He may still be mostly remembered for his time with Gillan and a brief stint with Ozzy shortly after Randy Rhoads died, but Irish guitarist Bernie Tormé was a successful solo artist for over four decades. He also played with the legendary Dee Snider in Desperado, amongst others.
Bernie Tormé – Final Fling
Release Date: 25 November 2022
Words: Paul Hutchings
Having completed a successful tour in 2018, Bernie and his bandmates Mik Gaffney (Drums) and Sy Morton(bass) regretted not recording any of the shows. Bernie realised the band were in sparkling form, as Mik confirmed in my recent interview, with Bernie’s guitar playing at the top of his game. With the tour success fresh in their minds, they set up their gear in Bernie’s Barnroom studio and laid down the set live.
The result is Final Fling, now a posthumous release as Bernie passed away in March 2019, the day before his 67th birthday. It’s a fitting tribute. Spanning his entire career, the band deliver a 77-minute set which kicks off with Wild West and doesn’t let up until the final chords on Crazy Train are put to bed.
If you ever saw Bernie play, you’ll be aware of just how loud he played. It’s evident throughout Final Fling, with the distorted edge that he always crafted on his guitar sound coming through. Backed by the solid engine room, Bernie throws his sounds around with abandon, covering tracks like No Easy Way and Summertime Blues with his own unique style.
The energy is evident in the recordings, and despite the absence of an audience, the live feel is very much present. In fact, at times, as you listen to Bernie peel off another virtuoso solo, you are expecting a roar at the end of the song.
Whilst we will all recognise the likes of Mr Crowley and Crazy Train, both sung by Morton, Bernie’s own compositions are most enjoyable. Songs like Motor Daddy, Come the Revolution (from the last studio album Shadowland), Wild West and Turn Out the Lights have long been fan favourites, and they are given a good workout here. His extended solo on Stoneship is a delight, and we also get a quick solo from Gaffney to allow Bernie the legendary Jameson break!
Final Fling was sadly prophetic, but the fact that we have this release to enjoy is a joy for those who loved his individual style of play.
With his son Eric Tormey having spent painstaking hours mixing and mastering the release, it’s a fitting tribute to a truly underrated guitarist.
For more details, including a limited edition bundle, visit https://bernietorme.bandcamp.com/merch/final-fling-limited-edition-pre-order-bundle.
Bernie Tormé – Final Fling
- Wild West
- Come the Revolution
- No Easy Way
- Turn Out the Lights
- Motor daddy
- Drum solo/Jameson break
- Rocky Road from Dublin
- Can’t Beat Rock ‘n’ Roll
- New Orleans
- Summertime Blues
- Mr Crowley
- Crazy Train