OZZY OSBOURNE / URIAH HEEP Drummer LEE KERSLAKE Dead At 73

Lawrence Kim
September 20, 2020

After joining Uriah Heep in 1971, he recorded the classic 1972 LP Demons And Wizards with the group, which fused a progressive rock sound with a hard rock edge. He met Ozzy Osbourne in 1980 and was featured on Osbourne's first two solo records, "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman", in addition to 1980's "Live EP" and segments of the 1987 "Tribute" live album.

Lee Kerslake, best known as the longtime drummer of rock band Uriah Heep and for playing on two Ozzy Osbourne albums, has died of prostate cancer. He dropped out of Uriah Heep in 2018.

Kerslake, who was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, in 1947, kickstarted his love affair with the drums at the age of 11 when he began learning the instrument. His final performance was on December 14, 2018, when he joined Uriah Heep onstage in London to perform "Lady in Black".

'We were all getting f**ked up on coke and booze, though Randy wasn't. He smoked cigarettes; he didn't drink much'. He then rejoined Uriah Heep in 1982 to record their comeback album "Abominog", and remained with the group until 2007.

Kerslake and Daisley were fired before "Diary of A Madman" was released and in the process had their names removed from the album. The tracks played by Kerslake and Daisley on both albums were replaced on a reissue (by current METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo and FAITH NO MORE drummer Mike Bordin) after the duo sued Ozzy and Sharon over royalties. Eventually, the original recordings were restored.

In January 2019, reports emerged that Osbourne had given the terminally-ill musician a pair of platinum plaques for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, classic Ozzy albums to which Kerslake had contributed.

"I really wrote a nice letter to them and I hope they will come to terms with it and say yes", Kerslake said of his initial request, which was ultimately granted by Osbourne.

Osbourne relented and sent him the platinum album in January of a year ago.

Legendary drummer Lee Kerslake was a man who hit his kit with real power and who enjoyed life to the fullest, earning himself the nickname of "The Bear" in a career that was rich and varied.

Last year, Kerslake revealed that he had been given months to live after battling cancer for several years.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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