Keith Emerson's death ruled to be suicide

MusicBy Sunday World
Keith Emerson's death ruled to be suicide

Emerson, Lake & Palmer star Keith Emerson's death has been ruled to be suicide by the Los Angeles coroner's office.

The rock legend - who was the co-founder and keyboard player of the prog band - was found dead at the age of 71 at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, last Thursday (10.03.16).

Now the autopsy report has determined his passing was caused by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head from a .38 revolver.

Ed Winter, spokesman for the county Medical Examiner's Office, also revealed he was suffering from heart disease and alcohol-induced depression at the time of his death.

In a previous interview, his long-term partner Mari Kawaguchi admitted the musician had been "tormented with worry" about an upcoming tour as he had suffered nerve damage to his right hand which affected his keyboard playing.

She said: "He had an operation a few years ago to take out a bad muscle but the pain and nerve issues in his right hand were getting worse. He didn't want to let down his fans. He was a perfectionist and the thought he wouldn't play perfectly made him depressed, nervous and anxious."

Mari discovered Keith's body when she returned to the Santa Monica apartment the couple shared.

His death was announced by long-time bandmate Carl Palmer, who also stated he intended to host a tribute concert to his friend.

A statement released on Carl's website read: "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."

Keith was known as one of the most technically accomplished and flamboyant keyboard players of his generation.

He founded Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1970 and the band went on to release nine studio albums and 17 live LPs, including 'Tarkus' and 'Brain Salad Surgery'.

The group last performed together in 2010, with their final concert taking place at London's High Voltage Festival to mark their 40-year anniversary as a band.

In addition to his time with ELP, Keith released solo albums and film scores, which includes the music for Italian horror master Dario Argento's 1980 'Inferno' and the 1981 Sylvester Stallone thriller 'Nighthawks'.

As well as Mari, Keith is survived by his two sons, Aaron and Damon, from his only marriage.