Guitarist Bernie Tormé (Gillan, Ozzy Osbourne, Atomic Rooster) dead at 66

Posted by on March 18, 2019

We are saddened to hear about the passing of Bernie Tormé. The 66-year-old guitarist died following post-flu complications. The news was confirmed by Tormé’s family as they explained he died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones.

Tormé’s 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.”


The news was publicly confirmed via Bernie’s Facebook with a peaceful image followed by text reading “Bernie Tormey 18.3.1952 – 17.3.2019”


Bernie’s bandmate, Mike Gaffney issued the following statement:

I am absolutely numb. Got the news this morning that Bernie Torme has died. It’s been a thrill playing drums for him for the past couple of years. He was loud, passionate, didn’t suffer fools but he was always a true gentleman. He produced one of my old band’s demos back in the ’80’s, and told me off for using a china cymbal (‘Not very rock n roll you’ he said) but I used it anyway… I will miss our arguments about Irish whiskey vs Scottish whisky, I will miss him calling me a c**t, I will miss seeing that sparkle in his eye when he strapped his guitar on… RIP Bernie. We we all miss you…

Bernie’s death happened just over a month after he was rushed to the hospital due to falling extremely ill with virulent double pneumonia.

Tormé dedicated his life to music as not only did he have an extensive solo career, he also worked with Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan’s solo project, he more or less saved Ozzy Osbourne’s band as he joined shortly after Randy Rhoads’ tragic death. Tormé has also worked with Atomic Rooster, Desperado, the heavy metal project which was formed by Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider in 1988, and more.


We send our condolences to Bernie’s friends and family during this difficult time.

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