Bernie Marsden

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Bernie Marsden
Bernie Marsden (2014)
Background information
Birth nameBernard John Marsden
Born (1951-05-07) 7 May 1951 (age 68)
Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England
GenresHard rock, blues-rock, blues, heavy metal
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter, producer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1973–present
Associated actsUFO, Cozy Powell's Hammer, Babe Ruth, Paice Ashton Lord, Whitesnake, The Moody Marsden Band, The Snakes, The Company of Snakes

Bernard John Marsden (born 7 May 1951) is an English rock and blues guitarist. He is primarily known for his work with Whitesnake, having written or co-written with David Coverdale many of the group's hit songs, such as "Fool for Your Loving", "Walking in the Shadow of the Blues", "Lovehunter", "Trouble" and the multi-million selling chart-topper "Here I Go Again."[1]

Early career[edit]

After playing with a Buckingham band called Skinny Cat from the age of 17,[2][3] Marsden got his first professional gig with UFO in 1972. He next played with Glenn Cornick's Wild Turkey in 1973, before he joined drummer Cozy Powell's band Cozy Powell's Hammer. He then joined the Babe Ruth in 1975, and played on two releases, Stealin' Home (1975) and Kid's Stuff (1976), before moving on to Paice Ashton Lord in 1976, with Tony Ashton and ex-Deep Purple members, Ian Paice and Jon Lord.[4]

After his time with Paice Ashton Lord, Marsden was recommended to join Paul McCartney's Wings by saxophonist Howie Casey, but the position never materialised.[5]


After Paice Ashton Lord folded, in 1978, Marsden joined a band formed by former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale along with guitarist Micky Moody. The band was David Coverdale's Whitesnake, which then became Whitesnake. Bernie played on the first e.p, first five albums and 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).

Post-Whitesnake bands[edit]

Following his departure from Whitesnake, Marsden formed a short-lived band called Bernie Marsden's SOS. Not long after, Bernie Marsden's Alaska was formed with Robert Hawthorne on vocals and Richard Bailey on keys. Alaska released two melodic rock albums, Heart of the Storm (1984) and The Pack (1985), before splitting.[4] In 1986, he formed MGM with former-Whitesnake members Neil Murray and Mel Galley. The band, very briefly, included Toto vocalist Bobby Kimball. Recordings were made but remain unreleased. In 1989, Bernie Marsden reunited with Whitesnake guitarist Micky Moody to form the Moody Marsden band recording an acoustic live album in Norway called 'Live In Hell' and an electric live album called 'Never Turn Our Back On The Blues' that featured Zak Starkey on drums. The Moody Marsden Band toured extensively throughout Europe, recording a studio album called 'Real Faith'. Next up for Bernie was the band The Company Of Snakes. The name of the band derives from ex-Bad Company singer Robert Hart and having Marsden, Moody and Neil Murray in the band too. The band released a double-album of Whitesnake songs called 'Here They Go Again', and later produced a studio album called 'Burst The Bubble' that featured Deep Purple keyboard player Don Airey. TCOS evolved into the band M3. This included Bernie, Micky Moody, Neil Murray, drummer Jimmy Copley, keyboard player Mark Stanway and Stefan Berggren, who was later replaced by Tony Martin. M3 produced a triple-CD DVD called 'Rough 'n' Ready' which features the songs from their Whitesnake legacy.

Solo career[edit]

Bernie released two solo albums during his time in Whitesnake. First released in Japan on the Japanese label Trash in 1979, And About Time Too became the number one import into the UK. EMI Records soon picked up the rights to the album and released it in Europe shortly before the release of Bernie's second solo album, Look At Me Now, in 1981. No more solo albums appeared until the release of 'Green and Blues' in 1994. This album is his tribute to guitarists in the John Mayall & the BluesbreakersEric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor.

Into the 2000s, he produced the Big Boy Blue double-CD, Stacks, featuring Jimmy Copley, Big Boy Blue Live, Bernie Plays Rory (a tribute CD to Rory Gallagher) and a definitive compilation double-CD called Blues and Scales which featured songs from the bands of his career.

In 2014, Bernie Marsden was signed to the Dutch record label Mascot Provogue and released the critically acclaimed album, Shine. The album features David Coverdale singing the Whitesnake classic "Trouble", Joe Bonamassa on guitar on the title-track "Shine", and both Ian Paice and Jimmy Copley on drums.



  1. ^ Prato, Greg. Bernie Marsden at AllMusic
  2. ^ Edwards, Owen. "Bernie Marsden - Blues Rock Survivor". All Out Guitar. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  3. ^ Daniels, Neil (2013). High stakes & dangerous men : the UFO story. London: Soundcheck Books. p. 13. ISBN 9780957144262. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b Greg Prato. "Bernie Marsden Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  5. ^ UK, Roland. "Bernie Marsden Interview With Roland - Artists - Roland". Retrieved 29 October 2018.

External links[edit]