Bernie Marsden, the original guitarist for English hard rock band Whitesnake, died “peacefully” on Aug. 24, according to a social media post from his family. He was 72.
“On behalf of his family, it is with deep sadness we announce the death of Bernie Marsden,” said the statement on Marsden’s social media pages. “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.”
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Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale also issued his own remembrance, writing, “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.”
Marsden was best known for his successful four-year run with Whitesnake which launched in 1978 and ended in 1982. He was a part of the original lineup that included Coverdale, bassist Neil Murray, guitarist Mick Moody and drummer Dave Dowie. Marsden contributed to the multi-platinum-selling band’s first five albums, from “Trouble” through “Saints & Sinners.” The latter gave way to Whitesnake’s biggest commercial hit, “Here I Go Again,” which Marsden co-wrote and re-recorded with the band in 1987. He also co-wrote a number of other Whitesnake songs, including “Fool for Your Loving.”
After Whitesnake, Marsden played in several other bands, including Alaska, MGM and the Moody Marsden Band, and also contributed to other records for Jack Bruse, Jon Lord and Ian Paice. He also built his own solo career that spanned several albums. His first release was “Green and Blues” in 1995 and his latest set, “Trios,” came out last year.
Marsden is survived by his wife and two daughters.
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