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Whitesnake’s Tanya O’Callaghan — ‘If you can’t live on the road with people, you’re not going to cut it. It isn’t for the faint-hearted’

Playing with the likes of Guns N’ Roses and The Corrs, bass player Tanya O’Callaghan talks about the journey that led her from Mullingar to her current tour with the legendary rock band Whitesnake, as well as the animal rights campaign that is her passion

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"When bassist Tanya O'Callaghan is not playing with Whitesnake, her services are in demand for a wide range of big-name hard-rock bands." Picture by Natalie Ford

"When bassist Tanya O'Callaghan is not playing with Whitesnake, her services are in demand for a wide range of big-name hard-rock bands." Picture by Natalie Ford

Tanya O'Callaghan

Tanya O'Callaghan

“I have to be realistic,” she says. “I love it when I hear someone saying their diet is 90pc plant-based, and they’re moving to being fully plant-based. But I also love to hear someone who eats meat and saying they are now actively eating much less than before.”

“I have to be realistic,” she says. “I love it when I hear someone saying their diet is 90pc plant-based, and they’re moving to being fully plant-based. But I also love to hear someone who eats meat and saying they are now actively eating much less than before.”

Tayna O’Callaghan uses her music platform to promote veganism. Picture by Melissa Castro.

Tayna O’Callaghan uses her music platform to promote veganism. Picture by Melissa Castro.

Tanya O'Callaghan, left, and Reb Beach from Whitesnake perform outside the Vikingship arena on June 02, 2022 in Hamar, Norway.

Tanya O'Callaghan, left, and Reb Beach from Whitesnake perform outside the Vikingship arena on June 02, 2022 in Hamar, Norway.

Tanya O'Callaghan. Picture by Melissa Castro.

Tanya O'Callaghan. Picture by Melissa Castro.

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"When bassist Tanya O'Callaghan is not playing with Whitesnake, her services are in demand for a wide range of big-name hard-rock bands." Picture by Natalie Ford

Tanya O’Callaghan was only one year old in Mullingar, Co Westmeath when the English hard-rock band Whitesnake released their massively successful self-titled seventh album in 1987. It went on to sell eight million copies worldwide and consolidated their status as an arena-sized phenomenon. A rereleased single, the glam-rock anthem Here I Go Again 87 would become one of that year’s defining hits.

Fast-forward 35 years and O’Callaghan is a central part of the Whitesnake experience as their bassist. The band still packs out huge venues and in May they played Dublin’s 3Arena as part of a multi-date European tour. O’Callaghan is the first and only female to be part of the veteran group who first got together around the time Bono and friends were thinking of forming a band.


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