In the influential decades of the 1970s and 1980s, guitarist and songwriter Bernie Marsden played a significant part in the British rock band Whitesnake, leaving a lasting impression on the music industry. Following Marsden’s passing at the age of 72, there have been several tributes and remembrances of his influential career.
Bernie Marsden Dies at 72
Marsden, who was born in Buckingham, quickly distinguished himself as a talented musician. During his teen years in Buckingham, he played in various local bands where he developed his musical abilities and passion. But it wasn’t until he joined the band UFO in 1972 that his professional adventure got going, ushering him into the world of rock and roll.
The most prominent partnership between Marsden and David Coverdale occurred when the two musicians co-founded the renowned rock group Whitesnake in 1978. The musical legacy of Marsden would be significantly shaped by this collaboration. The sound and character of the band were significantly influenced by his extraordinary guitar-playing and songwriting ability. Together, Marsden and Coverdale co-wrote songs like “Here I Go Again” and “Fool For Your Loving,” which reached the top of the charts. These songs would go on to become rock classics.
The news that Marsden had passed away peacefully on a Thursday, flanked by his wife Fran and daughters Charlotte and Olivia, sent shockwaves through the music industry and sparked a flood of condolences and loving remembrances. A statement from Marsden’s family perfectly encapsulated his persistent commitment to his craft. The eulogy goes, “Bernie never lost his passion for music, writing, and recording until the end,” capturing the essence of a real artist.
The lead singer of Whitesnake and a former member of Deep Purple, David Coverdale, expressed his profound sorrow at the passing of his friend and partner. Using social media to express his feelings, Coverdale called Marsden a “genuinely funny, gifted man” and thanked him for letting him perform on stage with him. Their collaboration not only improved the music industry but also solidified the relationship between the two musicians.
Bernie Marsden explored a solo career in addition to his work with Whitesnake. He released two solo albums, “And About Time Too” and “Look At Me Now,” demonstrating his musical flexibility and his capacity to produce songs that connected with listeners outside of the band context.
After leaving Whitesnake in 1981, Marsden continued to venture into uncharted musical waters. In the 1980s, he started the band Alaska, which released two albums. Notably, he also temporarily formed the band MGM with musicians Neil Murray and Mel Galley, demonstrating his spirit of cooperation and his desire to embark on new musical endeavors.
Marsden rejoined Whitesnake in 2011, marking the first time he had performed with the group since 1981, in a dramatic and moving reunion. At this reunion show, Whitesnake’s latter lineup joined Marsden onstage at the Sweden Rock Festival. The fact that he was the only original member still performing on stage demonstrated his enduring love for the band and its music.
Marsden’s influence was felt throughout the larger community in addition to his musical achievements. He received an honorary Master of Arts degree from the University of Buckingham in 2015 in recognition of his numerous contributions to art and culture. Marsden had a varied career, including posts at the Buckingham Borough Council, a nearby dairy, and a builders’ merchant, among other positions. His life experiences were just as varied as his musical journey.
Bernie Marsden’s legacy is carried on by his family, his music, and the numerous people he touched with his songs even as the music industry laments the passing of a true virtuoso. Generations of musicians and music lovers alike will be inspired by his significant impact on the rock genre and his enduring passion for music creation.
Video of Bernie Marsden – Here I Go Again Watch Now