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Adrian Vandenberg
Adrian VanDenBerg in 2012, door Willem van Walderveen.jpg
Adrian Vandenberg in 2012
Background information
Birth name Adriaan van den Berg
Also known as Adje, Ad
Born 31 January 1954 (1954-01-31) (age 67)
The Hague, Netherlands
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal, glam metal, blues-rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, painter
Instruments Guitar, keyboards
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts Teaser, Vandenberg, Whitesnake, Manic Eden

Adrian Vandenberg (born 31 January 1954 as Adriaan van den Berg) is a Dutch rock guitarist, best known for his tenure as one of the guitarists in Whitesnake during their successful late 1980s period and the band Vandenberg which he started in 1981. In 2013, Adrian formed a new band, Vandenberg's MoonKings, and recorded a new album which was released in early 2014.

Early years

Born in The Hague in the Netherlands, Adrian van den Berg was originally the lead guitarist for the Dutch band Teaser, a band that released a self-titled album in 1978. This band should not be confused with the American band Teaser, which featured American guitarist Jake E. Lee. He then started his own band, simply named Vandenberg, who released three albums in the 1980s, Vandenberg, Heading for a Storm and Alibi. They are arguably best known for the ballad "Burning Heart," a song that features complementing guitar layers and harmonies, and "Friday Night", from the Heading for a Storm album. They toured extensively, including a support slot to the Michael Schenker Group in the UK in late 1982, and Kiss in 1983.

Career

Whitesnake

Adrian van den Berg was originally approached to join Whitesnake in the early 1980s, having impressed David Coverdale with not only his guitar skills, but also with his songwriting talent and his ability as a band leader. He initially declined, due to the success of his own band Vandenberg and their Top 40 hit, "Burning Heart." By 1986, however, with pressure from the record company to become more and more commercial and their success hitting a plateau, he relented and finally disbanded Vandenberg, agreeing to join Coverdale in Whitesnake. Initially he was hired as a session musician, helping to complete their eponymous album Whitesnake (known as 1987 in Europe) after a mass-firing of the original band members by Coverdale. He contributed the solo to their No. 1 hit "Here I Go Again," but guitarist John Sykes played all of the other lead and rhythm guitar on the album.

After an extremely successful world tour and extensive airplay for their 3 videos on MTV, van den Berg co-wrote all of the music to the follow-up album Slip of the Tongue. Injury prevented him from recording for the album, so Coverdale enlisted Steve Vai to record both lead and rhythm guitar. Van den Berg was sufficiently healed to play with the band, in a dual-guitar role alongside Vai, for the tour supporting the album. After Whitesnake was disbanded in 1990, he returned as part of other Whitesnake incarnations such as the 1994 Whitesnake's Greatest Hits reunion/tour. He once again co-wrote the songs for the 1997 album Restless Heart with Coverdale. This time, he played all of the guitars on this stripped-down, bluesy album, turning away from his well-known rock/metal neo-classical chops and towards his original main influence, Jimi Hendrix. He also collaborated with Coverdale on the Whitesnake unplugged acoustic album, Starkers in Tokyo.

After Whitesnake, he played in the band Manic Eden, which also featured former Little Caesar singer Ron Young, and Adrian's former Whitesnake bandmates bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge. The band split up when Adrian took part in Whitesnake's 1994 Greatest Hits reunion/tour.

He has since returned to painting and is an accomplished airbrush artist, having created the cover art for both the Heading for a Storm and Alibi albums.

When Whitesnake played in van den Berg's home country, the Netherlands, he made a "surprise guest appearance," doing so at the June 2008 Arrow Rock Festival in Nijmegen, where he joined the current line-up for a performance of "Here I Go Again". He also played with them on the Sweden Rock Festival in 2011 along with Bernie Marsden.

2011–2013

As of 2011, Adrian van den Berg has written and recorded a song called "A Number One" for Dutch football team FC Twente from his hometown in Enschede. Controversy would soon ensue, resulting from the fact that he released the single under the moniker "Vandenberg". Other (former) members of his eponymous band in the 1980s did not approve of Adrian using the name "Vandenberg" without his first name, which resulted in a lawsuit. In court, Adrian won, with the final decision declaring that he has all the rights to use the name "Vandenberg."

MoonKings

Vandenberg's Moonkings
Vandenberg's MoonKings in 2014

Vandenberg formed Vandenberg's MoonKings in late 2013. The band consists of Vandenberg (Guitar), Jan Hoving (Vocals), Mart Nijen-Es (Drums) and Sem Christoffel (Bass). On 21 February 2014 Vandenberg's MoonKings released their debut album MoonKings on Mascot Records.

Discography

Date Bands Titles Notes
1978 Teaser Teaser
1982 Vandenberg Vandenberg
1983 Vandenberg Heading for a Storm
1985 Vandenberg Alibi
1985 Vandenberg Live In Japan Videos
1987 Whitesnake Whitesnake/1987 Here I Go Again Guitar solo only
1988 Vandenberg The Best of Vandenberg
1989 Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue co-writer; credited as guitarist, but didn't play
1994 Manic Eden Manic Eden
1997 Whitesnake Restless Heart
1997 Whitesnake Starkers in Tokyo live acoustic album
2004 Vandenberg Different Worlds: The Definitive Vandenberg compilation album
2011 Whitesnake Live at Donington 1990 CD&DVD
2014 Vandenberg's MoonKings Vandenberg's MoonKings
2017 Whitesnake "Snakeskin Boots" Live on Tour 1987/1988 Whitesnake/1987 30th Anniversary Edition Bonus Disc
2017 Vandenberg's MoonKings MK II
2018 Vandenbergs's Moonkings Rugged and Unplugged Acoustic album
2020 Vandenberg 2020
Guest appearances
  • 1990 – Steve VaiPassion and Warfare (backing vocals)
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