23rd October 2010. Zurich – The tragic death of Gotthard singer Steve Lee has triggered a record demand for the band’s albums. For the first time in the history of the Swiss charts, 13 albums from one band are among the top 100 at the same time – and that means all albums that Gotthard have released so far in their career.
Also in the Swiss single charts, the loyalty and sympathy after Steve Lee’s death are very apparent. The single ‘Heaven’ even made it to the top of the charts with ‘One Life One Soul’ at number four. In total, nine singles are in the charts.
In the album charts it is ‘Need To Believe’ and ‘One Team – One Spirit’ that have the highest positions, numbers two and three respectively.
Just last Sunday, the official funeral service for the Gotthard front man was held on top of the Gotthard mountain. In spite of snow and winter temperatures, more than 3,000 people came to pay their last respects to Steve Lee. Among them were all the band members, Lee’s girlfriend Brigitte Voss-Balzarini and his sister, as well as all the people involved with Gotthard such as management, technicians, crew, label and promotion.
In a 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 1.00pm 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 ‘onward journey’ and ‘stopover’. The speech was closed reverently with the song ‘One Life One Soul’ in a duet with opera diva Montserrat Caballé.
Gotthard are one of the most successful groups Switzerland has ever had. Several platinum, double and triple platinum awards enrich their history. 216 times, the Rock group has appeared in the single charts and a total of 378 times in the album charts. Twelve Gotthard albums have topped the charts. The single ‘Heaven’ is only the second song in Swiss music history to achieve a second number 1 entry after being out of the charts for a while.