Bernie Marsden (born Bernard John Marsden, 7 May 1951, in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire) is an English blues-rock guitarist. In the early 70’s Bernie was an original guitarist for hard rock outfit UFO before becoming an original member of Paice, Ashton & Lord in 1977. After PAL split up Bernie joined David Coverdale in the newly formed Whitesnake, helping to establish the band as one of the most successful live rock bands in Europe and Japan. In 1982 Bernie co-wrote the multi-million selling hit Here I Go Again before leaving Whitesnake to form Alaska. Most critics rate the original version of Whitesnake, featuring Bernie, to be the best and most authentic lineup of the world famous blues-rock outfit.
Bernie has toured with his bands Company of Snakes and M3 (formed with fellow former Whitesnake members Micky Moody and Neil Murray). He has also recorded and toured with a succession of acclaimed blues albums, featuring many successful guest artists, including Zak Starkey from The Who and Oasis. Bernie has played with Ringo Starrs band, Elkie Brooks and has played with Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant at a number of benefit gigs.
Bernie has been touring with his tribute show to the legendary Rory Gallagher, featuring members from Rory’s last touring band and with the blessing of Rory’s brother Donal.
Recently Bernie has played with Joe Bonamassa on several occasions, and in 2012 contributed the outstanding song Place In My Heart on Joes recent, award winning album, Driving Towards the Daylight. Bernie has also been guesting with Whitesnake again in the UK and Europe, coming on stage to play the bands major international hit Here I Go Again with lead singer David Coverdale. Here I Go Again seems to taken on a life of its own, appearing in advertisements and in the recent Tom Cruise movie Rock of Ages, with Bernie belting out the song at the films London premier.
Bernie Marsden has long been respected for his rich, blues inspired style. His impeccable talent as a guitar player has kept him active in the music world for over thirty years and allowed him to share company with a virtual “who’s who” of recording and touring musicians. In 2012 Bernie and PRS Guitars released his own signature Edition Guitar, the SE Bernie Marsden to critical acclaim and great success.
BB King once said, “only two white men could play the blues. Eric Clapton and that guy from Whitesnake.”