Bernie Tormé, the former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and Gillan, passed away on March 17 at the age of 66.
The announcement came on Tormé’s Facebook page. A photo of the musician shows him sitting on his deck while a caption simply reads, “Bernie Tormey 18.3.1952 – 17.3.2019.” The guitarist was battling “virulent double pneumonia” according to an update in mid-February, which also noted that he was under intensive care.
Tormé’s was a member of Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan’s solo band. He performed on four albums — Mr. Universe, Glory Road, Future Shock and Double Trouble — before leaving the group in 1981. He briefly joined the ranks of Ozzy Osbourne’s band, replacing Randy Rhoads immediately after the guitarist’s death in 1982. He was only in the band for 10 days, but served as the vital bridge back to the stage for a distraught Osbourne. Brad Gillis was brought in to replace him and Gillis was ultimately replaced by Jake E. Lee.