Sadly, we just reported on the passing of iconic musician Keith Emerson. (You can read our prior blog here). ELP bandmate and bassist, Greg Lake, has just issued this statement in tribute to Emerson. He said:
“To all ELP friends and fans all over the world, I would like to express my deep sadness upon hearing this tragic news. As you know Keith and I spent many of the best years of our lives together and to witness his life coming to an end in the way that it has is painful, both to myself and to all who knew him.
As sad and tragic as Keith’s death is, I would not want this to be the lasting memory people take away with them. What I will always remember about Keith Emerson was his remarkable talent as a musician and composer and his gift and passion to entertain. Music was his life and despite some of the difficulties he encountered I am sure that the music he created will live on forever.
My deepest condolences go to Keith’s family.
May he now be at peace.
London – March 12, 2016″
However, Lake also had something else to say. Lake said Keith Emerson had suffered from depression since the late 70s when the band was beginning to fall apart and he added this:
“I have to be honest and say that his death didn’t come as a shock to me. The situation with Keith didn’t happen suddenly, it had been developing from as far back as the Works Vol 1 album (1977). At that point, I began to see things happening with Keith which didn’t look or feel right. I think its a very difficult thing to actually describe what depression is. We all know what it looks like, people’s moods become very black. But it’s more complicated than that. It changes someone’s personality. Also, Keith got into substance abuse, which made it worse and the whole thing just spiraled. He lived, in the end, this very lonely existence of someone who was deeply troubled. He loved music – that was his main purpose in life. But the music he made after ELP never bore fruit in the same way as it did in the early days.”
Whatever the circumstances were in the end it doesn’t change the fact that this is yet another sad story of a star who is gone too soon.
Editor’s Note: Emerson’s case is now being reported, sadly, as a suicide by way of a gunshot inflicted wound as per Billboard and TMZ. This case again highlights the need for our society to take mental health issues such as depression seriously in the hopes of preventing further tragedies.