Keith Emerson, co-founder of progressive rock group Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Friday, March 11, at his home in Santa Monica. Local musician Rachel Flowers was a friend of the 71-year-old keyboardist, who had been something of a mentor to her. Like the rest of the world, she was shocked to learn of his suicide. “I did know that his issues with his hand . . . it was really hard for him to place it and sing,” she said, referencing the nerve damage in his right hand that had plagued Emerson for years. Despite her sadness, Flowers has fond memories of the man and the musician. “He was my introduction to both classical and jazz music together in a rock setting. . . . He was really amazing when he played. Sometimes when he would improvise it was like he was orchestrating, but he was orchestrating on the spot for the organs or synthesizers or pianos. It was really, really cool.”