Bernie Tormé, a guitarist who played with several famous rock acts, including Ozzy Osbourne, passed away on March 17, according to Variety. He was 66-years-old, and one day away from turning 67. Tormé’s family confirmed his passing in a public statement.
“Bernie Tormé passed away peacefully on the 17th March 2019, one day short of his 67th birthday, surrounded by his family,” Tormé’s family said in their statement, according to Variety. “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.”
Tormé had been ill for some time and the guitarist’s family had publicly commented about his sickness last month on his Twitter account. On the Twitter account, a comment was posted stating that Tormé had virulent pneumonia and was in intensive care. In that same post, the public was also made aware that Tormé was owed a large amount of money by PledgeMusic.
PledgeMusic should have paid him in December after he finished his PledgeMusic campaign for Shadowland, Tormé’s most recent and final album. In a post that followed, another tweet stated that Tormé had paid for much of the campaign and production costs out of his own pocket. Also, because Tormé had not been reimbursed, he had not been able to pay his musicians. Those musicians included drummer Mik Gaffney and bass player Simon Morton, who both assisted him with the album.
Tormé was born in Dublin and started his career as a guitarist when he was a teenager, according to Pitchfork. He toured with a bevy of different bands. Then, in 1979, he joined a band called Gillan, which was headed up by Deep Purple’s former singer, Ian Gillan. In total, Tormé was featured on four Gillan albums, including Mr. Universe, Glory Road, Future Shock, and Double Trouble. In 1981, Tormé left the band.
He briefly worked with another band, Atomic Rooster, as a session guitarist. In 1982, he became a part of Ozzy Osbourne’s band, replacing Randy Rhoads after Rhoads had passed away. Tormé played in a few concerts with Osbourne, and was later replaced by Brad Gillis, the former Night Ranger guitarist. After that, Tormé played in his own band and also played with another band, Desperado, founded by Dee Snider from Twisted Sister.
“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,” Ozzy Osbourne tweeted, according to Hot Celeb News.