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Keith Strickland at "LoveBox" festival London 2007.
|Birth name||Keith Julian Strickland|
|Born||October 26, 1953|
|Origin||Athens, Georgia, United States|
|Associated acts||The B-52's XTC|
Originally the band's drummer, Strickland switched to guitar after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985. Strickland also plays keyboards and bass guitar on many of The B-52s recordings, and has occasionally provided backing vocals. Strickland composes the music for The B-52s. He said of the process: "Ricky and I used to write the music together, but now I write the individual instrument parts and arrange the instrumental compositions myself. I'm trying to convey a feeling when I compose. I think of my instrumentals as soundscapes - the chord progressions, rhythms, harmonics and musical direction are used to evoke various sonic atmospheres or moods."
Strickland came out as gay in 1992.
On December 13, 2012, Strickland announced, via the B-52's Facebook page and official website, that while he would remain a member of the group, he would retire from touring. Fred Schneider said of Strickland's announcement, "We had known about Keith’s decision for a while but we just didn’t want to think about it. Keith will probably still be available for special shows but he wanted to get off the road. Keith will always be able to work with us whenever he wants. He’s a best friend."
…look at people like Marilyn Manson—it’s just so queer anyway. Does it really matter if people come out in rock ‘n’ roll? Do people really care? When Melissa Etheridge came out, her next album went through the roof! I think it’s just a good thing to do for your self. I came out publicly, in the press, for myself. Prior to that, I’d never been asked in the press if I was gay or not but I wanted to put it out there, just for myself.