Lee Kerslake, the former Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep Drummer has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 73.
Lee was instrumental in the first two Ozzy albums with Randy Rhoads, but ended up in a bitter legal battle when he and bassist Bob Daisley went to court against Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.
Kerslake and Daisley were fired before the ‘Diary of A Madman‘ album 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 bassist Robert Trujillo and 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.
Lee said “I went belly-up bankrupt when I lost the case to Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne in the courts,” Lee told The Metal Voice. “It cost me hundreds of thousands and I had to sell the house and then started to get ill. I never managed to get back up, but a platinum certification on my wall for these albums would be fantastic and it would say I helped create those albums.”
When interviewed by The Metal Voice in December 2018, Kerslake revealed that after all these years, he just wanted platinum album certifications for both ‘Blizzard Of Ozz‘ and ‘Diary Of A Madman‘ albums, so he can feel some acknowledgement for his work before he dies.
“I really wrote a nice letter to them and I hope they will come to terms with it and say yes,” Lee told The Metal Voice of his appeal to Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.
Kerslake was granted his wish as Ozzy shared a photo on social media of Lee sitting on a sofa and holding platinum discs for each album and a handwritten letter from Ozzy placed on his chest.
“I’m so glad that Lee Kerslake is enjoying his Blizzard and Diary platinum albums,” Ozzy wrote in an accompanying caption. “I hope you feel better. Love, Ozzy”
Lee had been working on an autobiographical documentary, and a new album titled ‘Eleventeen‘.
He leaves behind an exemplary body of work.