Skip to main content

Bernie Tormé, guitarist for Gillan and Ozzy Osbourne, dies aged 66

(Image credit: Future)

Bernie Tormé, best known as guitarist for Gillan and Ozzy Osbourne, has died aged 66.

The news was confirmed on Tormé’s Facebook page earlier today; the guitarist had been on life support for the past four weeks, according to his family.

Dublin-born Tormé began his career in London with the Bernie Tormé Band during the mid-’70s, before signing up to Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan’s band, Gillan, in 1979. He left in 1981 to be replaced by Janick Gers.

Ozzy Osbourne once told Total Guitar that if it wasn’t for Bernie Tormé he “might never have got back on a stage”

Tormé was later recruited to replace Randy Rhoads in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, following Rhoads’ death in a plane crash in 1982. Ozzy Osbourne once told Total Guitar that if it wasn’t for Bernie Tormé he “might never have got back on a stage”.

More recently, Tormé has recorded and toured under his own name, releasing final album Shadowland in 2018.

The full statement from Tormé’s family reads: “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.”

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

Stay up to date with the latest gear and tuition.
Subscribe and save today!