Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke to former Ozzy Osbourne/Uriah Heep drummer, Lee Kerslake. Kerslake spoke about his time with Ozzy Osbourne writing and recording the albums Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman, his new solo record that will be released in 2019 entitled Eleventeen, his recent induction into The Hall Of Heavy Metal History 2019, his illness with prostate and spinal cancer, and his race against time to fund and finish his autobiographical documentary. Listen below.
When asked how he joined Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Ozz band: "I left Uriah Heep because I had a big argument with the management and I was sick and tired of the band politics so I left and started doing a solo album. I then got a phone call from Ozzy’s agent and said would you fancy joining Ozzy Osbourne's band and I said no, I'm not interested in joining any band unless I am part of the band. I’ll join if I am a member because I've had enough arguments and politics in bands over the years. So Ozzy’s people said okay, so I went to the auditions and I told them I will audition you and you will audition me.
"At the audition it was just Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, Ozzy and me. I'd never heard of Randy Rhoads before I never knew of him or any of his playing but I knew Bob Daisley from Widowmaker. In rehearsal we played the song ‘I Don't Know’ and Randy Rhoads jumped and yelled 'We got a drummer!' And then Bob said 'this guy's incredible', and so I joined. Nothing more was discussed because we had to go in the studio right away and record an album. I didn't know the songs because most of the tracks were already written and in the end I wrote only a couple of songs. The first album was suppose to be called the Blizzard Of Ozz as the name of the band but Sharon changed that and turned it around to Ozzy Osbourne. The album did very well in America."
In regards to his current illnesses, Lee reveals: "It's prostate cancer but it's moved to rest of my body I have now have bone cancer which is nasty one, so the Doctor gave me about eight months to live. But I've been fighting all the way. Five years ago they gave me four years to live and so that gives you an idea. Not only have I got bone cancer I've got psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and two heart murmurs. As I said to you I'm fighting it and there's no telling what can happen and they might have a new drug come out and I'll experiment with it if it keeps me alive. I survived this long and all this time I have had this terminal cancer but I have defied it because the music kept me fighting."
When asked about his autobiography documentary that he is trying to raise funds to complete, he says: "I want to finish this documentary, which I feel is so important to educate and inspire the people in the world who have illnesses, so that they can overcome them. I don't know from one day to the next what's gonna happen to me at the moment every day it's getting worse and worse and it's hard to fight because one minute you're up, then one day later you've got five days of agony. You want to give up but you don’t.The one thing I'm doing is keeping myself going with the documentary but we need help we need financial help. I put my last pennies and the producer had put her money, as much as she can and bless her heart she deserves a break. So we would love if people would donate even, if it's a six thousand people giving a couple of bucks. This money is going to help us get to do the interviews in the documentary with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in California and the money would get me there. Also, Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden wants to help. I wanted people to realize there is camaraderie in the music industry between all the musicians even when we don't speak to each other for maybe 20 years. I went to Joe Elliot’s house from Def Leppard and he did an interview, I went to Ian Pace's house and it was bloody wonderful we played drums together. The name of the documentary is called, right now, Not On The Heep."
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