Former WHITESNAKE and current M3 guitarist Bernie Marsden has posted the following message on his official web site:
"I do apologise for the long delay to you all. No excuses, just pressure of work and forgetting! Pressure — I play the guitar for a living, what kind of pressure is that?
"The BIG BOY BLUE album is doing well, very popular at gigs, and available only from the website. This year I have only played shows with M3 so the BBB band has been on ice so to speak.
"In January I flew to Tokyo and played on live TV with the Japanese guitar hero Char. Jimmy Copley has played with him for a number of years, he is a fantastic player, very much in the Jeff Beck vein, he invited me on stage and the reception was amazing. I think being on the TV has made the Japanese fans realise I'm still around! It was good to be back in Japan, I had a great few days.
"The M3 tour of the Baltics was a very interesting time. The Russian fans were tremendous, the band became very strong on stage, these guys can really play their instruments. Jimmy Copley [was] quite magnificent every night, Mark Stanway always delivering, we arrived back in the UK as a five piece. Tony Martin was about to resume his solo career, I wish him well. So what's new?
"Most recently I have been recording new material with Jimmy Copley, we have cut about twelve songs for a later release. On keys is Dino Baptiste, a great bluesy piano player, you may have seen him with the DANA GILLESPIE LONDON BLUES BAND. I recently jammed with Dana at the Banbury Blues Festival and I immediately wanted to use Dino on future recordings. On bass is BBB regular John Gordon. The songs are heavy funk really, in a Stax kind of vibe, the grooves alone are real toe tappers!
"I hope to have this finished for a full UK and European tour in the late Autumn and Winter, playing a whole load of UK dates I hope. The four piece band is an ideal 'on the road' set-up, easy to move and house so to speak. So look out for Bernie Marsden and his band at a gig near you in the Autumn, details will be posted here, and on the M3 website.
"I also had the pleasure of jamming with THE BLUES BAND at The Stables in Milton Keynes, my local gig. It was a pleasure to play with Paul Jones and Dave Kelly, and I'm a secret admirer of Tom McGuiness. Thanks chaps for that.
"The live BIG BOY BLUE CD is almost ready, I have taken more time than I expected too, mainly because of M3 sessions and shows last year, it will be a single CD and be on the site in a few weeks. I am very pleased with it. It really captures the evening in The Granary. Sharon Watson and Michael Roach are featured vocalists and there is a great performance by the players all round, although I have to single out Nick Payn on harmonica and sax. Should be out soon, and I will have it on the dates in the Autumn.
"I have recently recorded six songs for two BBC Radio 2, Paul Jones show. I'm not sure when they will be aired, I'll try to put the info on here when I get it, although one of you will probably email me first with the time! The line up was the same as the new recordings, with the added bonus of Michael Roach on one song, 'Funny People'. He has made this song his own it seems.
"On a personal note I played at Mrs. Ian Paice's birthday recently, the band was quite good, alonside myself were an up-and-coming keyboard player and drummer, Jon Lord and Jim Capaldi! Ian was in Australia with DEEP PURPLE, and on vocals were Frida from ABBA, and Mr. Jeremy Irons, I am telling the truth, on bass was Paul Wickens, who plays with Paul McCartney's current band. His wife Margo Buchanan also sang some great stuff. Hearing her and Frida singing an accapella 'Happy Birthday' was magical. Jon was in great form, and he gave me a preview of his plans for later in the year. They sound great, I'll be there that's for sure.
"The WHITESNAKE CDs keep rolling, the two 'Best of' versions single and double have been doing well. The 'Early Years' is the best one as far as the 'classic' line up is concerned, a few omissions but overall a good package by EMI. Take a pinch of salt with some of the sleeve notes. written by his master's voice! What a band that was, and what a singer. I hope that some of the newer SNAKE converts realise the foundation of the band was those early recordings.
"M3 with Stefan Berrgren singing will play JB's Dudley, Burnley Mechanix and Lochgelly Centre in Scotland, June 11 to the 15.
"One more thing, Micky Moody and I will be opening for TOTO at The Royal Albert Hall on June 28.
"I think that brings me up to the present. Thanks for your continued interest, I will try to be more aware of the update button. Hope to see you at any of the gigs in your area.
"Have a good summer."