Coverdale says he and former Deep Purple bassist/singer Glenn Hughes were frustrated at how the band nixed their reunion performance plan and tried to prevent them from making speeches.
"Suddenly, Glenn Hughes and I were told, 'Well, we don't want you singing with us.' Initially I'd spoken to [Ian] Gillan about coming up and singing the backgrounds of 'Smoke on the Water,' because originally they were going to close the show. So that suddenly was pulled," Coverdale recalled in a recent conversation with Eonmusic.
"They tried to stop us doing speeches, and my wife was f---ing furious, apart from the fact she spent a fortune on posh dresses," he added.
To make the situation more stressful, Coverdale noted that it's not cheap for artists to celebrate with their families at the induction ceremony — even inductees have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to reserve tables for their guests.
Coverdale and Hughes, who were bandmates in Deep Purple from 1973 - 1976 and appear on the band's classic 1974 Burn album, were eventually allowed to speak during the ceremony.
The Whitesnake co-founder Coverdale said the debacle influenced his introductory remarks, in which he shouted out co-founding Deep Purple guitarist and the band's longtime driving force Ritchie Blackmore.
"The first thing I said when I was up there was, 'None of us would have been standing here without Ritchie Blackmore,' and I made sure of that point," Coverdale said, before acknowledging that current Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey were much more pleasant that evening than their bandmates.
In spite of the drama, Coverdale added that he and Hughes "had a blast; we had a f---ing great time. I'm very happy that I am who I am, and I just talked to Glenn the other day about: 'What the f--k was up their a--?'"
The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Special airs this weekend, Saturday, November 7, on HBO and HBO Max.
This year's inductees include Depech Mode, Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T-Rex.
Photo: Getty Images