Saturday, March 12, 2016

Keith Emerson of Emerson Lake & Palmer Dies at 71

It would seem that the Reaper has struck the world of classic rock yet again. (Would you please stop that already?!) Founding Emerson Lake & Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson has sadly passed away at the age of 71 on March 10th.

According to Billboard and TMZ Emerson's cause of death was suicide. Emerson was found by his girlfriend in Santa Monica, CA with a single gunshot to the head. It is speculated that this was done due to depression over a degenerative nerve condition in one of his hands.

Even though it hadn't been since 2010 that the band had performed together and 1994 since they put out any new music, Emerson's band mate Carl Palmer fondly remembered Emerson and had this to say on the passing of his friend and fellow musician:

“Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together.

It is such a massive shame that such a HUMONGOUS prog talent such as Keith Emerson had to meet with such a terrible fate. Not many of the greats of classic prog rock are left around these days. I don't condone his actions by any means, but I do understand why he would be so depressed over his condition when hands are kind of the most important thing you have as a musician (unless you're a vocalist). I feel bad for his friends and loved ones of course too. Maybe now we'll get lucky and won't lose any more true musicians this year. Maybe.

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