Ex Ozzy Osbourne, Uriah Heep Drummer Lee Kerslake Dies, Dead at 73
"It's with the heaviest of hearts that I share with you that Lee Kerslake, my friend of 55 years and the best drummer I ever played with, lost his battle with cancer at 03:30 this morning," Kerslake's longtime URIAH HEEP bandmate Ken Hensley wrote. "He died peacefully, praise The Lord, but he will be terribly missed." Source Blabbermouth
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In January 2019, Kerslake was inducted into the Hall Of Heavy Metal History in Anaheim, California. During his induction, Kerslake was presented with two platinum discs for his work with the BLACK SABBATH frontman. The presentation was filmed for Kerslake's documentary.
Photo credit by Jimmy Kay, Theodore Zee The Metal Voice
Kerslake was born in Winton, Bournemouth, Dorset, England. At age 11, he began playing drums and got his first professional gig with the Gods in 1969, going on to record three albums with the band. He later played with Toe Fat and National Head Band before linking up with Uriah Heep in November 1971.
In 1980, Kerslake met ex-Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne by chance in an elevator at the Kings Cross Hotel in Australia. "He was in one corner with his bodyguard and his manager, and I was in the other corner with mine. Rather funny". They would soon form the band Blizzard of Ozz with bassist Bob Daisley and guitarist Randy Rhoads, though the band would soon become an Ozzy Osbourne solo project due to a management decision. Kerslake's work can be heard on Osbourne's first two solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, as well as the 1980 Live EP and parts of the 1987 Tribute live album.
In December 2018, Kerslake revealed that he is battling prostate cancer, saying that "the doctor gave me about eight months to live". He further stated that five years previously, he had been given four years to live. Kerslake's further health complications include psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and two heart murmurs.
Kerslake revealed that it was his final wish to receive the platinum album certifications for the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman albums that he had worked on, and Osbourne granted that wish. Kerslake wrote a letter to Osbourne, informing him of his ill-health and desire to receive the records. Kerslake subsequently received his platinum plaques.
Lee Kerslake interview talks Platinum discs from Ozzy-Hall of Heavy Metal 2019- The Metal Voice
Lee Kerslake accepts platinum discs & reads Ozzy Letter at Metal Hall of Fame 2019
Lee Kerslake- Interview-Talks Recording Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman