Bernie Marsden, blues rock guitarist primarily known for co-writing and playing on some of Whitesnake's biggest hits, has died at the age of 72.

Before joining Whitesnake, Marsden played in several bands such as UFO, Cozy Powell's Hammer, Babe Ruth and a few others before joining Deep Purple members Jon Lord and Ian Paice's new band with singer Tony Ashton called Paice Ashton Lord. Eventually, Lord and Paice joined Marsden in Whitesnake.

Marsden was in Whitesnake from its formation in 1978 until 1982, thus he played on their first five albums — 1978's Trouble, 1979's Lovehunter, 1980's Ready an' Willing, 1981's Come an' Get It and 1982's Saints & Sinners. He co-wrote some of the group's biggest songs with frontman David Coverdale, including "Fool for Your Loving," "Here I Go Again," "Walking in the Shadow of the Blues" and many others.

In his autobiography Where’s My Guitar?: An Inside Story of British Rock and Roll, Marsden recalled that things in Whitesnake had come to a head by the time they were working on Saints & Sinners. Micky Moody had quite in December of '81, and Lord, Paice and bassist Neil Murray were hardly around. 

"I looked at David in the control room at the studio and uttered the fateful words, 'We might as well end all this, David, knock it all on the head, mate.' I didn’t quite grasp the full effect of what I was saying," Marsden wrote. "David’s eyes widened. He smiled wryly as though a weight was off his shoulders. He said that he thought he was the only one thinking it. I assured him he wasn’t. He explained that he had already been having meetings with his legal people in order to extricate himself from the managerial mire."

Marsden was told, along with Paice, Lord and Murray, that he was out of the band soon after by their manager.

After Whitesnake, Marsden went on to form the bands Alaska, the Moody Marsden Band and a few others, all of which he released albums with, as well as a plethora of solo albums.

READ MORE: 66 Bands That Only Have One Original Member Left

“On behalf of his family, it is with deep sadness we announce the death of Bernie Marsden,” a statement issued by Conquest Music reads [via Guitar World]. “Bernie died peacefully on Thursday evening with his wife, Fran, and daughters, Charlotte and Olivia, by his side. Bernie never lost his passion for music, writing and recording new songs until the end."

Our condolences go our to Marsden's loved ones and fans. Rest In Peace.

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