Original article from The Scotsman on Monday 28 January 2002

A MEMORIAL service was held last night to celebrate the life of Stuart Adamson, the former Big Country singer who hanged himself in his hotel room in Hawaii shortly before Christmas.

Around 600 fans, friends and fellow musicians gathered at the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline, Fife – Adamson’s home town – to pay their respects to the 43-year-old singer, while hundreds more listened to the service outside.

Ian Grant, who managed the star throughout his career, said the two-hour service featured recollections of his life alongside video footage and acoustic music.

He said: “There were prayers, hymns and appreciations of Stuart and his contribution to music. It was a dignified and intimate appraisal and I have learned things from other people that I did not know about him. We could have filled the hall four-times over.”

The service was conducted by a Church of Scotland minister and Richard Jobson, who played alongside the Big Country star in The Skids, who acted as a “link man”.

Adamson’s children, Callum, 19, and Kirsten, 16, from his first marriage, performed a musical tribute to their father. And Jim Leishman, the ex-Dunfermline FC manager, delivered a eulogy to the singer, who was a passionate fan of the Scottish Premier League side.

Mr Grant also plans to hold a musical tribute to Adamson at the club’s East End Park stadium in the summer and will meet with club officials today to discuss the proposals. He said: “Anyone who has paid tribute to Stuart will be asked if they would like to perform.”

David Bowie, U2 guitarist The Edge and Midge Ure are among the big names expected to be invited to play at the open-air event, but no-one has yet been formally approached.

The memorial service and concert follow a private funeral for Adamson at Dunfermline Crematorium, which was attended by around 50 close friends and family last month.

Born in Manchester, Adamson grew up in Crossgates, near Dunfermline, and formed punk group The Skids in the 1970s. He went on to front Big Country and enjoyed critical acclaim and global success with hits including Fields of Fire and In a Big Country during the 1980s.

The troubled star had been reported missing from his home in Nashville, Tennessee, by his second wife Melanie Shelley, on 26 November. He had fought a long battle with alcoholism and was found to have a high blood-alcohol level in his system when he committed suicide in a Honolulu hotel, on 16 December.

Adamson was last seen by his family early in November, when he left his home in Nashville, Tennessee, leaving a note for his son, Callum, which read: “Back by noon, Sunday.”

He was seen a week later in Atlanta, watching the Republic of Ireland versus Iran football match in a bar. Since a phone call to his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor on 19 November, he had not spoken to any friend or relative.

On the day of Live Aid in 1985, he told friends of his intention to quit drink and held to the resolve for 12 years. When he finally broke down again, he rapidly declined and was reported to have disappeared on the eve of an album launch in 1999, although his family knew of his whereabouts.

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