The legendary guitarist Bernie Torme has passed away in a London hospital at the age of 66. Famous for his work with former Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan and for stepping in on a tour of the U.S.A. with Ozzy Osbourne following the untimely death of Ozzy's guitarist Randy Roades he also carved out a brilliant solo career releasing several albums and gaining cult status as a brilliant rock guitarist.
Bernie on stage with Ozzy
Ozzy and Bernie
Bernie also has strong connections with the Crows because he recorded, mixed and mastered the band's debut self-titled album from 2013 at his Barnroom Recording Studios near Faversham in Kent.
Bernie at his Barnroom Studios in Kent
Gary recalls the sessions from 2013. ''We were initially slightly nervous about the prospect of working with a guitar legend and a man who has had such a successful career in rock and roll. But any fears we had were soon put at rest as Bernie proceeded with the recording of the album in a relaxed environment offering encouragement to us along the way. I remember Mark sweating a bit when he had to lay down a guitar solo whilst sat next to Bernie in the control room. I felt a bit sorry for him at the time but Bernie encouraged him to get a great recording down on tape and the resulting solo from 'The Places I Have Been' had Bernie quoting that it was a memorable solo similar to something that The Police could have written. I was proud to hear him say that as that solo had been composed to compliment the song. Bernie always made sure that he had a one hour lunch break during recording sessions and one day he was looking forward to nipping out from the studio to his home across the driveway to cook some sausages that had been left in the fridge for him. On arrival in the kitchen he saw the sausage packaging on the kitchen table with all contents cleared out. The family dog had found his way into the fridge and beaten Bernie to them. He was a bit upset when returning to the studio afterwards but then we all burst out laughing and it remained a great talking point for the remainder of the recording. During the recording of 'Get A Vest On' i recall Bernie smiling at the line 'i count to three, i'm lost at two, there's only one thing that's left to do.' as the character in the song stumbles from one drunken escapade to another. Great memories indeed.''
As the Crows are currently in the process of recording our second album Bernie's passing has come at a very significant time for the band. I am sure that this will drive us on to produce an excellent piece of work in memory of Bernie.
Bryan Orwell (keys), Bernie, Gary, Mark, Roger Diamond (drums) and Ian during recording sessions at Barnroom Studios in 2013
The Old Country Crows would like to offer their greatest sympathies to Bernie's family at this sad time. He was a good man and we all have great memories of working with him. ''The greatest thing for us was that he actually enjoyed what we did. He enjoyed our songs. It wasn't the heavy rock thing that he was used to but it connected with him and he was genuine with his comments. Rest in Peace Bernie. We'll all play 'Dreamland' next time with thoughts of you in our minds.'' Gary