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Lee Kerslake

Today we will tell you about Lee Kerslake - a special drummer with great emotional playing technique who is also a songwriter with supreme grace and a singer.

(Photo: Gijsbert Hanekroot)


He was born on 16 April 1946 in "Winton, Bournemouth," Hampshire now known as "Dorset" in England. His full name is Lee Gary Kerslake.


He started playing drums at the age of 11 and began his musical career at the age of 21 with the band "The Gods" where he also met keyboardist Ken Hensley.


Together with "The Gods", he released three studio albums, the first "Genesis" from 1968 and the last "Orgasm", which was released under the name "Head Machine".


It is interesting to mention that "The Gods" included other great musicians such as: Mick Taylor and Greg Lake.


In 1969 Kerslake and Ken Hensley formed "Toe Fat" and released their debut album "Toe Fat" in 1970.


Kerslake later leaves and joins "The National Head Band", which was formed in 1969 on the ashes of "The Business". The band included keyboardist Jan Schelhaas who would later play with bands such as "Thin Lizzy", "Caravan" and "Camel". They released their only progressive album "Albert 1" in 1971.


In 1972 Kerslake would join "Uriah Heep", which included his friend Ken Hensley.

(Photo: nostalgiacentral.com)


"Uriah Heep's" first album in which Kerslake was a part, was their fourth- "Demons and Wizards", from 1972. Already on this album, Kerslake began to showcase his writing abilities, co-writing three of the album's songs.


Kerslake will be part of the band until the 12th album "Fallen Angel" from 1978, but he will return to the band already on the 14th album "Abominog" from 1982 and will continue to release albums with it until 1998 when the 20th album "Sonic Origami", was released.


In 1980, Kerslake joined Ozzy Osbourne's first band in his solo career and became one of the lead writers, most notably on his second album "Diary of a Madman".


Although he was the last to join the band after most of the songs for the album "Blizzard Of Ozz" had already been written, he managed to participate in writing the song "No Bone Movies", which was the last written in the sessions for the album. The original intention was to release the song as a b-side, but in the end, it was decided to put it on the album to give Lee Kerslake credit for writing at least one song from the album.

(Photo: Fin Costello)


Kerslake left Ozzy Osbourne's band in early 1981, to take care of his ailing mother.


Before that, he co-wrote with Randy Rhoads and bassist Bob Daisley all the songs on the album "Diary of a Madman". Despite that, those who received the credit for the album cover. Those were given to drummer Tommy Aldridge and bassist Rudy Sarzo, whose photos even adorned the inside cover after replacing Daisley and Kerslake, immediately after the recordings ended.


In 1986, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake sued Ozzy Osbourne for non-payment of royalties for their part in writing the songs. In response, Ozzy Osbourne re-recorded the bass and drum roles on these albums, along with drummer Mike Bordin from "Faith No More" and bassist Robert Trujillo.


Justice was eventually done when the bass and drum roles of Daisley and Kerslake were returned to the album in the 30th-anniversary release.


In 2003, Kerslake joined "Living Loud" Supergroup, a hard rock project featuring bassist Bob Daisley, guitarist Steve Morse, and singer Jimmy Barnes. Keyboardist Don Airey collaborated with them.


In 2004 the band released their debut album "Living Loud". Later, two live albums will be released and in 2007 an EP called "In The Name Of God".


In the years that followed, Kerslake performed with his band called the "Lee Kerslake Band" and joined former "Uriah Heep" members Ken Hensley and Paul Newton in the "Uriah Heep Legends" lineup.


In early 2007 it was reported on the "Uriah Heep" website that Kerslake left the band due to health issues.


In 2015, Kerslake began recording his first solo album "Eleventeen". The album was released five months after his death in 2021.


In 2018, Kerslake announced that he had cancer.


In 2018 Kerslake began filming a documentary about his life starring among others: Ian Paice, Joe Elliott, Mick Box, Nicko McBrain, Paul Stanley, and Gene Simmons. No release date has yet been announced, watch the fascinating trailer here:


On September 19, 2020, Kerslake passed away after a battle with cancer and is only 73 years old.


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