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Bernie Tormé R.I.P.

Bernie Torme and Ian Gillan; image courtesy of bernietorme.co.uk

Another death in the Purple family. Former Gillan band guitar player Bernie Tormé has passed away on Sunday, March 17.

His family issued the following statement:

Bernie Tormé passed away peacefully on the 17th March 2019, one day short of his 67th birthday, surrounded by his family. He had been on life support for the past four weeks at a London hospital following post-flu complications. Bernie will be remembered for dedicating his life to his music for five decades. He will be sorely missed.

Last November, Tormé released a double album called Shadowland, which we somehow failed to mention at the time. Recorded last year at Barnroom Studios, the album was the first release from Bernie’s new trio. It also featured guest appearance from Colin Towns.

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the sad news and to Jim Collins for the heads up.

45 Comments to “Bernie Tormé R.I.P.”:

  1. 1
    Burd Koopman says:

    What a sad day in Rock history.

  2. 2
    Arthur says:

    RIP Bernie, I have fond memories of his fiery performances in the early days of the Gillan band.

  3. 3
    Raj Tiwari says:

    That’s really sad news. I was a real fan of his work on the Gillan albums…May Bernie’s soul rest in Peace.

  4. 4
    Robert Jacobs says:

    RIP ;;Bernie Torme;; May your Light BURN ;;Forever–In Rock and Roll– Taste !!!

  5. 5
    Jan Stender says:

    R.I.P. Bernie

  6. 6
    Buttockss says:


  7. 7
    Steve Denton says:

    Terribly sad news. Godspeed on your next journey Bernie.

  8. 8
    Danilo says:

    May he rest at peace. Saw Gillan live in Rome for the, first time in my life and Bernie was the lead guitarist. He played effortlessly.

  9. 9
    Martin McKee says:

    R.I.P. Bernie Torme

  10. 10
    Julie Bourgoin says:

    RIP 🙁

  11. 11
    Abdalla Kilsam says:

    R.I.P. Bernie Torme 😔

  12. 12
    Sergiy Arakelov says:

    eternal memory!

  13. 13
    Allen Troxel says:

    Rest in peace Bernie. So sad.

  14. 14
    Eberhard Mink says:


  15. 15
    Nanne Andersson says:

    Sleep well Bernie 💓💓💓

  16. 16
    Kalle says:

    One of my favourites. So sad. R.I.P.

  17. 17
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Sad news for sure…… always hoped a good video of his short stint with OZZY would surface. He was an underrated guitarist with little publicity… RIP Bernie.. 🙁

  18. 18
    Mary Kelley says:

    R I P Bernie.

  19. 19
    Mitch Michele says:


  20. 20
    mike whiteley says:

    The Reaper’s roll call continues.
    Unfortunately, lots of us are at an age where our heroes ( musical & otherwise ) are passing on.
    May Bernie rest in peace.

  21. 21
    Georgiy Derevyanko says:

    Sad news. Rest in peace.

  22. 22
    Alexander Stoy says:

    RIP Bernie ! 🎸

  23. 23
    Music 4 Ever says:

    sad news ! RIP Bernie

  24. 24
    Ant Hill says:


  25. 25
    Niall Hall says:

    Very sad – RIP Bernie

  26. 26
    Christian Ellul says:


  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    Sad news indeed, Vale Bernie Torme. A wonderful guitarist, always was disappointed he wasn’t still in Gillan when I witnessed them live back in 1981/82. Same with
    Huw Lloyd Langton from Hawkwind, missed him on guitar when seeing Hawkwind in 2001. A superb guitarist also! Both very under rated guitarists, flying under the radar from the mainstream spotlight. A shame they both weren’t appreciated in a more global sort of way. However, they leave a wonderful legacy captured in permanent time. RIP

  28. 28
    Panagiotis Fragkos says:

    No laughing in heaven Mr. Torme just heavenly riffs

  29. 29
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Poor fellow, he died in much the same way my mother did, of pneumonia.
    Bacteria gets into the lungs & weakens them, so they cannot function properly & requires a huge ventilator breathing tube through the mouth to feed oxygen to the lungs to prevent hypoxia.
    A feeding tube is hooked up to the patient, as a substitute to normal eating/drinking.
    Even without the breathing tube inserted, the ability to swallow, or gag reflex, is adversely affected, causing any food or drink to enter the lungs.
    Nobody wants to live what’s left of their life in a hospital bed in those circumstances.
    Deep sadness.

  30. 30
    Carmine says:

    The great gods of rock and roll may pass but never die. They leave the human stage to rock the heavens forever. Till we rock again, farewell.

  31. 31
    Rockslave says:

    Fortunately saw Bernie last year live at the Sweden Rock Festival on June 8, 2018! R.I.P. and rock forever in heaven… :'(

  32. 32
    George G Martin says:

    I remember seeing Bernie’s first show with Ozzy at Madison Square Garden in New York. Randy had just died and being a big Gillan fan I knew he would do just fine and he was great. Even though he only did a handful of shows with Ozzy he was able to help keep the tour going. Rest in peace Bernie. By the way on a side note, UFO opened up for Ozzy on that tour supporting the Mechanix album. What a great night it was!

  33. 33
    Albertz says:

    Bernie provided the spark that truly re-ignited Ian G’s career. Mr Universe, Glory Road & Future Shock are bona fide British hard rock classics, sadly under appreciated. A unique guitar maestro & hero who brought a contemporary punk feel to the the early Gillan band without ever reducing the music to mere heavy metal.

    RIP, Bernie

  34. 34
    DeeperPurps says:

    RIP Bernie Torme. I will always remember fondly the sunny afternoon with my girlfriend in the summer of 1980 in downtown Vancouver when I heard Gillan’s Glory Road album playing in the local record store. Listening to Bernie tear it up on the fretboard just bowled me over. I bought that album right away and played it numerous times over the weeks and months that followed. For me he ranked up there close to Blackmore – what a guitarist.

  35. 35
    Giuseppe Michelagnoli says:


  36. 36
    Ivica says:

    Oh My God !?… Great memories of concerts in ex-Yugoslavia 1979,1980,1981..RIP

  37. 37
    Steve Tomlin says:

    Bernie was always humble and the most considerate Twitter friend .
    His quite charm masked a fine mind.
    Memories abide of his last gig at The Bellingham .
    To be remembered.

  38. 38
    Larry Toering says:

    See you on the other side, mate. ~RIP

  39. 39
    Nicholas Pawloff says:

    May be beautiful laughings in Heaven dear Mr. Torme. Do rest in peace.

  40. 40
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Hope you’ll have some laughs all the same, Bernie …


  41. 41
    nupsi 59 says:

    The Purple Family is getting smaller year by year…
    R.I.P., Bernie

  42. 42
    vilmos says:

    Bernie took part of one of the best underrated bands of rock: SILVER (with Gary Barden e.a.). Their first album (Dream Machines) means much to me (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QntT0nVu3Y).
    Que la Tierra te sea leve.

  43. 43
    Alan says:

    Would have been nice to have seen the Gillan band give it one more stint with this line-up, Where were you Ian? Torme was so underrated.

  44. 44
    Rock Voorne says:

    Sad news.

    Unfortunately never got o see him live.

    Still love the GILLAN albums he was on

    Well, heaven must be laughing now.

    RIP Bernie

  45. 45
    Georgivs says:

    I’m a fan of his GMT stuff, too. RIP Bernie.

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