Former OZZY OSBOURNE And URIAH HEEP drummer Lee Kerslake passed away over the weekend (Saturday, September 19) following a battle with cancer. He was 73 years old.
Ozzy shared a photo of him and the late drummer on his social media of him and Lee during the “Blizzard Of Ozz” album recording sessions at Ridge Farm Studio in West Sussex in 1980. He included the following message: “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”
Lee was a member of Ozzy’s band in 1980 and 1981 during the Randy Rhoads era, performing on the singer’s first two solo albums.
In January 2019, Kerslake was inducted into the Hall Of Heavy Metal History in Anaheim, California.
Kerslake and former Ozzy bassist Bob Daisley had been in and out of legal battles with the Osbournes for many years over royalties, which eventually took a massive financial toll on the drummer.
Kerslake and Daisley were fired before “Diary of A Madman” was released and in the process had their names removed from the album. Bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge are credited in the album’s liner notes and featured in the photo on the inner sleeve. 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. Daisley and Kerslake’s original performances were restored in the 2011 reissues of the albums.
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