Bernie Torme’s star never shined brighter than the period he spent in Gillan. For the three stunning albums he made, ‘Mr Universe’, ‘Glory Road’ and ‘Future Shock’, he was the absolute guitar hero; his punk pirate image, and the chaos he brought to this band, was a sight to behold and witness. You can’t help but wonder what would have happened if his tenure had lasted longer, and if that fateful refusal to appear on Top Of The Pops had never happened. For four incredible years he was untouchable. He then had a brief stint with Ozzy after the tragic loss of Randy Rhoads, but his bluesy style never quite fitted the Metal vision Ozzy had for his band.
Since 1982 Torme has made twelve studio albums, beginning with ‘Turn Out The Lights’ and ending with ‘Shadowland’ in 2018. His playing continued in his bluesy punk style, his vocals adding grit and feel to his solo work. He was an underrated star, his honest feel striking a chord with his fans who never forgot, and were lucky enough to see, his stage performances with Gillan.
This live album celebrates the best of his career and shows what a performer he was. His untimely loss is mourned by many, but he leaves us with this thunderous and gritty live show. It has plenty of highlights, ‘Come The Revolution’ being the first. The brilliant ‘No Easy Way’ is then followed by a pulsating ‘Turn Out The Lights’. Later, there is the superb trio of covers, in the shape of ‘Trouble’, ‘New Orleans’ and ‘Summertime Blues’. The album ends with an Ozzy double, in the shape of ‘Mr Crowley’ and Crazy Train’, where Torme demonstrates how he could interpretate songs by Randy Rhoades with flair and style.
The guitarist was born in Ranelagh, Dublin, and was playing guitar for fifty years until it was his time to ‘Turn Out The Lights’. Once seen never forgotten, especially when playing with McCoy, Underwood, Towns... and that singer!