Music For Nations Magazine 1984
BERNIE MARSDEN’s first serious musical venture was with a band called Skinny Cat based in the Oxford/Bucks area way back in 1970.
In 1973, having turned pro, BERNIE MARSDEN joined Phil Mogg in UFO (a well kept secret for years) moving onto join ex-Jethro Tull bassist Glen Cornick in Wild Turkey continually touring the UK and Europe where he met Cozy Powell who was then with Bedlam. With the two bands touring, a close relationship formed between Cozy and Bernie, which led them to both joining the legendary Hammer with a line that was then unacolainied: Don Airey, dive Chapman (from Jeff Beck and Cozy Powell’s band) Bernie Marsden on guitar, Franic Aiello vocals Neil Murray then replaced Clive Chapman and the line up remained the same until the band split in 1975, unfortunately without recording an album,
After the disappointment of Hammer’s demise, Bernie joined Babe Ruth and recorded two albums for Capitol Records ‘Stealin’ Home’ and ‘Kid’s Stuff in 1975 and ‘77. ‘Kid’s Stuff saw the appearance of names like Don Airey Nell Murray and Cozy Powell on the album. It has been described as the first Bernie Marsden solo album masquerading as Babe Ruth.
After Babe Ruth, Bernie started his long working relationship with the Deep Purple camp, joining PAL – Paice, Ashton, Lord in ‘76. The band produced one album ‘Malice In Wonderland, on Polydor.
Whilst working in Munich on the second unreleased PAL album, Bernie Marsden met David Coverdale and a new team was created. Upon David’s return to the UK, the song writing of Coverdale, Marsden, Moody was formed and the birth of White snake evolved in the Punk boom year late ‘77.
With record companies only willing to sign, an EP ‘Snakebite’ was released on white vinyl, now a collectors item at £20 a copy.
EMI signed the band and songs like Come On’, ‘Love Hunter’ and classic rock hit ‘Fool For Your Loving’ followed.
In 1979 Japan offered Bernie a solo album, he recorded “And About Time Too’ with Cozy Powell, Jon Lord, Simon Philips, Ian Paice, Neil Murray, Don Airey and the legendary Jack Bruce on bass guitar. “A dream come true, Jack Bruce playing on my solo album, I kept pinching myself’, said Bernie.
After a heavy Whitesnake tour, an incredible 7 albums in five years and a second solo LP ‘Look At Me Now’ the seeds of a split were sown, quote from Bernie “1 just wanted to do something new, Whitesnake was a great band to be in, but after five years of heavy touring the edges were beginning to fray We departed all close friends, if I had stayed longer l don’t think that would have happened”. The split occurred in May1982.
Out of the limelight Bernie took time off to write new material, BERNIE MARSDEN’s ALASKA emerged with a line-up as follows:- BERNIE MARSDEN guitar (ex-Hammer, Babe Ruth, Whitesnake), RICHARD BAILEY keyboards (ex-Magnum, Trapeze), ROBERT HAWTHORN vocals, JOHN MARTER drums (ex-Voyager, Marillion), BRIAN BADHAMS bass (ex-Rainmaker).
The end product of this collaboration is ‘Heart Of The Storm’ (MFN 23) released on Music For Nations on May 11th. A single ‘Susie Blue’ was also taken from the album and received extensive National airplay. Since then Richard Bailey has left the band to play keyboards with Whitesnake. During October’84 Alaska toured Europe as special guest to Manowar.
A new album from the now four piece Alaska is due early ‘85.