A Public Service Announcement – Stuart Adamson – Holidays – And Seasonal Affective Disorder

Stuart Adamson

I’ve been thinking a lot about Stuart Adamson (guitarist and founder of Big Country) lately as I knew that the anniversary (not the term I’d like to use here – but the only one that comes to mind) of his death is in December (it turns out it was December 16th.).

The first time I heard, “In a big country” and heard the way the the guitars were imitating bagpipes, I was blown away.  It never occurred to me that a guitar could imitate other instruments and in a lot of ways – the explorations I’ve made in adapting techniques and approaches from other cultures to guitar all stem from that initial door being opened for me.

It is incredibly awful to realize that the man who wrote these lyrics:

“…I’m not expecting to grow flowers in the desert,
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime..

And in a big country, dreams stay with you,
Like a lover’s voice, fires the mountainside..
Stay alive..”

would be found dead by his own hand in a hotel.

I don’t know anything about Stuart Adamson.  I don’t know anything about the pressures that drove him to such a desperate act so his particular situation isn’t something I feel comfortable discussing.

will say that coming into this season reminds me again of those I know with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) and the winter holidays are always particularly difficult (and sometimes very desperate) times for them.

If you or someone you know is prone to depression around the holidays – please seek out (or encourage them to seek out) professional help (if you or they are not doing so already).

Even if professional help is not available at the hour you might need it if you are feeling desperate at a minimum try to reach out to other people.

And if other people need help, please make yourself available to them.  Sometimes a caring friend is just enough to get people past a dark moment long enough that they don’t do something rash.

No matter how physically or emotionally isolated you might perceive yourself to be – there are people who care about you.  We are all interconnected.  We all affect other people.


In the U.S. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.


Again, I don’t know anything about Stuart Adamson.  But in listening to The Crossing, I can’t help but think the world is a smaller place without him.

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