Former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Bernie Tormé passed away on Sunday (March 17th) at the age of 66, according to his family. Tormé was hospitalized last month with double pneumonia. It was reported at the time that that the Irish musician was “extremely ill” and that he had been placed on a ventilator.
His family issued a statement saying, “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.”
Ozzy wrote on Facebook, “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 told us a while back that playing guitar for him was a high pressure job: “Whoever stands in the shoes of another guitar player that's played with me has got a lot to achieve, you know. And no matter what I say to them, you know — Zakk (Wylde) was the new guy once, and Randy (Rhoads) was the new guy once, and Jake E. Lee was the new guy — it's got to be the hardest gig in the world after all them guys I've had, from Tony Iommi onwards, you know. I mean, the guitar players I've worked with in my career have been unbelievable, you know.”
Tormé stepped in when Ozzy's guitarist Randy Rhoads died in a plane crash in March 1982, joining Ozzy's touring band for a series of shows. Tormé was also lead guitarist in Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan's solo band Gillan, and formed Desperado with Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider and ex-Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr. He also led his own bands Electric Gypsies and Torme, appearing on over 24 albums throughout the course of his career.