I recently interviewed Reb Beach from Whitesnake about their upcoming release, “Flesh And Blood.” Reb had stated he had no say in any writing of songs while Doug Aldrich was in the band.
Reb stated “I’m the music director. (Laughing) Before, I had no say. On anything. I didn’t do any of the writing. I’d show up and play a solo, and that was it. The solo would be mixed incredibly low. And be made to sound as small as possible. (Chuckling). There was the live album wherein Slide It In, Doug starts the song with this huge opening…(demonstrates the sound…laughing)
So this time, I was there for the whole making of the record. I wrote with David, made decisions, co-produced, and I picked the songs I wanted to solo on. I gave Joel the rest. I split it right down the middle.”
Doug Aldrich wanted to share his side of the story with All That Shreds about his time in Whitesnake and how he tried to involve Reb:
Whitesnake is Davids band. He’s in charge of it. Reb says he is now the MD; I was never the MD. I was just the guitar player, and David asked me to split up the solos for a two-month tour in 2003, and I gave Reb his choice. He wanted to do “Here I Go Again,” so he did Here I Go Again. “Slide It In” “Give Me All Your Love Tonight” all songs that were potentially always going to be in the set.
I started to hear from friends that he was complaining about me or whatever. I just didn’t let it bother me. I just kept going, kept my head down and tried to do everything the best I could. But I was not in charge. David is in charge. I just brought David a bunch of music that he liked. It was effortless. We had a very natural, very organic thing. So I don’t know what happened. I know that Reb wrote a letter to David saying he wanted to be their leading guitar player after I left. So David said, “Yeah, let’s give it a shot.” I am very happy for him.
I was never the “Music Director.” That doesn’t sound very rock-n-roll to me. I mean Led Zepplin didn’t have a musical director. They had four guys who played. That’s how it was when I was in Whitesnake.
David and I wrote all of the songs together. We did everything together. There wasn’t anyone else feeding David any songs. I sent songs that I thought David would sound great on and he liked them. He’d come to my house, and we’d spend a weekend, he’d move in and…I’ll never forget the time I said, hey, man, I’ve got this idea, it’s kind of like this thing, like an old Blues riff and it turned out to be It’s Good To Be Bad. I started playing it, and he started singing, and my neck hair stood up, and I was getting goosebumps, and David was too, and he was super into it. All I Want, All I Need, a ballad, I mean we just had a great run of songs that felt like they went together. There was a real thread through that music. I haven’t heard the new Whitesnake record; I wish him the best of luck. I hope they sell a bazillion records.
I didn’t stop Reb from writing ever. I never would prevent anyone from writing a good song. Reb never sent me one song idea. He likes to say that I was the MD, but he never sent me one idea. Not one. He sent them to David. I never heard one idea from Reb, ever. All I did was do the best I could for the band. And by the way, every time we put out a record, with my songs, all Reb wanted to do was play the hits. Why are we playing new songs? Let’s just play the hits, play the hits. And I said, Reb, I appreciate that I understand how you feel, but to move a band forward, you need to put out new music, and you need to support it, which David did. So, we wrote some killer stuff. I stand behind Forevermore. Good To Be Bad is my favorite record that we did.
I tried to do my best to make Reb sound as good as possible. So if he felt that way, that’s unfortunate. I think he was just not happy being the second string guitar player. So now he’s the first string guitarist, and I’m really happy for him.
To read the full interview with Reb click here