Bernie Marsden, the original guitarist for Whitesnake and co-writer behind some of the band’s biggest hits, died on Thursday (Aug. 24). He was 72 years old.
Marsden’s family shared the news via a statement posted to the rocker’s Instagram page, along with a photo of Marsden smiling at the camera. “On behalf of his family, it is with deep sadness we announce the death of Bernie Marsden. Bernie died peacefully on Thursday evening with his wife, Fran, and daughters, Charlotte and Olivia, by his side. Bernie never lost his passion for music, writing and recording new songs until the end,” reads the post, which you can see here.
The star performed with Whitesnake from 1978 to 1982, and was part of the original band lineup that included frontman David Cloverdale, bassist Neil Murray, guitarist Mick Moody and drummer Dave Dowie. As part of the group, Marsden co-wrote the band’s biggest hit “Here I Go Again,” which he re-recorded with his bandmates in 1987. The track topped the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart in October 1987 and spent 28 total weeks on the tally. He also co-wrote “Fool for Your Loving,” which hit No. 37 on the Hot 100 in 1989.
During his four-year stint in Whitesnake, Marsden contributed to the band’s first five albums, 1978’s Trouble, 1979’s Lovehunter, 1980’s Ready an’ Willing, 1981’s Come an’ Get It and 1982’s Saints & Sinners. Beyond Whitesnake, Marsden performed with a number of other bands including the Moody Marsden Band and Alaska.
He also released a number of solo albums, with his most recent project, Trios, released in August 2022.