DETROIT – Former Rare Earth drummer and longtime Tampa Bay resident, Jerry LeBloch, passed away Monday night following his five year battle with cancer. LeBloch‘s battle with cancer began nearly six years ago when he was first diagnosed with colon cancer. In the coming years LeBloch‘s cancer would eventually spread to his liver, brain and lungs. LeBloch was 66 years old.
A Member of both the Michigan Rock Hall of Fame, and the Motown Records’ Hall of Fame, Jerry LeBloch has toured all over the world with many great bands… seven of those years, and over a thousand of those gigs being with Motown Records’ recording artists, Rare Earth.
Originally from Flint, Michigan, LeBloch started playing drums when he was 14 years old. He joined his first band, The Mid-Nite Sonz, when he was 15 years old, playing at local High Schools.
At 17, LeBloch was kicked out of his house because he refused to cut his hair. It was at that time when legendary guitarist and songwriter, Dick Wagner, took in the young drummer. LeBloch would eventually go on to play with Wagner in The Frost, and also become the bands Road Manager from 1967 – 1971 as well.
“That’s how I got my start in music… My First Big Break!” – Jerry LeBloch
In 1986 LeBloch joined Motown recording act, Rare Earth, replacing Bob Weaver as the bands drummer. LeBloch recorded one album with Rare Earth, 1989’s “Made in Switzerland” (Line LICD 90086500). During his tenure with Rare Earth, LeBloch appeared on the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Palace” tv show (The Nashville Network), hosted by legendary DJ, Wolfman Jack.
Aside from his tenure with Rare Earth, The Frost, and The Mid-Nite Sonz, LeBloch had also played with countless other bands and artists throughout his career as well. Other bands and artists include: Justice Myles, The Rollers, Wayne Cochran and the C C Riders, LeBloch Bellenger and Strickler (LBS), Gold Fever, Command Performance, Cornell Gunthier and “The World Famous Coasters”, Bill Pickneys’ “The Drifters”, The Platters, The Rockouts, The Jerry LeBloch Band, Johnny Rocket, and The Doc Woodward Band.
“My Journey in Music and Life have taken me All Over The Globe! …And It’s Been a Great Ride!” – Jerry LeBloch
Prior to relocating to the Tampa Bay area of Florida, LeBloch had produced and directed his own radio show; “The Jerry LeBloch Show”, which aired for four hours every Friday night on WQRZ-LP 103.5 FM in Mississippi.
“I started my work at WQRZ, a radio station in Southern, MS… They started dubbing me, “The Rock Historian”, and, that’s nice and all but… my experiences in life are real… and… All I know is that I have been very blessed to have lived my dream!” – Jerry LeBloch
Shortly after his move to Florida in early 2013, LeBloch anounced that he was diagnosed with stage-4 colon cancer. Within weeks of his announcement, KAM-BABS Promotions, Seminole Music & Sound, WSNR Social Network Radio and the Tampa Bay Music Network jointly organized a benefit concert for LeBloch which was held in July of 2013 at the Historic Porpoise Pub in Seminole, Florida. The following day LeBloch underwent surgery at Morton Plant Hospital in nearby Clearwater.
In November of 2013, LeBloch made his first public appearance since undergoing surgery when he appeared on WPRN 102.1 FM’s “local Artist Hour.” In the interview, LeBloch was optimistic about his health, as well as his return to music.
In January of 2015, LeBloch moved back to Mississippi after being offered a new radio show with his former radio station, WQRZ 103.5 FM. Shortly after arriving in Mississippi, LeBloch‘s health quickly started to deteriorate, and he relocated to his home state of Michigan in order to be close to his family. LeBloch passed away shortly thereafter this past Monday. He is survived by his daughter, Lexy LeBloch, and his sister, Debra Ann Dimitroff.
Being a career musician all his life, LeBloch had no medical or life insurance at the time of his death. A fund has been setup to help his daughter pay for funeral expenses. Anyone wishing to make a donation to the fund can do so by visiting here.