The Irish musician also played with former Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan
Bernie Tormé—a hard rock guitarist who played with Ozzy Osbourne, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan, Atomic Rooster, and his own solo bands—died yesterday (March 17), Variety reports. He was 66 years old. Tormé’s family confirmed the news to Variety in a statement. “[Tormé] had been on life support for the past four weeks at a London hospital following post-flu complications,” the statement reads. “Bernie will be remembered for dedicating his life to his music for five decades. He will be sorely missed.”
After hearing news of Tormé’s passing, Osbourne wrote on Twitter, “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.”
Born in Dublin, Tormé started playing in bands as a teenager, touring with several acts until joining former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan’s solo band Gillan in 1979. He performed on four of Gillan’s albums (Mr. Universe, Glory Road, Future Shock, and Double Trouble), before leaving in 1981. Tormé then had a brief stint playing for Atomic Rooster as a session guitar right before joining Osbourne’s band in March 1982 as the replacement guitarist for the then-recently deceased Randy Rhoads. He only played a handful of shows with the band, until being replaced by Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis shortly after joining.
Tormé then went on to play with his own band, which went through several different names and line-ups. He also spent several years with the band Desperado, formed by Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. Tormé’s last album, Shadowland, was released in November 2018.