Uriah Heep, Ozzy Drummer Lee Kerslake is Mourned

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Lee Kerslake with current Uriah Heep drummer Russell Gilbrook

Veteran drummer Lee Kerslake was being mourned by the rock community, following the news of his passing on Saturday (September 19) at age 73, of cancer. Kerslake was best known as the longtime drummer and backup vocalist for Uriah Heep. He then briefly played with Ozzy Osbourne, notably on the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman albums. (That’s him on drums and vibraslap, for instance, on “Crazy Train.”) Kerslake first revealed that he was battling prostate cancer in 2018.

Osbourne failed to credit Kerslake on the Diary of a Madman album, which ultimately led to a messy lawsuit. Decades later, Kerslake finally received Platinum plaques for his contributions to those recordings.

On social media, Ozzy acknowledged his former bandmate’s passing – barely. “It’s been 39 years since I’ve seen Lee but he lives for ever (sic) on the records he played on for me, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. RIP.”

The drummer’s former Uriah Heep bandmate, Mick Box, was far more effusive in his praise. “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! Love Mick x.”

Related: Uriah Heep founding member Ken Hensley died in November 2020.

Others making tributes included Gene Simmons who wrote, “A kind soul. Lee always had a cheery “Hello.” He will be missed!”

In December 2018, the same month that Kerslake revealed that he had cancer, he joined Uriah Heep on the London stage to perform on “Lady in Black.”

Uriah Heep’s current drummer, Russell Gilbrook, wrote, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of outstanding drummer and wonderful friend, Lee Kerslake. A truly great man.
It’s hard to find the words to say how much he will be missed.
R.I.P mate ❤️🌹

Related: Musicians we’ve lost in 2020

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. William Blanck
    #1 William Blanck 25 September, 2020, 05:36

    RIP Lee, just learned of your passing, truly sorry I loved all your music with Heep and Ozzy, you will be greatly missed.

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