UPDATE: Bernie Torme is still battling double pneumonia. “Whilst Bernie remains in great hands in hospital, there has been no improvement in his condition and last night he was placed on a ventilator," his family said in a new statement. "Bernie remains in intensive care. Your continued thoughts, prayers and best wishes are most welcome."

Veteran rock guitarist Bernie Tormé is in intensive care as he battles double pneumonia.

A tweet from the musician’s verified account asked fans for their prayers.

The Irish-born Tormé cut his teeth performing in clubs around Dublin and London as a teenager. His first taste of fame came in 1979, when he became the guitarist in Gillan, the hard rock group fronted by former Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan. The band enjoyed modest success in the U.K., where four of its albums charted in the Top 20 during Tormé's stint. He left the group in 1981 due to disagreements over compensation.

Tormé's next stop was in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, where he replaced Randy Rhoads after the guitarists's death in 1982. In a 2017 interview with UCR, Tormé reflected on the uncomfortable circumstance he found himself in.

“I was out there on the Thursday, and Randy had died the previous Saturday," he said. "It wasn’t even a week. I don’t think anyone spoke to me the day I arrived, other than [keyboardist] Don Airey. It was a really bad atmosphere, and understandably so."

The situation failed to improve, even as the group took the stage together. “Even if I played okay, even if I played a nice solo or whatever, if anyone looked at me onstage they thought, ‘Oh, shit. It isn’t Randy,'" he recalled.

After only a handful of shows, Tormé elected to leave the band and focus his attention on solo work. Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis would take his place.

Following that brief stint with Osbourne, Tormé started his own band, aptly named Tormé. Phil Lewis, who later sang for L.A. Guns, was recruited to be the group's singer. Even though the band released three albums in the U.K., it never found mainstream success.

In the late 80s, Tormé teamed up with former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider in the heavy metal group Desperado. Issues with their record label caused the band's debut album to be delayed. It wouldn't be released until 1996, long after the group had disbanded and its members pursued other opportunities.

Adding up his work with various bands, along with his own solo releases, Tormé has contributed guitar to 24 studio albums over the past few decades.

 

 

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