Keith Emerson’s Death Should Serve as a Warning

Keith_Emerson_&_Moog_15May10Keith Emerson committed suicide on Thursday, March 10th. This is not something that many people can or will be able to understand. It’s impossible to know just how depressed he was over not being able to play the keyboards the way he used to. He was apparently dreading an upcoming Japanese tour. While I am sure those fans wouldn’t have minded him not being perfect (or even far from that), it does little to quell the demons that were inside.

As someone who has fought my own demons, I still cannot fathom that moment when death was a better option than living. We don’t have to understand it, but we need to be understanding of it. Mental health problems still come with such tremendous stigma and shame. As we age, depression is sure to contribute heavily to our already strained mental capacity. It doesn’t get better.

I’m sure many people think Keith had everything to live for. Love, wealth and even overall physical health. But we judge people based on what we know publicly of them. Keith Emerson was a musical genius and prog rock legend. Had he’d felt he was more than that to people, maybe it would have helped? I think it’s more likely that had he never been viewed as a musical genius, maybe that would have changed things.

Regardless of any of that, I really hope that his death opens more eyes to mental health issues, depression and anxiety. These are things that you just can’t WILL away. Posting simplistic “self-help” memes are not going to solve anything. This is a problem that can affect anyone.

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About progmanrob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
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4 Responses to Keith Emerson’s Death Should Serve as a Warning

  1. So true Rob. The internet is as valuable of a tool as it is a hammer of destruction. The meanness people so willingly wield in critiquing of others can have massive repercussions as the waves ripple out. As an artist I can not make music based on what others will hope it to be. I can’t read reviews of my music and try to steer the writing process in hopes of a more perfectly received end product. I know that not everyone will see the beauty in what I was trying to create and I always know in the back of my mind that the horrible words are coming. Sadly, 1 or 2 harsh comments can wash away hundreds of positive ones. It appears to be the case in this situation. Keith’s girlfriend mentioned in an interview some of the harsh things people have recently posted about his playing which may have hit him at a particularly low point in his life. In the end, what Keith Emerson brought to the keyboard is quite possibly some of the most important and influential playing of the last 50 years and spawned many wanna-be’s desperately trying to figure it out and replicate it. R.I.P. Mr Emerson and thanks for BLOWING MY MIND!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. JVV says:

    Great article Rob. Really well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brucee says:

    I really enjoyed ELP since I was a giggling teen,I had to find out who they ere after seeing Carl hammer on the drums….they will always be #1 in my mind !!

    Liked by 1 person

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