Adje (Adrian) van den Berg (Born: 31 January 1954, The Hague in the Netherlands) is a Dutch rock guitarist, best known for his tenure as lead guitarist in Whitesnake during their successful late 1980s period.
Adrian 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", both off the first album. They toured extensively, including a support slot to the Michael Schenker Group in the UK in late 1982. A " Best of" compilation has recently been relased.
Vandenberg was originally approached to join Whitesnake in the early 1980s, having impressed David Coverdale with not only his guitar wizardry, 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 and agreed 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 #1 hit "Here I Go Again", but guitarist John Sykes played all of the other rhythm and lead guitar on the album. After an extremely successful world tour and extensive airplay for their 3 videos on MTV, Vandenberg co-wrote all of the music to the follow-up album Slip of the Tongue. However, in preparing to enter the studio for the recording sessions, he injured his wrist performing isometric exercises and was unfortunately unable to contribute lead guitar work to the album Slip of the Tongue.
Steve Vai was imported by founder David Coverdale to record both lead and rhythm guitars on the album in Vandenberg's stead. Vandenberg healed in time to stay with the band on tour supporting the album in a now-trademark dual guitarist role with Steve Vai.
After Whitesnake was disbanded in 1991, he returned as part of other Whitesnake incarnations such as the 1994 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 turned to painting and is an accomplished airbrush artist.
Every time Whitesnake is playing in Adrian's home country, The Netherlands, he makes a 'surprise guest appearance', like for the Arrow Rock Festival in June 2008, where he joined the current line-up for a performance of "Here I Go Again". Coverdale suggested that he and Vandenberg should probably do an acoustic Whitesnake tour in the far future.