Roderick Morris Buckenham “Rod” de’Ath (born 18 June 1950, West-Wales died 1 August 2014) is a former musician, best known for his role as drummer with Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher in the 1970s.
De’Ath was playing with the band Killing Floor when he was offered the job as a temporary substitute for Rory Gallagher’s drummer Wilgarr Cambell for a leg of a European tour in 1972. When Campbell left permanently, de’Ath was asked to join full-time. He stayed with Gallagher, performing on several albums, until 1978 when he and keyboard player Lou Martin left the band.
After leaving Gallagher’s band, de’Ath joined Ramrod (with Martin) and then he played with the Downliners Sect before moving to the United States. In the mid-1980s, he returned to the UK to produce an album for a band called Road Erect. Around this time, he suffered a serious accident while running to catch a train, which led to the loss of one eye and some brain damage. Deciding to return to the UK permanently, he eventually made a near-complete recovery, although he was no longer able to play. He had also been told by doctors that his brain damage would kill him within four years, and although this ultimately proved to be incorrect, he did not want to contact friends only to tell them that he was terminally ill.
When Gallagher died in 1995, many obituaries claimed that de’Ath was also dead, and for this reason he stayed away from Gallagher’s funeral. However, he later appeared at a memorial service, having “waited for a suitable moment” to show that he was still alive.
Little or nothing was known of de’Ath’s whereabouts after 1996, until an interview with him was published in Classic Rock magazine in May 2012, within a feature about Rory Gallagher. He attended the funeral in August 2012 of former Rory Gallagher and Ramrod band member Lou Martin.[