In a new interview, Whitesnake singer David Coverdale discussed the death of his ex-wife Tawny Kitaen, the actress best known to rock fans for her part in Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” video.
Kitaen died in May at age 59. No foul play was suspected and the cause of death was ruled to be natural. “Here I Go Again” subsequently re-climbed the rock charts.
Speaking to Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown last week, Coverdale called Kitaen “synonymous with Whitesnake, with MTV [and an] iconic, amazing beauty who brought so much attention to my music.” [via UCR]
He added, “Once you go, ‘Oh, my God, she’s gorgeous,’ you go, ‘Wow, the songs aren’t bad either!’ Yeah, so that was a shock — there was no question. I didn’t see that one coming.”
Coverdale continued, “But then, sadly, I’m losing a lot of people. At this age, it’s so weird the amount of people I know who are checking out, privately or professionally. It’s pretty crazy. But it’s onwards and forwards — it has to be my philosophy.”
The Whitesnake bandleader also admitted that he hadn’t spoken to Kitaen in more than three decades. He’s been married to his current wife, Cindy, for nearly 25 years.
Recalling the day of Kitaen’s death, Coverdale said, “I got a text late at night, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God.’ Really, to be honest, there had been no communication for over 30 years. I’ve been deeply invested, and continue to be invested, in my marriage to Cindy.”
He added, “I think it would have been different had Tawny and I had a child, but we didn’t. And I sent my condolences out to her family and friends, and made a modest public statement because it really wasn’t my place to do anything else.”
Kitaen was born Julie E. Kitaen on Aug. 5, 1961, in San Diego. She appeared on TV in The New WKRP in Cincinnati, America’s Funniest People, Seinfeld, Santa Barbara and more. She starred in movies such as Bachelor Party, Happy Hour and Instant Justice. Later in life, she dabbled in reality TV on The Surreal Life and Celebrity Rebab With Dr. Drew.
Besides her appearance in the 1987 music video for “Here I Go Again,” Tawny also starred in the clips for Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” and “Is This Love,” as well as in Ratt’s “Back for More.”
Listen to Coverdale’s interview below. Sevendust’s Lajon Witherspoon was also a guest on the same podcast.
David Coverdale on Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown – Oct. 29, 2021