R.I.P. former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden (1951-2023)
Ex-Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden passed away two days ago (on August 24, 2023) at the age of 72.
Marsden‘s family made the following announcement via his Facebook page yesterday (on August 25, 2023):
“On behalf of his family, it is with deep sadness we announce the death of Bernie Marsden. Bernie died peacefully on Thursday evening with his wife, Fran, and daughters, Charlotte and Olivia, by his side.
Bernie never lost his passion for music, writing and recording new songs until the end.”
Wikipedia outlines Marsden‘s history in Whitesnake as follows: “After Paice Ashton Lord folded, in 1978, Marsden formed a new band with former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale and guitarist Micky Moody. The band started as David Coverdale’s Whitesnake, which then became Whitesnake. Marsden played on the first EP, first five albums and a live album: Snakebite (1978), Trouble (1978), Lovehunter (1979), Ready an’ Willing (1980), Live In The Heart Of The City (1980), Come An’ Get It (1981) and Saints & Sinners (1982), contributing many of the songs with David Coverdale and sometimes Moody. Marsden and Coverdale went on to create Whitesnake‘s anthem “Here I Go Again” in 1982, a song that sold many millions all over the world. Both writers have received many awards for the song. As of 2018, the song has been counted at six million US radio plays.”
In the ’70s, Marsden also played on records from Wild Turkey, Babe Ruth and Paice Ashton Lord. The guitarist released a number of solo albums throughout the years starting in 1979 and especially during the last 20 years including a four-CD collection titled Big Boy Blues & Green in December 2022.
Many tributes have poured in for Marsden via Facebook.
Whitesnake / David Coverdale — “Good Morning…I’ve just woken up to the awful news that my old friend & former Snake Bernie Marsden has passed. My sincere thoughts & prayers to his beloved family, friends & fans. A genuinely funny, gifted man, whom I was honored to know & share a stage with
RIP, Bernie XXX
Wayward Sons — “I’ve just found out that Bernie Marsden has passed away. This is deeply sad news.
Bernie was a lovely man and great company. I shall miss him – whenever we saw each other it was always full of fun and stories.
Jim Dickinson and I tried to write songs with him at the beginning of the Little Angels career and it was fruitless – not because of Bernie you understand – he was amazing as usual – but because we were so in awe of him and his part in the greatest line up of Whitesnake EVER, that all we did was ask him questions about that era. It must have bored him stupid, but of course, he entertained two young lads with grace.
RIP Bernie and thanks for the music.”
Graham Bonnet — “I was sad and shocked to learn of Bernie Marden‘s passing today. Bernie was such a lovely guy; a true lover of music and an absolute joy to be around. Some of you may not know this but in addition to being a top notch guitar player, he also sang very, very well. He was very much like Rory Gallagher in his abilities. I did an album with Bernie along with Cozy and Ray Fenwick a.k.a. Forcefield as well as playing with him for Don Airey‘s Rock n Blues charitable events in the summertime. He really was a great musician. I paid him a compliment once about his singing and he was so pleased that I had. I was looking forward to seeing him on the road one of these days but that opportunity has now passed. We were asked to fill in for him headlining the Winter Storm Festival in Troon, Scotland this December. I know he’ll be there in spirit and I will keep him in my thoughts, particularly on that day. Rest in peace, my friend. Love you……”
Whitesnake‘s “Here I Go Again” (from Saints & Sinners album):
Whitesnake‘s “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City” video (from Snakebite album):
Whitesnake‘s “Fool For You Loving” video (from Ready an’ Willing album):