Bernie Pershey

After his stay with White Lightning, Bernie joined This Oneness, an all original, experimental jazz/rock band. This band would soon become Olivia Newton John's touring band. Bernie toured with Olivia for 3 years before moving to New York City where he played in a variety of bands before heading West to Los Angeles.

Throughout his professional career, Bernie has primarily been a touring player, successfully completing national and European tours with Walter Trout, Eric Burdon and the New Animals, Edgar Winter, and eleven tours with Olivia Newton John.

In addition to road work, Bernie has also worked in the studio, recording for guitarist Eric Sardenuss, singer Beth Hart (whose record was produced by Michael Bradford who is the bass player for Kid Rock), and blues/rock guitar player Walter Trout. Trout was recently in a BBC poll as the sixth best guitar player in the world. The record Bernie played on for Trout called "Go the Distance" won the Los Angeles music award for independent record of the year. All total, Bernie has played on nine records for Trout, who is better known in Europe than he is in the States. Bernie also played on the song "Frankenstein" by Edgar Winter off the album "Not a Kid Anymore". Some of the other artists Bernie has recorded with are the Rey Nichols Shovelhead Band, Dwight Twilley, and Jennifer Batten.

Bernie's next professional goal is to learn to play the marimba.

Bernie has also written a book of rudimental solos called "Rude Mental Music", which is available directly from Bernie.

Bernie can be contacted via
e-mail at:

Editor's note:
Thanks to Terry Peeples for his help in preparing this bio.
n he was in town to give a drum clinic at JJC. Read interview.

Joliet has an impressive track record for turning out great drummers. One of the best is Bernie Pershey, who has toured with Edgar Winter, Olivia Newton John and Eric Burdon, to name a few.

When Bernie was just eight years old, he heard "Loco-Motion" and "Dancin' in the Streets" played back-to-back on the radio. At that point, the drum beats caught his attention and inspired him to take up the instrument.

He began taking drum lessons while attending St. Jude's grade school, and in high school he joined the Joliet Catholic High School marching band. One of his early influential drum teachers was Bill Mueller, who taught many of Joliet's fine drummers. Bernie immersed himself in learning to play the drums, and practicing became his passion. Also during high school, Bernie played in the rock bands Blues Generation, Crystal Tower, Trilogy (with Skip Griparis) and The State Prism. During this period, Bernie studied a lot of Mitch Mitchel (from the Jimi Hendrix band) as well as Tony Williams and Lenny White, who were great jazz players.

After high school, Bernie moved to Minneapolis where he played in the hard rock band White Lightning. While in Minneapolis, he studied with Marv Dahlgren, who was the main percussionist with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. Dahlgren's "4-Way coordination book" influenced Bernie tremendously.



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