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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bernie Marsden: "Paice, Ashton & Lord Was My Big Break Really Because I Moved Into What I Call the Premier League"; New Interview Posted Online

Geeks Of Doom's Obi-Dan has issued an interview with original Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden. An excerpt follows: 

Q: You said earlier that you turned quite a few bands down – can you name those? 

A: "One was a group called Sam Apple Pie. One was a group called East of Eden and another one was Renaissance . But it was all very cordial. Funny thing was I’d been turned down for UFO during that period! (laughs) They had this nutter of a manager. This guy, I think he could have been put inside, you know, put away from people. He auditioned people for UFO, but all the audition was was basically their haircuts and what jackets they wore. It could have been the greatest guitar player in the world, but if you didn’t have the right haircut he would not consider you. But they’d seen my CV at the time and after they fired this manager they did contact me to say ‘we’re still looking for a guitarist, would you come and audition?’ For years Phil said, very Phil Mogg, he said, ‘We only gave him the gig because he had a Gibson Firebird and it looked cool!’ (laughs) And he’s probably right! (laughs) We become friends over the years and [they] say, ‘You was an arrogant little sod when you was a kid!’ It wasn’t really arrogance, I just didn’t want to do something. Just waiting for the right band to come along really." 

Geeks of Doom: And that right band turned out to be Whitesnake… 

A: "Well, eventually. But there was two or three in between. Like I said there was Wild Turkey then I met Cozy Powell and that’s when Cozy asked me to put the band together with him which became Hammer and after that I went with a group called Babe Ruth. Paice, Ashton & Lord was my first big jump up. I suppose Cozy Powell was in retrospect because he was [in] that kind of class as a musician that I hadn’t played with before, he was so good, and then when I went into Paice, Ashton & Lord there was Ian Paice on the same level and Jon Lord on a higher level. That’s what really whetted me and I thought, ‘hang on, I’m building the right bricks here, it’s going well.’ Paice, Ashton & Lord was my big break really because I moved into what I call the Premier League. When you’re getting picked up in Rolls-Royce’s and not in Transit vans you know something has changed! (laughs) That was what it was like with Jon and Ian and musically of course it was great. The late Tony Ashton was there as well. Musically it was great but they were pretty much depending on me to be one of the major writers so obviously that appealed as well." 

Read the full interview at this location.

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