David Coverdale has lamented the politicization of the coronavirus pandemic, calling it "heartbreaking."
The WHITESNAKE leader touched upon the pandemic's devastating impact on artists' ability to perform, to create and to earn a living from their music while discussing his upcoming "farewell" tour, which is scheduled to launch in 2022.
"This very much is gonna be me standing there in a very highly charged emotional moment, probably sobbing, as you've seen me do many times, my thank-yous to people and wishing people to stay safe and well and thanks for the journey," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
"For me to achieve completion, which is why I'm signing off on this, I'm so concerned for the welfare of the people coming to see us — for my crew, my band. Strict health protocols will be applied.
"I'm a target for this virus," Coverdale continued. "I can't understand politicians who've made this a political issue as opposed to a health issue. It's a health issue. And the only way we're gonna get out of it is if people adhere to the advice of the scientists, the doctors, whatever.
"I'm so familiar with seeing community. When I look into my audiences, they're different ages, different colors. I have a very healthy balance of male/female… So, that sense of community is like every show I do. How come we can't take it out of there?
"This was the perfect opportunity for the world to come together and get this virus, kick its ass, but instead there was so much divisiveness," David added. "It was heartbreaking to see."
Earlier this year, Coverdale told Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station that he has been forced to delay his retirement tour due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe.
"People, as you can imagine, are extraordinarily desperate to go to shows and to perform shows," he said. "It's just not safe, and it's not gonna be the energy, the atmosphere that we're familiar with. We have to make sure [to] work as a global community, and, for me, as a global artist, work together and be, as they would say, in solidarity with each other and support each other and respect each other. It's a global pandemic — it's not just us. And mask up. Let's get out of this. Get vaccinated, and let's get out of this thing.
"I don't think it's ever gonna be the same," he continued. "I think society has changed. This has been a really challenging time for people who have been alone, I think. And that's a lot of my target audience with my social media — to try to uplift people's spirits, until I can get out there and truly do my appreciation and gratitude tour. And hopefully while I'm still physically able to do it and not just farting dust."
Early last year, WHITESNAKE was forced to cancel its U.S. tour with SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE and NIGHT RANGER so that Coverdale could undergo surgery for bilateral inguinal hernia. Eventually, all of the shows were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coverdale, who turned 70 this past September, had both his knees replaced with titanium in 2017 after suffering from degenerative arthritis. He later explained that he was in so much pain with arthritis in his knees that it hampered his ability to perform live.
WHITESNAKE had been touring in support of its latest album, "Flesh & Blood", which was released in May 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.