Whitesnake bandleader David Coverdale has this year been hinting toward retirement, but with plans to do one final "farewell tour" before he calls it quits. Unfortunately, with the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the lead singer and group founder doesn't think that will occur until 2022.

That means the Whitesnake figurehead is estimating an even further-out return to live concerts and large-scale touring than some health experts and, say, Metallica's Lars Ulrich. Both previously predicted that fall 2021 might be the likely time when in-person gigs could safely come back in earnest.

Regardless, Coverdale's more conservative prediction makes sense for the 69-year-old singer who recently underwent hernia surgery. And, speaking to The Rhino Podcast this week, the musician noted that his current age would've made a nice number to go out on. (Listen to the full interview below.)

"What could be a better age for the lead singer of Whitesnake [to retire] than 69?" Coverdale quipped, as transcribed by Blabbermouth.

"I'd even designed really terrible t-shirts to go with it," he continued. "So the plan was to do literally an appreciation and gratitude [tour] for such extraordinary support for five decades, and then maybe go into 2021."

But it looks like it could be nearly two years until fans see Whitesnake on the road again.

Coverdale added that his booking agents are calling; still, he doesn't "have a crystal ball. I think the earliest we can look at, really — I don't even know if it will be safe enough for people get in a large group and not have worries or concerns, even late '21. I think we're more [looking at] 2022. It's very likely."

Even when Whitesnake does mount a concert comeback, there's still the issue of what shows will look like in a post-COVID world. Earlier this week, ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster suggested that future concertgoers might have to present proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.

All that said, Coverdale is empathetic with how the pandemic is affecting people's employment the world over.

"It's affecting every job," the singer said. "Not just musicians and people affiliated with the music business. This is affecting everyone."

Whitesnake's latest studio album, Flesh & Blood, came out in 2019. It was followed this year by a pair of compilations, The Rock Album and Love Songs, with a third and final collection in what Coverdale has dubbed "The Red, White and Blues Trilogy" expected at some point in the future.

David Coverdale Talks to The Rhino Podcast – Nov. 11, 2020

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