Drummer Lee Kerslake, who performed with Ozzy Osbourne and British rock band Uriah Heep, has died, the band confirmed Saturday. He was 73.
“Where are the words to describe the feelings one has when you (lose) a friend, colleague, fellow band mate (for 20 some odd years!) brother in arms, let alone when it’s someone larger than life like Lee Kerslake?” a post reads on Uriah Heep’s verified Facebook page, signed by lead singer Bernie Shaw.
USA TODAY has reached out to Uriah Heep’s representative to ask when Kerslake died.
Kerslake performed with Uriah Heep for much of the 1970s before going on to play with Ozzy Osbourne. He rejoined Uriah Heep in the ’80s and stayed on until 2007, contributing to 17 of the band’s 25 studio albums.
Osbourne mourned Kerslake in a social media post Saturday: “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,” he wrote.
On Uriah Heep’s verified Twitter account, lead guitarist Mick Box called Kerslake “one of the kindest men on earth” and “an incredible drummer, singer and song writer.”
Shaw, who has been with the band since 1986, remembered Kerslake as being “generous to a fault.”
“Always smiling and ready to entertain at the drop of a hat,” he wrote. “Many a free drink was had after a show when he would get up and play with a local band at the nearest club we could find, and first up if there was someone with a fishing boat willing to take him out for the day.”
Shaw added: “Is Heaven ready for Lee Kerslake?! Boy. There’s one hell of a party. Rock on Lee, you deserve it mate. Will miss you.”