During a conversation with Eddie Trunk, original Ozzy and classic Uriah Heep drummer, Lee Kerslake, talked about burying the hatchet with the Osbournes and recently receiving his platinum records for the first two Ozzy albums after all decades of feuding.
You had just started to make news when you spoke about the fact which just shocked people – that you did not have platinum records for the first two Ozzy records which you, of course, played on. How did that initially come out? The story that you had never gotten those awards…
“Basically, there was a kind of, ‘I’m not speaking to you Ozzy and Sharon, and you are not speaking to me.’ So, it went for years and years.
“At that time, I’m back with Heep, I’m doing my thing and not worry, at least people know I was on it, and then I let it go. Then, last year I was told that I had about a year to live. A kick in the teeth, I must admit, but it is what it is.
“And I went to fulfill my bucket list, and one of them was, I wanted to get a couple of records, platinums, put them on my bedroom wall, so every time I went to sleep if I never wake up, I always saw them, and I’ll be happy with what I’ve done; satisfied that I’ve done quite the hell of a lot.
“And, I thought nothing of it, but I wrote a letter from my heart to Ozzy saying that I haven’t got long but that I won’t quit, and I sent it via my manager. He gave it to Ozzy and Ozzy replied with a lovely letter back to me and two albums. Well, in fact, there were seven platinum albums [because they’re multiple-times platinum].
“That was on my bucket list, that I was proud, and he sent me a lovely letter and I just buried the hatchet and I sent back another letter and I gave them my love, and that’s it, it’s done.”
The biggest takeaway in all this is that everyone knows that there’s been issues and drama and lawsuits over the decades with yourself and Bob [Daisley, bass] over royalties and credits. I think the biggest shock to a lot of fans that you had never, after all these decades, you had never gotten those records, regardless of how bad that relationship was.
“That’s all crossed my mind. I thought, if it’s gone this long with the problems we had with Ozzy and Sharon, the lawsuits, I thought I’m never going to get them, so I will forget about them.
“I’m not going to turn it into a hate factor. Life’s too short, and now my illness, it brought me to say, ‘Hey, let’s try it one more time and just write a letter from the heart.'”
So you didn’t have any sort of contact or relationship with Ozzy for decades?
“For decades, until about a month ago. My manager sent just a little note, ‘Come on, can you give this to Sharon?’. But she was always away and very busy about me, and so I wanted to bide my time and then Steve, my manager, said, ‘Put a letter together,’ and I did.
“I told the truth. Let bygones be bygones, water under the bridge, I take the word of Ozzy. They’ve got their problems, I’ve got mine, let bygones be bygones.”
You can wake up every day now and see those records?
“Exactly, and that means a million bucks to me. I would’ve loved if she turned out here tonight and said, ‘Surprise, surprise.’ I would’ve broken down because that would’ve meant a lot.
“It would’ve been the coup de grâce of everything, the bygones would’ve gone. We had a lot of respect for each other, and if she would’ve done that for me I would’ve loved it. But she’s very busy, so I understand.”