“To put it simply: no Beatles, no George, no me. I still feel very privileged to have called him a friend”: Bernie Marsden on the genius of George Harrison

A composite of Bernie Marsden and George Harrison
(Image credit: Future/Getty Images)

At the end of last month, the guitar community was shocked and saddened by the surprise announcement of Bernie Marsden’s passing. Tributes came flooding in from far and wide, praising the guitarist for his timeless work in bands like Whitesnake, The Moody Marsden Band and Paice Ashton Lord, as well as the six-string delights he’d given us over a long and fruitful solo career.

Look up any interview with the man on his primary influences and you’re bound to see names like Hank Marvin, Eric Clapton and Peter Green. But his biggest guitar hero was someone who, much to his own amazement, also became a good friend to him – George Harrison of The Beatles.

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).