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Well, here is a true legend...original member of Whitesnake (before that he also played on the Paice Ashton Lord albums), he left Whitesnake to form his own band Alaska in the mid-80's and now he has Company of Snakes, which features former Whitesnake members Micky Moody & Neil Murray as well. Over to Bernie...

1. What are you currently up to?

I am currently playing blues festivals with a new album called "Big Boy Blue"

Available from the website all over the world! The BBC have been very kind with airplay, Blues Matters and Blues in Britain have given great reviews, so I am pleased so far, I have also been playing in Ringo Starr's live band, with Zak Starkey on drums.

2. Who were your influences?

The Beatles, then Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, not just because they are guitar players, they in their turn made me look to the real guys, BB King, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Freddie King, it began with blues and will always be blues for me I guess.

3. Which band would you like to see reform?

Nobody really, all the bands I would like to see again have lost somebody, Lowell George, Duane Allman, George Harrison, John Lennon, no need to go on.

4. How well has the Company of Snakes been received?

Extremely well, quite surprised really, the record company could do more, we do very well on the road, but many people do not know who TCOS are, it needs more commitment from SPV in Europe to get the name more known.

5. Would the classic Whitesnake (78-82) line-up ever reform?

Who knows, ask David, ask Neil or Micky, i think it would be great to "do it again".

I really believe that the fans would love to see it happen. I am constantly asked the question at every gig, without fail. I think there are a great amount of rock fans that never had the chance to see the "classic" line up, it's 25 years this year since we started, who knows, David was asked this question about Deep Purple in the early days of Whitesnake, he had a good answer, "Never say never" Well DP reformed so who knows.

Whitesnake was a great band to be in, no question about that.

6. You recorded MGM with Mel Galley & Toto's Bobby Kimball in the 80's. Any plans for this ever to be released?

MGM was a weird thing, it was all over so fast, and yet we did quite a lot of work, we played festivals in Europe, a few gigs in England, and we recorded some sessions, including four songs with Bobby Kimball from Toto, I have the tapes, watch out in the new year for news of that period of time.

7. Who would you like to work with? (Or would have in the case of dead artists).

In the future, in this business strange things happen, if i had expected to be playing with Ringo Starr a year ago i would have said Ringo Starr! I may hook up with Steve Lukather in 2003, only a possibility at the moment, of the passed on people, well only one really, John Lennon.

8. Which countries have the most loyal fans?

I think that rock fans ALL over the world are the most loyal fans, they just always give you a chance, TCOS has confirmed that to me once again.

9. What was the last thing you read?

Sandra Tooze's biography of Muddy Waters, and before that The Coal Miners Daughter by Loretta Lynn.

10. Message for your fans...

Thank you for the continued support, as long as people want to see and hear me play I will always try to give a good album and show, enjoy yourselves and keep safe.

Best Wishes.

Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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