band into U.S. superstardom and I, like the rest of my friends, ate it right up. I bought this tape right away just like everyone else did when ‘Still Of The Night’ blew across MTV but I tried to get my friends to check out SLIDE IT IN too. I remember they couldn’t have cared less and I got mad because here was my “secret” band being “discovered” by everyone but no one cared about the previous album. I still get that way with bands. I was about a dozen rows from the stage when Motley Crue came on the GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS tour with the ‘Snake opening in early ’88. What a cool show that was! I still remember punching a friend in the arm when they played ‘Slide It In’ & ‘Slow An’ Easy’. Then I remember Coverdale introducing a song from “his Deep Purple days“…..he was in Deep Purple too? Not only did I have a mission to check out older Whitesnake records, now I had to hear Coverdale in Deep Purple!
From those formative years, I have remained a Whitesnake fan. I’ve collected almost all of the albums and I was lucky to have seen the band tour with the Scorpions and Dokken a few years ago. I still enjoy the mega-sellers from the ’80s but I like to take a trip back to the earlier records most of the time. Now we have GOOD TO BE BAD (2008) and the future is bright again for fans of the ‘Snake. A new record means a new tour. A new record & tour means success. Success means they will make more new records…..making this fan for the last 25 years very happy.