Mari Kawaguchi is the longtime girlfriend of legendary Keith Emerson; who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the age of 71 on March 10, 2016. He was found by Mari with whom he lived with, in Santa Monica, California.
Besides his girlfriend Mari Kawaguchi, Keith Emerson is survived by his two children; Aaron Ole and Damon Keith Emerson for his marriage to Danish ex-wife Elinor Emerson.
Mari Kawaguchi’s boyfriend Keith Emerson was born November 2, 1944, in Todmorden, Lancashire, England; to parents Noel and Dorothy Emerson. He became a piano sensation in his hometown of Worthing, Sussex by the time he was fourteen years old.
In his late teens, he moved to London, joined the band “V.I.P.’s” and later “Gary Farr and the T-Bones,” backing their mentor T-Bone Walker at the Marquee Club in London, also touring Germany, France and the UK.
Some of his early influences were jazz artists Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Jack McDuff and Big John Patton.
In his twenties, he formed a band called “The Nice” with bassist/vocalist Lee Jackson, drummer Brian Davison and guitarist David O’List; which backed ex-Ike and Tina Turner’s singer P.P. Arnold. The group struck out on its own with a unique blend of classical, blues, jazz and rock.
Emerson adopted the Hammond Organ as his instrument of choice during this period and soon gained fame for his outrageous stage antics and inspired musical performances. “The Nice” recorded numerous albums and appeared in a notorious concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Immediately after hearing “Switched on Bach” by Walter Carlos, Emerson purchased and experimented with one of the first modular Moog Synthesizers and became the first artist to tour with “The Moog” internationally with the help of its inventor, Dr. Robert Moog. In 1970, “The Nice” broke up and Emerson formed the legendary group, “Emerson, Lake & Palmer” (ELP); with bassist/vocalist Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer.
They achieved instant fame with their debut at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. The trio announced their arrival on the scene by tearing into a furious rock adaptation of Mussorgsky’s classic “Pictures At An Exhibition,” which concluded with a barrage of cannon fire.
Their first single, entitled “Lucky Man,” from their debut album, “Emerson, Lake & Palmer,” ended with a startling new sound, the lead Moog synthesizer solo.
ELP released six platinum albums between 1970 and 1977, including “E, L&P,” “Tarkus,” “Trilogy,” the cryptically entitled “Brain Salad Surgery,” “Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Endsï¿½” and “Works Vol. 1.”
In 1977, ELP toured with a handpicked orchestra, which performed Emerson’s “Piano Concerto No. 1.” After touring with the orchestra, ELP continued on the road as a trio, releasing two more albums “Works Vol. 2” and “Love Beach” before they disbanded in 1979.
Between 1985 and 1990, Emerson collaborated with Lake and Palmer in two separate efforts, “Emerson, Lake & Powell” and the band “3” respectively. In 1992, ELP reunited with the critically acclaimed “Black Moon.” Subsequent world tours which resulted in the live performance releases of “Live at the Royal Albert Hall” in 1993 and “Then And Now” in 1999.
In 1980, Emerson issued his first solo album, a Caribbean island inspired work called “Honky.” In addition, he recorded and released “The Christmas Album,” displaying his own unique interpretation of many classic Christmas songs along with original seasonal pieces.
Soon thereafter, he turned to motion picture soundtrack composition, producing several film scores between 1979 and 1989; including the orchestral score for Universal Studios feature release, “Nighthawks,” starring Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams and cult Italian horror master Dario Argento’s “Inferno.”
Emerson also realized a full length Japanese animated film entitled “Harmagedon” in which he received a gold record for the main title theme, “Children of The Light” sung by Rosemary Butler.
He also composed the music for Marvel Animation’s cartoon action TV series, “Iron Man” in 1994.
Emerson went on to release the occasional collection of new material appearing on-stage. He even reunited with Nice bandmates Brian Davison and Lee Jackson for a show in Glasgow, Scotland; in 2002 (Vivacitas). Along with the EMI classic release of the solo piano, “Emerson plays Emerson” in the same year He penned an autobiography, “Pictures of an Exhibitionist” in 2003.
Keith suffered from depression due to his health that nearly ended his career early in the early ’90s when a nerve problem in his hand made Keith Emerson’s musical future uncertain; but a surgical procedure in 1994 apparently led to a full recovery. He underwent another medical procedure to remove polyps in his colon in 2010; he released the following statement at that time.
“During a routine medical examination, a colonoscopy revealed a rather dangerous polyp in my lower colon. It is the conclusion of the doctors here in London that I must undergo surgery immediately.
Unfortunately, the timing of this urgent surgery does not allow me to start touring in early October because of the required period of hospitalization and recuperation. I must remain optimistic that all will turn out well”
More recently Emerson had been experimenting difficulty playing the keyboard due to a degenerative nerve issue, some people suggested this could have triggered his depression and somehow explain what was his motive to take his own life on March 11, 2016.
Elinor & Sons
Keith Emerson married Danish beauty Elinor in December 1969, during their 22 years of marriage they had two sons Aaron Ole Emerson and Damon Keith.
Damon Keith attended at Lewewes in Hove, England. He later studied film animation at Northbrook College Sussex; he works as an editor, producer, animation and graphic designer.
His other son Aaron followed his steps into music, Keith himself taught him how to play the piano when he was a little boy. Aaron is married to Jo, mother of his two sons Ethan and Zac, Ethan also plays the piano, they reside in Brighton.
This is a little bio of Aaron Emerson in his own words..
I was introduced to music at a very young age by my father who knew a thing or two about piano playing; & was encouraged to learn a progressive rock version of ‘Chopsticks’ in 7..8 from the age of 5 or 6. After my left hand fell off I decided to play the guitar in the hope of picking up more chicks that way.
After a few disastrous attempts, my mates at school said they needed a keyboard player for their band; so I switched back and we formed our first band, Curfew. The first cover we ever played was Booker T and the MG’s version of ‘Green Onions’.
We stayed as Curfew for 5 years or so, before forming Buzztonic and got picked up by a record label. We enjoyed some success with the release of ‘Prime Time People’, now available on eBay for the bargain price of £1.99. (****, the record label’s got to get their money back somehow!) but the band didn’t last long after the label got bought out by a larger company.
Began sessioning and worked with such acts as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Lene Lovich; and played on the live album, ‘Eclectic’ with Big Country.
I later went on to join a band called DON who were already signed and after completing a tour of the States the band split up and I moved to California in 2000.
Continued playing and did a few gigs up and down Sunset Strip, (my father was my roadie at a couple); before returning to England in 2003.
I have just released my first solo composition ‘Ride’, and now live on the south coast of England with my wife Jo, and my sons Ethan and Zac.
At the moment of his death, Keith Emerson was living with his longtime girlfriend Mari Kawaguchi. 56-year-old Mari Kawaguchi studied at San Diego City College, Grossmont- Cuyamaca Community College District and San Diego State University.
She worked at EMBL, Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to being Keith Emerson’s girlfriend, Mari Kawaguchi was also his personal assistant.
Mari A. Kawaguchi was born on April 26, 1959, in San Francisco, California; her father was Masaru Kawaguchi was a Japanese World War II veteran. We found a record that Mari Kawaguchi was 21 years old when she married Dennis Odrade on June 22, 1984.
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