RIP Bernie Marsden

Published on 30 August 2023

Today we mourn the loss of a guitar great, and a lovely guy to boot.

Bernie Marsden rubbed shoulders with some of the greatest legends in 70s hard rock, becoming a legend himself as he did so.

Bernie’s storied career began with a stint in UFO, before joining Cozy Powell’s Hammer and Paice Ashton Lord. Clearly comfortable filling big shoes (Paice and Lord were of course ex-Deep Purple), Marsden made a name for himself as a class act on the guitar, a good songwriting partner and an excellent person to tour with.

This all came into play when David Coverdale came calling. Bernie’s most well known gig was as a member of Whitesnake from 1978-82, which saw him contributing to no less than five albums, an EP and a live album! This includes Whitesnake’s biggest hit, the evergreen Here I Go Again, a mainstay on jukeboxes and hard rockin’ playlists ever since.

A titan in the British Blues Rock scene, Marsden played and recorded right up until the end, armed with his famous 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard known as ‘The Beast’. PRS honoured him with a signature Singlecut guitar, too, increasing his influence further. Gibson also released a replica of The Beast. Both guitars are now rare and highly sought after.

Bernie was a lovely guy, a real-deal old school rock star and we’ll all miss him.


Bernie Marsden

7th May 1951 - 24th August 2023

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