The tragic death of GOTTHARD singer Steve Lee has triggered a record demand for the band’s albums in the band’s native country of Switzerland. For the first time in the history of the Swiss chart, 13 albums from one artist — representing all the LPs that GOTTHARD has released so far in its career — simultaneously appear in the Top 100. The Swiss single charts were also affected, with “Heaven” making it to the top of the chart and “One Life One Soul” at No. 4. In total, nine GOTTHARD singles can currently be found on the chart.
Last Sunday, the official funeral service for the GOTTHARD frontman was held at the top of the Gotthard mountain. In spite of the freezing temperatures, more than 3,000 people came to pay their last respects to Steve Lee. Among them were all the surviving GOTTHARD bandmembers, Lee’s girlfriend Brigitte Voss-Balzarini and his sister as well as all GOTTHARD business associates, such as technicians, crew, and representatives from the group’s management, label and promotion.
In the memorial tent, mourners could place candles and flowers and say goodbye to Steve to the sound of Native Indian music — the same music that Steve avidly listened to while visiting a camp of the Indian Shoshone tribe just one day before his death in the USA. At 1:00 p.m. the eulogy was held in Italian and German by two monks of the Gotthard hospice.
In Swiss history the term “Gotthard” has always stood for the uniting of the south, north, east and west and therefore would have a very special status for all, the monks said. Yet it also represents an “onward journey” and “stopover.” The speech ended with a performance of the song “One Life One Soul” as a duet with opera diva Montserrat Caballé.
Lee, who had a British father and Swiss mother, was 47 years old.
Formed in 1990, GOTTHARD’s last 11 albums all charted at No. 1 in Switzerland. The band’s latest CD, “Need To Believe”, was certified platinum in the group’s home country for sales in excess of 30,000 copies.
GOTTHARD was presented with the platinum-award plaques on January 9, 2010 at the “Swiss Awards 2009”, which also included the TV premiere of the band’s radio single, “Don’t Let Me Down”.
“Need To Believe” was released on September 4, 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records.