Bernie Tormé

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Bernie Tormé
Birth name Bernard Tormey
Born (1952-03-18) 18 March 1952 (age 65)
Dublin, Ireland
Genres Hard rock, Heavy metal, Punk rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1970–present
Associated acts Guy McCoy Tormé, Ozzy Osbourne, Gillan, Desperado
Notable instruments
Vintage Fender Stratocaster

Bernie Tormé (born Bernard Tormey, 18 March 1952, Dublin, Ireland) is a rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, record label and recording studio owner.

Early career[edit]

Tormé was influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher, and Gary Moore of Thin Lizzy and formed his own band at a young age. His first paid performance came when Don Harris, a 14-year-old drummer he played alongside when he was 17, secured a gig at the local Girl Guides' dance in Kilmainham in Dublin.[1] Tormé then played in Dublin band 'The Urge' in the early 1970s before relocating to London in 1974, where he initially played with heavy rockers 'Scrapyard' (whose bass player, John McCoy would later be re-united with Tormé in Gillan), before forming the punk 'Bernie Tormé Band' in 1976. The Bernie Tormé Band toured with The Boomtown Rats and Generation X among many others. Tormé has since revealed that he secured the supporting band slot with the Boomtown Rats by agreeing to go around London putting up posters advertising the tour.[2]

In 1977 the band were asked to contribute two tracks to the Live At The Vortex album, "Streetfighter" and "Living for Kicks". This led to them being signed to the Jet Records label, who "...paid us forty quid a week each for the next 18 months... Apart from that they just sat on us pretty much, they were more into ELO."[2]

Career with Gillan[edit]

Frustrated by a lack of commercial success, Tormé accepted the invitation of former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan in 1979 to join his band Gillan, and it was as part of this band that Tormé is best known.

Over the next four years the group enjoyed three Top Ten UK albums (Mr. Universe, Glory Road, and Future Shock), in addition to extensive worldwide tours of Europe, Japan, and the United States.

In 1981 Tormé walked out on Gillan, citing lack of money despite touring the world as his reason. He played as a live session man for Atomic Rooster and then Ozzy Osbourne as the immediate successor of the recently deceased original guitarist Randy Rhoads. Tormé was hired to play on makeup dates resulting from cancelled concerts after Rhoads' death. After only 7 shows in 10 days, Tormé quit to concentrate on his own band Electric Gypsies and was replaced by Brad Gillis.

Later career[edit]

Since 1982 Tormé has led his own band under various names and lineups (including a version of Torme with singer Phil Lewis, formerly of Girl and later with LA Guns).

Tormé spent several years with the band Desperado with former Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider. Although the record saw limited release, Snider re-used a number of the songs for a subsequent project, Widowmaker (not to be confused with the 1970s English band of the same name).

Tormé also played guitar on René Berg's solo album, The Leather, The Loneliness And Your Dark Eyes, released in 1992.

In addition to the continued release of new Tormé recordings and re-issuance of his back catalogue titles, Tormé also became involved with the 'Silver' project, which also included former Michael Schenker Group vocalist Gary Barden.

In 2006, Tormé announced the formation of Guy McCoy Tormé (aka "G.M.T"), with former Gillan bassist John McCoy and drummer Robin Guy. In 2007, Tormé contributed lead guitar and sitar parts to "Smile In Denial", track #4 of Yoni, a solo album from Wildhearts frontman Ginger.

Tormé also runs his own record label, Retrowrek Records, and recording studios, Barnroom Studios in Kent, where he lives with his family.



  • Bernie Tormé Band ― Live At The Vortex Vol.1 (2 tracks contributed to compilation) (1977)
  • Bernie Tormé Band ― "I'm Not Ready" (7") (1978)
  • Bernie Tormé Band ― Punk Or What (recordings from 1976—1978 unreleased until 1999)
  • Bernie Tormé Band ― Bernie Tormé Band (EP) "Weekend"/"Secret Service"/"All Night"/"Instant Impact" with Phil Spalding and Mark Harrison (1979)
  • Bernie Tormé And The Electric Gypsies ― Turn Out The Lights (1982) - UK #50[3]
  • Bernie Tormé And The Electric Gypsies ― Electric Gypsies (1983)
  • Tormé - Back To Babylon (1986, With Phil Lewis)
  • Tormé - Die Pretty, Die Young (1987, With Phil Lewis)
  • Tormé - Demolition Ball (1993, With ex-Samson singer Gary Owen)
  • Bernie Tormé - Wild Irish (1997, A project with Anti-Nowhere League members Chris Jones and John Pearce)
  • Bernie Tormé - White Trash Guitar (1999, A project with Anti-Nowhere League members Chris Jones and John Pearce)
  • Bernie Tormé - Flowers & Dirt (2014)
  • Bernie Tormé - Blackheart (2015)

Live albums[edit]

  • Bernie Tormé – "Live" (1984)
  • Tormé - Official Live Bootleg (1997)
  • Bernie Tormé And The Electric Gypsies ― Scorched Earth [Live 1999-2000] (2001)
  • Bernieé Tormé - Live in Sheffield 1983 (2002)

With Gillan[edit]

With Atomic Rooster[edit]

With Desperado[edit]

With René Berg[edit]

  • The Leather, The Loneliness And Your Dark Eyes" (1992)

With GMT[edit]

  • Cannonball (2006, EP)
  • Bitter And Twisted (2006)
  • Evil Twin (2008)
  • Raw - Live (2011)


  1. ^ "Ten questions with Bernie Tormé", URL accessed on 24 January 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Bernie Tormé interview", URL accessed on 24 January 2007.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 562. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]