Emerson Death Ruled Suicide

Keyboardist Keith Emerson’s recent death in Los Angeles has been ruled a suicide, and his girlfriend, Mari Kawaguchi, told the Daily Mail that the Emerson, Lake and Palmer founder was depressed over a nerve condition that made it difficult for him to play.

Photo: Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP, file
Attending the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, Calif.

Emerson was to embark on a club tour of Japan in April, with five concerts in Tokyo and two in Osaka.

Emerson has always been welcomed warmly in Japan, where progressive rock continues to have a very strong following. Every May there is a progressive rock festival in Tokyo normally headlined by one of the classic prog rock bands of the ’70s.

This year’s edition will feature Camel and Steve Hackett as headliners. Emerson often showed up to play at dedicated prog rock nightclubs when he was in Japan.

Kawaguchi says that he had planned to retire after his Japan tour, and was severely distressed that he might disappoint his Japanese fans due to his condition.