Bernie Tormé, veteran rock guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan, and his own solo bands, passed away March 17 at the age of 66.
News of his death due to complications after a 4 week battle with double pneumonia was posted on his Facebook page yesterday.
According to a statement from his family, “Bernie Tormé passed away peacefully on the 17th March 17, 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.”
Gillan with Bernie Tormé on guitar, perform “No Easy Way” Live in Oxford, 1981
Irish-born Tormé worked for many years with Gillan and on his own solo projects. He also played with Atomic Rooster, Desperado (with former Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider) and GMT. Tormé was best known for the few weeks he played in Osbourne’s band in 1982, immediately after Randy Rhoads died in a freak plane crash. Osbourne credited Tormé with giving him the inspiration and strength to continue performing.
Ozzy tweeted today, “What a sad day. We’ve lost another great musician. Bernie was a gentle soul with a heart of gold. He will be dearly missed. I send my sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans. Rest in Peace Bernie.”
What a sad day. We’ve lost another great musician. Bernie was a gentle soul with a heart of gold. He will be dearly missed. I send my sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans. Rest in Peace Bernie. pic.twitter.com/Nx1bCiYbkO
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) March 18, 2019
According to FoxNews, last month Tormé’s Twitter account posted that the guitarist was in intensive care with virulent pneumonia; the same post stated that he was owed nearly £16,000 by the financially troubled direct-to-fan marketplace PledgeMusic, “which was due last December on completion of his recent ‘Shadowland’ Pledgemusic campaign.” A subsequent post noted that Torme had “paid for all for all recordings, merchandise, CDs and all postage costs to honour his fans’ pledges out of his own pocket. He has as yet been unable to pay his musicians, drummer Mik Gaffney and bass player Simon Morton for their work on the album.”