Stuart Adamson R.I.P.

Sorry to start the year off on a downer, but I just found out that Stuart Adamson, lead singer of Scottish band Big Country, was found dead in a hotel room in Honolulu on December 20. He’d struggled with alcoholism but until recently had been sober for more than a decade. Big Country were always considered a bit of a one hit wonder here in North America, but in reality they had a string of solid albums and Adamson was clearly a gifted songwriter. What is it about the music industry that chews people up so predictably?

77 thoughts on “Stuart Adamson R.I.P.”

  1. HI
    I used to be the biggest Big Country fan ever – and I still rate 80% of Stuarts work. But what the fuck happened to Stu? After an brilliant career with the Skids he formed BC and turned out 3 great albums as well as the Restless Natives soundtrack. BUT!! King of Emotion – OH MY GOD!! It was dreadful, and to be honest it got worse with rubbish like Republican party reptile. Such a shame that such a talented songwriter had so obviously lost his muse. What I don’t understand is how you people on this site can’t distinguish between The Sailor and Heart of the “fucking awful” world!
    The music he turned out in the last stages of his career sounded like a man in trouble, and not in an artistically good way.
    To cut it short, I love The Skids and BC but hate everything post The Seer and feel that if you cannot hear the dreadful decline in the quality of his music you should not have been listening to Stu’s music in the first place

  2. When you have grown up with someone and their music you love them for the good times and for the musically not so good, but you cannot EVER drop those cherished memories of watching Big Country live and the energy he oozed in his performance, picking holes when he is dead is a tad crass, remember him for the good times and leave the bad times to those close to him as they only know what was going through his mind prior to his untimely death.
    RIP Stuart.

  3. In reply to “johnny May 6th 2005
    Dude you need new ears and might not hurt to throw in a new heart, Listen to Fragile Thing, or Private Battlefield on Stuarts Raphaels album, Genius mate,All things change,P.S He disliked the label “Stu”

  4. listening to wonderland as i do regularly and wow what a song.saw them so long ago and when im down this song lifts me. so so sad about stuart but hey he ll live in our hearts and ears forever

  5. Big Country was my old-time favourite band and Steeltown was the first record I bought. Stuart was a kind a hero and I remember that I was 15 and went to the hairdresser with a picture of him because I wanted my hair just like that.It was a shock when I heard that he died. May God bless his soul.

  6. Big Country brings back a ton of memories from high school, I’m now 36. I’m shocked to find out he’s dead, just within the last few minutes.

    What’s missing here is why? First off, I’m not a sissy or momma’s boy, but after 17 years hard smoking, I finally broke the addiction, KEY WORD ADDICTION.

    I cried like a sissy for first 3 months, my addiction was heavy.







  7. I’ve been a BC fan since 1985/86 when I bought Steeltown. I spent months just listening to it and nothing else. I loved ” girl with grey eyes” thought it was written for me. I’m really gonna miss Stuart( fancied him someting rotten back then (teenage girl what can i say))and his music. I was lucky enough to see them play live (Feile 90) and it is an experience i will never forget. I’ve started listening to their music again so I can train my children to love brilliant music and admire fabulous songwriting.

    I will miss your wonderful music Stuart
    Rest in Peace

  8. This is bizarre. I came across a friends copy of Peace in Our Time that doesn’t work in any of my vehicles or CD players, it’s working in my comp. I grew up in East Kilbride, I have all Skids on vinyl,and most of Big Country too (I’m only 36 we start with good music early) I know Mark B from his Cult days I did a stint with Rod S, (Ask him, playing in the best pipe bands helps out) Anyone in the Pittsburgh area I loved to hear from. The scene here is dead.

    Cheers, Niall

  9. Well,

    what can I say that has not been said? I grew up in East Kilbride from ’76 and got introduced to Big Country and Stuart the same way Scotland did. I have read these comments about his music being ‘Celtic’ in the US but it was the same over there. BC did not fit into any mold and I guess that is one of the reasons I followed them. The music was great and he helped put Scotland on the map for my generation.

    Now I live here in Seattle and am often saying that the only two natural causes of death in Scotland are Alcohol and boredom :). I guess the booze got Stuart. I cannot imagine his last days nor what drove him to it but my life is not so perfect that I feel able to judge him as some others have.

    It is sad to end any life but this seems worse. To end a life that inspired others speaks volumes for the pain he was enduring. He makes me feel proud to be Scottish. My daughter will know the music of Stuart and BC so hopefully will carry on for another generation.

    Sorry to see a fellow Scotsman go and wish you aw’ra best wherever you end up. Hope you found peace in your time.


  10. still remember the thrill of being 15 watching stuart & the lads at the apollo manchester during the steeltown tour will never forget you stuart god bless

  11. Sorry to see of late that stuart died a couple of years ago,have seen this great band in my youth (i am 38 ) in Holland and was always impressed by their music.Have recently listened their albums again and they still are brilliant to listen at.

  12. Listening to In A Big Country. Someone very close to me also took their life a long time ago and so when I heard of Stuart’s death at the time it happened I felt extremely sad. For the pain he must have felt, for the loss sure to be felt by his friends and family, and, once again for myself. My apologies for being selfish but emotional pain knows no social priority.

    Like many on here I saw Stuart with both The Skids and Big Country. Like the Bunnymen, Big Country are sorely under-rated. I googled the lyrics to In A Big Country, a suicide note twenty years before it was needed, perhaps.

    A couple of years before he died I saw and met Big Country at a private ball for lawyers at the Inns of The Court on the southbank in London. The limelight had longsince past for this band but they were great on the night and I was genuinely excited to meet them afterwards. It took me back to Leeds Polytechnic decades before watching The Skids on the Absolute Game tour.

    At the lawyers ball me and my mate had a drink with Big Country afterwards, they seemed pleased and yet surprised as we stood there drunkenly singing their praises. There was no bitterness or pretension, it’s a sign of greatness to be humble. But then again I suppose he still enjoyed playing the songs he’d written. I wonder what Jobson thought of Stuart’s death? Does anyone know of any interviews/articles done about his death featuring quotes from band members, friends etc?

    A man, a father, a songwriter who could write about pain. The irony of the cry ‘Stay alive!’


  13. So let us soar up with the eagles
    In wild country among the deer
    And wake the wolf in every city
    And reckoning is drawing near

  14. i for one hope anyone involved in liking stuarts music dont believe anything Ian Grant has to say the man is a snake and doesnt represent Stuart in any way his last words about him before his death were he could fuck off well done mr grant you wanker

  15. This week I’ve pulled out my old Big Country discs and WOW!! I’d forgotten just how great they were. Power and Passion.

    Thank-you Stuart – your name will never die and your music will be forever.

  16. As I see, Big Country and Stuart live on in so many hearts and minds across the globe. I’ve recently returned to the long forgotten teenage obsession started in 1983 and am hearing the songs with new ears and mind as an adult who has lived a little more and learned a lot from it and can’t help but think what might have been had Stuart not left us. I listen to all the songs now, including the Raphaels because anything Stuart is worth listening to, and it is amazingly easy to just be swept up in the same excitement and energy the music filled me with then. I LOVE THAT!!! I’m going to pay a visit to Dunfermline one day and ideally wish that I could walk into any tavern and find a jukebox in the corner filled with only Big Country, throw in a few bucks and dance and sing my butt of as everyone else joins in. Call me crazy or corny but what a wonderful night that would be! I’m not sure how this whole message leaving thingy works but I would love to hear from some other fans or folks from the Dunfermline area/elsewhere with any information of Big Country/Stuart happenings/events/etc., that a fan might take in if I should happen into that part of the world someday soon. Perhaps a grand friendship will result. Thanks for letting me rant. Nice to feel at home with other appreciative fans who feel the same way I do. It’s Ultimate Big Country Collection DVD time for me. Thank God for modern technology!

  17. Anyone know what happened with Stuart’s estate? The soon to be ex-wife tried to claim it ALL and cut out his children from his first wife I believe.


  18. I was recently asked by a therapist, “Who kept you safe all of those years with the troubles you and your family had?” I help up a printed-out copy of the words to”In A Big Country.” Stuart Adamson was one of the most amazingly talented and gifted musicians and songwriters-ever. He wrote of peace on the horizon and of our world holding onto war, anger and injustice way to much. The first and last time I ever met Stuart was back in Santa Fe, New Mexico on The Buffalo Skinners tour. He had smiled at me, kneeled in front of me and said, “Watch this!” as he ripped up an unbelievable guitar riff and then gave me his pick. We met out back after the show and the last thing he ever said to me was, “Stay Alive.” I did and there have been times when I didn’t think I would make it. I too suffer from alcoholism. I too felt, and still feel, that there is too much anger, war and insecurity taking all too many souls down-Some one by one and some, in bulk and with massive drops. Everyday of my life is beautiful. I am grateful for all that I am and have. Stuart’s lyrics and the equally amazing power of all of Big Country’s members and their songwriting/performing abiltities have helped mold me into the honest, good-hearted and peaceful person I am today. I will never forget meeting my hero and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of him. I wish peace and love for all of us here on this earth and all souls wherever they may be. I look forward to meeting Stuart again in the heavens above. I am grateful I finally got to write this and send it out to anyone who wishes to read. Thank you Stuart for everything and than you Big Country. Peace and Love-Doenika

  19. Stuart Adamson, you were the greatest song-writer
    of the world. Now you play for the angels.
    Rest in peace, your fans miss you very much,
    we see you in heaven

  20. American fan–for me Stuart Adamson’s death is different from other rock star suicides. I think he had a purer heart than almost any artist of his time, and a fucked up time it was…too bad it did him in, but what beauty he got out first! I love the crossing and also the raphael’s album. I hope his children can find peace. There is more to life than just trudging through your 75 or so years…better to live 43 of them–or 23 or just one of them truly passionately. None of the morbid egotism of most rock artists in Stuart’s music–at its best it was pure fire…my opinion. Strange and beautiful

  21. Here is a touching story: 2 days after it happened I was watching “Seinfeld” on TV and wondering what happened to Stuart after he died. (Didn’t think he went to hell, of course.) That very second the Jerry character said “stay alive.” It was a coincidence, but I almost took it as a sign from the Universe he was OK.

    Stay alive, Stuart.

  22. 2007
    Still love the music just so sorry you are not here to realise just how much people loved your music and thought so highly of you. RIP Stuart.

  23. Still today I feel very sad about the passing of Stuart Adamson. Big Country is my all time favorite band. I was 17 years old when I saw them at the Hollywood Palladium in California in March of 84. I remember the show so vividly not only because it was the first rock concert I had ever been to, but because their music grabbed a hold of me, my heart and my soul. I thought the show was the culmination of everything I was feeling at that very moment in my life. It was good fun too !! It’s been over 5 years since learning of this tragedy and everytime I listen to a BC song I get swept up in the guitars and the lyrics and then I start to get teary-eyed and then sometimes my mood changes and I get angry that he is gone. I can tell by all the people that have written in that Stuart and Big Country have touched more then just my life, but still can’t figure out why the band didn’t have more commercial success. I take solice in knowing that in that 17th year of my life I came to know A truly gifted and vibrant fellow human being, that through the years he and his mates made such inspiring music that would eventually be the soundtrack for my life.. Rest in Peace Stuart and my prayers go out to your familiy and friends for who must now endure life without your body but never without your spirit.

  24. Is it possible to grieve so much for a man I’ve never met years after his death?

    When I was a sad and lonely teenager Stuart Adamson spoke to me when little did. When he sang my troubled heart was carried off into a beautiful world, a place where my soul could revel in the vast landscapes and tumultuous skies Stuart painted so poignantly with his voice, his hauntingly beautiful voice, so filled with longing.
    Why couldn’t you know what you possessed?
    Beauty to give, but none to live for yourself.

    God keep you in his arms for eternity, Stuart. We are less for your leaving.

  25. We All Rise Togher As One, From Heaven And Death. God Has Taken Stuart Adamson Into A Place Were He Will Be Well Blessed, May Your Life Take You Fair In Heaven. Rest In Peace.

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