The boy who dreamed of playing guitar at Buckingham Town Hall is now into his 41st year as a successful rock musician and has just launched his latest solo album.
Bernie Marsden’s Shine, recorded last year at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios, was released last week to critical acclaim.
Buckingham-born Bernie, who now lives in Tingewick, said: “I’m very, very happy with it. I started it in February and I didn’t finish till the end of October.
“Working at Abbey Road isn’t normal, it’s fairly special.
“It’s worked out really well.”
Bernie, aged 63, who achieved fame as guitarist with Whitesnake, making six albums, said: “Shine is bluesy, because that’s what I do. But there’s a bit more than blues on it.
“I think people are really ready for a melodic rock album.”
The album features some special guests.
Bernie said: “I’m working with my former colleague David Coverdale from Whitesnake and he’s actually singing a song on the album, called Trouble, and that’s the first time we’ve recorded together since I left Whitesnake in 1986.
“The other special guest on the album is current guitar hero Joe Bonamassa. He plays guitar on the title track.
“I was way past thinking about making an album for a worldwide record company.
“But they’ve put me right back into the spotlight.”
In October, Bernie embarks on a UK tour with young up-and-coming UK guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor.
He’s also playing with his own band at The Stables, in Milton Keynes, on October 24, as part of a four-night mini-tour.
Other projects in the pipeline include a Bollywood project in India.
Along with other rock greats such as Alice Cooper, Bernie is a patron of the parliamentary music competition Rock The House, and as such is a frequent visitor to the House of Commons.
He recently completed a TV blues documentary featuring the actor Morgan Freeman.
And he is in the process of writing his memoirs, going right back to his childhood in Overn Avenue, Buckingham.
“I acually lived till I was about five on Bristle Hill,” he said. “And, because of that, I never have any problem with church bells when I stay in hotels. I don’t hear them.”
Bernie attended Well Street School and then what he calls “Buckingham Secondary not-so modern School”
“They had some Victorian values there,” he said.
“It was a rough school and you did have to have your wits about you but I came out of it.
“I’ve still got my final report. The art teacher wrote: ‘I’ve never met a boy who was so idle and yet so engaging.’
“I was terrible at art. I could play guitar but I couldn’t draw. But I tried.
“By the time I’d done my CSEs, I was playing every weekend and I’d already gained some sort of reputation.
“I used to dream of playing in places like the town hall because I used to go and see bands there when I was a kid. I used to tell my parents I was going to see my grandparents and sneak in there and hide in the lighting box.”
“It never stops,” Bernie added. “I played with the Allman Brothers in New York in March this year.
“Dreams can come true.”