A BOURNEMOUTH born drummer has embarked on a nostalgic voyage through his childhood and colourful music career as part of a documentary about his life.

Lee Kerslake, one of the founding members of British rock band Uriah Heep, has visited important personal landmarks and met up with old friends to explore the making of his metier, as well as setting out three specific goals as part of his bucket list.

Having been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 and suffering a few relapses in the past couple of months, Lee has maintained that music has been the main passion in his life.

Lee said: “I want people to know that what has kept me going all this time is my music. It keeps me alive.

“I feel that one of the reasons why I am still here is because I’m not done with life yet. I think I have so much more to give to the world. Music and performing is all I have got left.”

As part of his tour for the making of his documentary, Lee has travelled around the world meeting long time famous friends such as Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice and Kiss singer Paul Stanley, as well as catching up with Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliot at the Guinness Factory in Dublin where he was put on their factory’s wall of fame.

Tayla Goodman, the director of the documentary, explains the chance meeting she had with Lee Kerslake and how the documentary came to be.

“I was walking my dog in Crystal Palace Park during Easter a couple of years ago,” said Tayla.

“We got chatting and I told him I work in media production and he asked me if I knew anyone who would be able to do a documentary, so I decided to take it on.

“I’ll admit that, before this, I didn’t know who he was, and I wasn’t into rock that much. But since I have been on this journey with him, meeting his friends and revisiting important places in his life, I have really got to know him, and I really appreciate what he has done.

“I can safely say I have never met anyone like him. His saying that he lives by is ‘it is what it is’ and that has been his approach to everything in his life. I just wish life was a little fairer.”

In the latest segment of filming for his documentary ‘Not On The Heep’, which has been nearly two years on the making, Lee visited his childhood home in Winton, the site of his school, Winton School for Boys and the place where he was noticed by talent spotters and that helped kickstart his music career, the Bournemouth Pavilion. Former band members from one of Lee’s first bands The Track Marks surprised him at the theatre and reminisced about old times.

Tony Letts, the lead singer of Track Marks, said: “We met up at my old house on Sunday morning and had a bit of a jam. It was the first time we sang together in 55 years. We were doing harmonies and everything, it felt so great.”

Before his first major cancer scare, Lee made a bucket list of the things he wanted to accomplish. Since then, he has made another one, highlighting three things he wanted to achieve: to release his own solo album, to get some platinum discs from Ozzy Osbourne and to get back on stage with Uriah Heep one last time.

On14th December last year, Lee joined his former bandmates on stage at Shepherds Bush Empire, formerly the BBC Television Theatre, to play the drums and sing “Lady in Black”.

Also, in January, following a letter written to Ozzy Osbourne asking for an acknowledgement on two of his solo albums The Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman after he found out he had cancer, Ozzy Osbourne sent the platinum records along with a handwritten letter sending his wishes.

Now, in a bid to achieve his final goal, Lee is due to release his first ever solo album, titled ‘Eleventeen’, because Lee was confused as a child why such a number didn’t exist.

Jake Libretto, band member and close friend, said: “The album is being made at the moment; it's being produced by Cherry Red Records and we hope to release it in October.

“Lee sings on it mainly but, because of his health, he has not been able to drum on the album, so we have used synthesized drum. It’s not like a true rock album, but a lot of the tracks on it cover a huge spectrum of genres and every song had a different feel to it.

“It has taken us three and a half years to make because Lee has been in and out of chemo. There have been gaps of up to three months at times while we have been waiting for him to recover and build up his strength.

Hearing of his first experience of performing on the big stage with Ted Heath’s Big Band at the age of nine, to how he found out how he could perfect is kicking action for drumming when he was sat in the outhouse of his dad’s extension, Lee has many stories to tell. But no matter where he has visited or lived in his life, Bournemouth has always been home for him.

“My heart is still in Bournemouth,” Lee said.

“I have had the opportunity to live in some amazing places, in Hawaii, Australia and Staten Island, but I brag to people about Shell Bay.

“You can take the man out of Bournemouth, but you can’t take Bournemouth out of me.”