Longtime Uriah Heep and on Ozzy Osbourne’s first albums, , Lee Kerslake, has died at the age of 73 after battling prostate cancer.
He began his career playing with The Gods, along with Ken Hensley, Toe Fat and the National Head Band. In 1971 he became a member of Uriah Heep and participated in the recording of “Demons And Wizards”. From there he followed a long career with the band, with a break from 1978 to 1982.
In 1980 he became a member of Ozzy’s solol band, for the first two legendary albums, “Blizzard Of Oz” and “Diary Of A Madman”. However, as Lee and bassist Bob Daisley were fired shortly before the release of “Diary Of A Madman”, their credit is not mentioned on the liner notes and they were replaced by Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge, who were their replacements in the band. Also, in the reissues of the two albums in 2002, their recordings were replaced with new ones by Mike Bordin and Robert Trujillo, following a lawsuit filed by Daisley and Kerslake for unpaid rights from their recordings. Finally, in 2011 in the new reissues of the albums the original recordings were restored.
It is also worth mentioning that Ozzy, after the news that Lee was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019 and that he wad only a few months to live, sent him two platinum records for the two albums.
After the brief stint with Ozzy, he returned to Uriah Heep to record “Abominog” (1982) and stayed until 2007, when he retired for health reasons.
His friend and close associate in Uriah Heep, Mick Box, wrote a touching message: Lee was one of the kindest men on earth, as well as being a brother he was an incredible drummer, singer and song writer! He had a passion for life bar none and was much loved by the fans, as well as anyone who crossed his path! Rock in peace my friend and say hi to David,Gary, John and Trevor for me! This picture says it all! Love Mick x
It’s been 39 years since I’ve seen Lee but he lives for ever on the records he played on for me, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. Lee Kerslake RIP pic.twitter.com/xWqVR0VJn6
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) September 19, 2020