Bernie Shaw was born on june 15 1956 in Victoria the capital of British Columbia, Canada. At the beginning of 1970 Bernie dreamed of becoming a rock guitarist. He bought himself a Gibson SG Special and started practising. When the local band COLD SWEAT was looking for a second guitarist in 1974 Bernie auditioned but the bassplayer asked him if he knew what he was playing. He told him to do himself a favor by buying vocal gear set and come back the next week. Shaw followed up this advice, and when he auditioned as a singer the band was convinced: This was their new vocalist. The interest in rockmusic was changing and COLD SWEAT changed their name in Buckshot. With this name they tourt for some months. In the summer of 1977 the band quitted due to lack of succes. Shaw: I had enough of doing all these small clubs. I wanted to go further then that. His next band was Legend. This formation came from Saskatoon. Shaw played 9 months with them before a flew back to Victoria. Also in this year Shaw played with Phil Lanzon ( Ex Romance) in PARIS. In December 1978 Paris signed a record deal with RCA and changed their name to GRAND PRIX . Its here that Shaw sang on his first album: GRAND PRIX which was released in 1980. When Shaw returned from the wedding of his sister Oktober 1981 he found out he was replaced by Robin Mc Auley.
In december 1981 Shaw joined the 1978 started band PRAYING MANTIS. There he met Tino Troy guitar Chriss Troy bass, Dave Potts - drums and John Bavin Keyboards. The band was managed by Deep Purple founder John Coletta. Still they had problems to get a recorddeal. For a long time they were the most over rehearshed band in London. With Praying Mantis Shaw did not record a album, just the EP "Tell me the nightmares wrong" recorded in 1982. Praying Mantis with Shaw was just live to be seen, like the READING FESTIVAL. In 1993 a bootleg was going around called "live + singles" wich contains 6 songs performed at the Reading festival, followed by pieces of THE SOUNDHOUSE TAPES" MAXI , the PRAYING MANTIS record, AND THE SINGLES "CHEATED DOUBLE"and "TURN THE TABLES" From December 1983 to the middle of 1984 Shaw played in the by ex IRON MAIDEN drummer founded CLIVE BURRS ESCAPE . Who went on as ESCAPE shortley after Shaws entree. In this band also played Praying Mantis members Chris and Tino Troy. July 1984 again the band choose to go on with a new name. Thats how STRATUS started. The album TROWING SHAPESwas recorded at the FRANKFURTER DREAMBOAT studio with Tino troy guitar, Alan Nelson keyboards, Chris Troy bass, and Clive Burr drums. It was released in the summer of 1984. Like PRAYING MANTIS, STRATUS played melodic hardrock. The 12 pieces of rock sound like a progression of the Praying Mantis music, and therefore interesting stuff for Heepfans. In 1993 the cd version REBORN CLASSICS was released. As a bonustrack on this bootleg the SOUNDHOUSE TAPES are added. Stratus also had one song as a movie soundtrack. The song "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE is used in CLASS OF NUKE EM HIGH (1986/USA) When Stratus gigged at the London Marquee Club one of the visitors was Mick Box. He was looking for a singer who could reach the high notes. Uriah Heep singer Steff Fontain was just fired. Mick asked Bernie to do a audition for Heep. Bernie did and after a heavy night Mick was concluding Uriah Heep got their new frontman.
Shaws first album with Heep was LIVE IN MOSCOW . In 1995 Shaw was facing serious throath problems. The medics had difficulties to discover the problem, and it looked for a while as Shaw had to quit his singing career. For concerts in Austria and South Africa John Lawton toke over. Bernie recovered after a minor surgery. Bernie now is the longest in the band as a vocalist. At the end of 1995 Shaw started a hobby band in Vancouver Canada called IN TRANSIT. The band does cover versions of VAN HALEN, 38 SPECIAL, DAN REED NETWORK, STAGE DOLLS, FOREIGNER, RITCHIE SAMBORA and a few Heepsongs. Bernie loves to ride on of his Harley Davidson. Thats my second love after Heep he says. In private Bernie listens to WHITESNAKE,VAN HALEN,DAVID LEE ROTH,LENNY KRAVITZ,CRASH TEST DUMMIES,RITCHIE SAMBORA and LED ZEPPELIN. In august and september of 1997 Bernie was in the Canadian Rock Ridge studios to sing on Kevin Williams ,his friend, album. They know eachother from IN TRANSIT. It was a tribute album to Williams wife who died from cancer christmas 1996. The cd was released in private by Kevin Williams for the Canadian market only