Feuds have been a prevalent aspect of rock history, with bands and musicians clashing over various issues. One such enduring beef unfolded between David Coverdale, frontman of Whitesnake, and Robert Plant, former vocalist of Led Zeppelin. Stemming from the former’s collaboration with Jimmy Page on the album ‘Coverdale-Page,’ this feud has left both musicians at odds with each other and Coverdale in great regret after offending Plant.
While the critics’ reception of Coverdale and Page’s joint effort was mixed, it wasn’t just the press that disapproved of this collaboration. Robert Plant, Page’s former bandmate, openly expressed his disapproval, igniting a feud that would persist for years.
Plant labeled the collaboration as ‘David Cover-version,’ implying that Coverdale lacked originality and authenticity. In a 1998 interview, the frontman harshly criticized David’s integrity and accused him of imitating other artists. Plant argued that while such emulation might be acceptable for a new band like Whitesnake, Coverdale’s lack of originality was unacceptable at that stage of his career.
Not one to back down, David Coverdale retaliated against the singer’s accusations. In a heated response, Coverdale made disparaging remarks, indicating a deep-seated animosity between the two musicians. His statement that he wouldn’t even send Plant cat food if he were starving reflected the intensity of the feud.
However, in a 2013 interview with TeamRock Radio’s Classic Rock Magazine Show, the Whitesnake vocalist offered an olive branch to Plant, expressing regret for the negative things he had said during the feud. He revealed his sincere desire to make amends, stating that he highly regarded Plant as both a human being and an artist.
During the same interview, David Coverdale conveyed a message to Jimmy Page, requesting him to pass on his sincere regrets to Robert Plant. He acknowledged that his previous comments had been defensive and expressed disappointment in himself for engaging in ugly exchanges. David emphasized his respect for Plant and expressed a desire to mend their relationship.
Here is what Coverdale said about his regret:
“My last words to Jimmy in London were: ‘I’d love to buy Robert a drink.’ I said, ‘When you speak to him, offer my sincere regrets for any negative things I’ve ever said, which were mostly defensive.’ I hold him [Plant] in the highest esteem as a human being and as an artist, and I really would like to, you know, sit down, buy him a drink, shake hands and say: ‘I’m really sorry,’ you know, ‘Can we be friends again?’
[Out of] my love and respect for Jimmy, I know he’ll pass that on to Robert — and Robert might go and tell him to [expletive] himself, who knows, but I don’t hold any animosity, just disappointment in myself that I took the bait and ran with some ugly things. Because it’s not appropriate for somebody I respect so much.”
Despite Coverdale’s efforts to extend an olive branch and seek reconciliation, news of the two rockstars making amends has yet to make headlines. The status of their relationship remains unresolved, and the feud continues to cast a shadow over their shared history.