Monday 4 March 2019

Goodbye to the original Twisted Firestarter...

I was gutted when I heard this morning that Keith Flint had died. He was 2 years older than me. Something I loved to remind our big kids when they were teenage rebels listening to The Prodigy in their bedrooms.

I really hoped that we'd hear his previous excesses had taken their toll on his body and he'd quietly suffered a heart attack or other organ failure in his sleep. I hoped he'd worn himself out prematurely but at least he'd had fun doing it.

The news that he'd taken his own life made me very sad.

I used to feel so disappointed when a celebrity died from suicide. Celebrities have all of those young people hanging onto their words. Vulnerable, confused and impressionable youngsters who will be devastated to hear that they've lost a hero. Now I know there's no point in disappointment, it changes nothing and it's not the right emotion. A person dies from suicide just as surely as they die from cancer. They don't have a choice at the end, because they don't see any possible way forward. It isn't about giving up. They lose the fight.

I was a big fan of The Prodigy. Firestarter is one of my favourite tracks of all time, a great one for listening to while you are working, but not ideal for driving to. The video was banned because Keith was deemed too scary for Top Of The Pops, and it gave music and TV the required regular shake up. The Smack My Bitch Up video was also banned, and panned, but it was designed to make you think and as such I thought it was genius. Turns out the most shocking thing Keith did was die at only 49 years old.

Bandmate Liam Howlett posted to Instagram and it reminds me so much of the morning we lost Elspeth. You don't realise how many emotions you can feel at once, or how quickly you can go from one to another. Mainly though, you just don't understand the world any more. Nothing makes any sense.

I'm devastated for his family and his friends and anyone who cared about him. It won't be the same without Keith, but I hope The Prodigy can carry on. I hope they find strength in each other, just as I hope the same for anyone who loses someone to suicide, because the next emotion they'll all begin to feel is guilt.

Guilt you weren't there, guilt you didn't ring and check in, guilt you didn't realise where they were at in their heads. You replay every conversation and wonder what you could have done or what you should have said, how it could have been different. You need someone there to remind you that it isn't your fault. The decision to go ahead was a solo act.

It isn't your fault any more than it is theirs. Suicide is carried out by someone who has become completely unable to even remember hope exists. The victims cannot understand that this is a permanent solution to a temporarily unsolvable problem. They don't remember that things do seem hopeless sometimes, but the fog has always cleared before and it will do again. They forget that anything else has ever been important and they think the world will just carry on without them.

The Earth will keep spinning, but it'll never be the same without you.

Ultimately it doesn't matter what proved to be the tipping point for Keith because suicide doesn't care how rich or famous you are, were or will be. Depression doesn't have favourites. Wherever you live and however your day is spent, it's the normal and universal human worries which drag us all down.

I just wish that he'd been able to tell someone how crap he felt and that he couldn't see where to go, and that his family and friends didn't have to be lost themselves now in that confusion and hurt. I wish that the media and his fans weren't mourning his loss and dancing carefully around 'cause of death'. I wish he could still be the Firestarter, making music and getting himself banned from the BBC for being too scary. I wish that he'd been able to ask for help.

There are always reasons to stay, and there is always someone out there to help, you just have to hold out your hand for them to grab on to.

If you need help or know someone who does then you may be able to reach out to someone you know, but if not the Samaritans are on hand 24 hours a day. If you are a young person or are worried about another young person, you may feel more comfortable talking to Papyrus or Childline. You are never on your own.


  1. As previously promised "Hear Hear"

    1. Thank you :) You'll be my sense check now you know. Does it make sense? Is it drivel? Catwoman says yes/no - *phew*.

  2. There are always reasons to stay. Always xxx


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one and try my best to reply!