Former Ozzy Osbourne drummer Lee Kerslake reported that he’s been given eight months to live after battling cancer for several years, and said he wanted to receive two platinum discs for his work with the band before his death.
Kerslake was a founding member of Osbourne’s post-Black Sabbath band, which has been the subject of disagreement for some time. He and bassist Bob Daisley said they had agreed to be part of an equal-split band and co-wrote music for their first two albums in that spirit, while Osbourne’s wife and manager Sharon Osbourne have insisted they were hired hands. The argument spent many years in litigation, which left both Kerslake and Daisley in financial trouble when their lawsuits failed.
“It’s prostate cancer, but it’s moved to rest of my body,” Kerslake told the Metal Voice. “I have now have bone cancer, which is a 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.”
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.”
You can watch the interview below.
Kerslake said he’d put the disagreement with the Osbournes behind him. “It’s all forgotten and forgiven. I’ve written to Sharon and Ozzy recently, a personal letter basically asking them to kindly send me platinum album certifications for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, to hang on my wall before I die. It’s on my bucket list.
“I hope they will come to terms with it and say yes,” he continued. “I went belly-up bankrupt when I lost the case to Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne in the courts. It costs me hundreds of thousands and I had to sell the house, and then started to get ill. … But a platinum certification on my wall for these albums would be fantastic. … It would say I helped create those albums.”
Meanwhile, he’s focusing on securing crowdfunding for a documentary about his career, which, he said, has an underlying positive message. “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,” he pointed out. “I went to Joe Elliot’s house from Def Leppard and he did an interview, I went to Ian Paice’s house, and it was bloody wonderful – we played drums together.”
Kerslake also noted he was hoping to release a new album, Eleventeen, in 2019. “I’ve done some serious heavy songs, I’ve done a ballad song about my mum, there’s a pub song,” he said. “It has a lot of variety on the album and … it’s completed, mixed and finished, and now we’re shopping it around.”