Bernie Tormé – Guitar Legend/ Blues Rock Psychedelic Shredmeister/ Glam Punk Sleaze Rock Frontman is known for many things:
Stepping in & saving the day for Ozzy Osbourne in the aftermath of guitar legend Randy Rhoad’s tragic death.
Hit records, world tours & international fame as as Ian Gillan’s axe-man in Gillan.
Forming Desperado with Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider, which also featured ex Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr.
Fronting his own bands Electric Gypsies, and later Torme (featuring Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns/ Girl fame).
It has been said of Irish guitarist Bernie Tormé that he plays his Stratocaster through a Marshall as though he knew them in a previous life.
Dublin born Bernie learned his trade from local heroes such as Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore and Eric Bell before moving to London in 74, where he initially played with heavy pub rockers Scrapyard, and then formed the Bernie Torme Band in 76. The BTB toured with Bob Geldof’s Boomtown Rats and Billy Idol’s Generation X among many others.
In early 79 Bernie joined ex Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan’s band Gillan, and was crucial to the bands success as guitar hero foil to Ian’s soaring vocals. While a member of Gillan he wrote and played on four top ten albums and many hit singles, including Gillan’s biggest selling singles, ‘New Orleans’ and ‘Trouble’.
After his stint with Gillan, Bernie joined Ozzy Osbourne on the Diary Of A Madman tour in the US standing in for the legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads who had been tragically killed in an air crash just days beforehand. Madison Square Garden was among the gigs that Bernie played with Ozzy: a young Zakk Wylde who was present in the audience has been quoted in interviews as saying ‘Bernie rocked’.
Bernie’s first solo album (Turn Out The Lights) was released in the UK, Europe and Japan in 1982 shortly after his return from Ozzy’s US tour. Playing gigs in the UK and Europe continuously through the remainder of 82 and 83 when his second solo album ‘Electric Gypsies’ was released, the album’s title being drawn from the title of his three piece band touring band. ‘Electric Gypsies’ was particularly successful in Japan, where both it, ‘Turn Out The Lights’, and ‘Bernie Torme Live’ were re released last year (2013).
Bernie also found time during this period to tour Europe and record with legendary keyboard player Vincent Crane (ex-The Crazy World of Arthur Brown) as a member of psychedelic doom rockers Atomic Rooster.
In the mid 80’s Bernie worked with ex-Girl and LA Guns front man Phil Lewis in Tormé: the band released four albums, including the cult classic “Back to Babylon” which again made waves in Japan.
Following Phil Lewis’s departure to the LA Guns, Bernie teamed up with Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Iron Maiden’s drummer Clive Burr to form Desperado, writing with Snider and recording the album “Ace” (also widely bootlegged prior to the official release as ‘Bloodied but Unbowed’). Bernie and Dee have remained close friends, Dee having made appearances on two of Bernie’s albums, and also joining Bernie and the Guy McCoy Torme band (GMT) onstage at the Hard Rock Hell festival 2007.
Bernie has more recently recorded three albums since 2006 with Guy McCoy Torme (GMT) featuring bassist man mountain John McCoy, also ex Gillan, and drummer Robin Guy.
During this period Bernie also worked with German band ‘Silver’, playing lead guitar on three albums.
In 2013 Bernie started playing solo gigs again with his favourite three piece line up format, playing festivals in Spain and the UK. He is planning to record a new solo album in 2014, which will be the first Bernie Torme solo album for 15 years.
Bernie Torme has recorded over 24 albums in his career to date as a solo artist or band member.