Former OZZY OSBOURNE drummer Lee Kerslake was inducted into the Hall Of Heavy Metal History on Wednesday, January 23 at Marriott Delta Garden Grove in Anaheim, California. The annual Metal Hall Of Fame gala was hosted by television, radio personality and heavy metal champion Eddie Trunk, and featured appearances by heavy metal greats of today and years past.
During his induction, Kerslake — who has reportedly been given less than eight months to live after battling cancer for several years — was presented with two platinum discs for his work with the BLACK SABBATH frontman. The presentation was filmed for Kerslake‘s upcoming documentary.
Video footage of Kerslake‘s acceptance speech can be seen below. Photos are available at HeavyMetalHill.com.
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.
During an interview with The Metal Voice in December, the drummer revealed that after all these years, he just wanted platinum album certifications for both “Blizzard Of Ozz” and “Diary Of A Madman”, 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,” he told The Metal Voice of his appeal to Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.
Kerslake has since been granted his wish as Ozzy shared a photo on social media earlier this month of Lee sitting on a sofa and holding the “Blizzard” and “Madman” platinum discs, a handwritten letter from Ozzy placed on his chest.
“I’m so glad that Lee Kerslake is enjoying his Blizzard and Diary platinum albums,” Osbourne wrote in an accompanying caption. “I hope you feel better. Love, Ozzy”
According to the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA), 1980’s “Blizzard Of Ozz” has been certified quadruple platinum for shipments in excess of four million copies, while 1981’s “Diary Of A Madman” has been certified triple platinum for more three million units sold.
Kerslake and bassist Bob Daisley have been embroiled in a legal battle with the Osbournes for many years, which has taken a massive financial toll on the drummer.
“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.”
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.
Kerslake told The Metal Voice that his prostate cancer has spread to the rest of his body. “I have now have bone cancer, which is a nasty one, so the doctor gave me about eight months to live,” he said. “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.”
He added that he was remaining positive. “I’m fighting it and there’s no telling what can happen,” he said. “They might have a new drug come out, and I’ll experiment with it if it keeps me alive… All this time I have had this terminal cancer, but I have defied it because the music kept me fighting.”
Kerslake has been working on the aforementioned autobiographical documentary as well as a new album called “Eleventeen”, which he hopes will come out this year.
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