Friday's Guitar Hero: Bernie Marsden

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Long before mainman David Coverdale remoulded Whitesnake into the stadium-striding behemoth it is today, Bernie Marsden, alongside his equally revered guitar partner Micky Moody, were the blues-soaked drive and guts upon which a legend was built.

By 1985 Old Cov™ had decided that the band's new direction should include what turned out to be a constantly changing selection of the world's hottest guitarists - John Sykes, Steve Vai, Vivian Campbell and Adrian Vandenberg for starters - but more grizzled rock fans still wistfully recall the old days when Messers Marsden and Moody, both with late fifties Gibson Les Pauls in hand, ruled the roost.

This writer's second-ever gig was seeing Whitesnake on 11 June 1980 at the Birmingham Odeon. Support came from Gary Moore's there was s bill!

Here's one of Bernie's best and most famous solos from back in the day. Hardly Kitten's Got Claws, we'd venture...

Simon Bradley is a guitar and especially rock guitar expert who worked for Guitarist magazine and has in the past contributed to world-leading music and guitar titles like MusicRadar (obviously), Guitarist, Guitar World and Louder. What he doesn't know about Brian May's playing and, especially, the Red Special, isn't worth knowing.