Former Whitesnake Guitarist Bernie Marsden Has Died at 72
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Bernie Marsden, the guitarist best known for his work with Whitesnake, has died at the age of 72, his publicist confirmed.
“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,” a post made to social media reads. “Bernie never lost his passion for music, writing and recording new songs until the end.”
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Marsden’s former bandmate David Coverdale expressed his condolences on Twitter, saying: “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”
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 pic.twitter.com/KXwsDEICN6
— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) August 25, 2023
Born in 1951 in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, Bernie Marsden had one of the most prolific careers in rock music.
Marsden landed his first professional gig in 1972 as part of the band UFO. Over the next six years, the talented musician played with Wild Turkey (1973), Cozy Powell’s Hammer, Baby Ruth (1975) and Deep Purple Band (1976).
In 1978, Bernie formed a band with David Coverdale, former vocalist for Deep Purple Band, and Micky Moody. The new band eventually became Whitesnake. Marsden appeared on the band’s first five albums as well as a live album :Snakebite (1978), Trouble (1978), Lovehunter (1979), Ready & Willing (1980), Live In The Heart Of The City (1980), Come An’ Get It (1981) and Saints & Sinners (1982).
Incredibly sad news. Im heartbroken. He was a great musician and entertainer. Last saw him in 2017. It was a great gig. RIP Bernie x pic.twitter.com/prAawAAnJq
— STEVE FOSTER (@djvioletsky) August 25, 2023
In 1982, Marsden and Coverdale co-wrote “Here I Go Again,” a song that became the band’s biggest hit and it’s only song to land at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. To date, “Here I Go Again” has received more than six million radio spins.
After departing Whitesnake, Bernie Marsden formed his own band whose name and lineup would change numerous times until 2006 when Marsden went solo. As a soloist he released a string of successful albums and singles including, Green and Blues (1994), Kings (2021) and Trios (2022). Most of his solo projects paid tribute to guitarists who influenced his career or his time spent in legendary rock bands.
Watch Whitesnake’s official video for “Here I Go Again” below.