Rock musician Kerry Livgren of the popular and celebrated 1970s classic-rock band Kansas suffered a stroke yesterday morning at approximately 4 a.m. and underwent surgery shortly thereafter, according to a friend and musical collaborator of his. Livgren was a cofounder of the group and its major songwriter during the band’s most popular years and played guitar and keyboards.
A major driving foce behind Kansas during his tenure with the band, Livgren wrote or cowrote the great majority of the group’s most popular songs, including "Carry On, Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind," "Porttait (He Knew)," and "Song for America," and was central in developing the songs’ complex and creative musical arrangements.
Mutual friends have always had great compliments for Livgren as not just a brilliant musician and composer but also a kind, generous individual.
Livgren left Kansas after its glory years and spent much of his time farming, but he continued to make music and worked with his former bandmates over the years. He wrote all the songs for the group’s year 2000 comeback album, Somewhere to Elsewhere.
Livgren’s pastor and friends are asking for prayers for healing and encouragement.
Update (Sept. 3, 10:05 a.m.): The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the surgery "went well" according to nephew Jake Livgren, and that Livgren has been mostly asleep and has yet to talk but does recognize family members.
The paper also stated that a friend of Livgren’s "reported Livgren’s family is ‘encouraged that Kerry does not appear to have any "sagging of the face." The area of the brain which had the clot deals with the language/high-end skills. They are praying there is little damage to the area. A CAT-scan is scheduled for later today.’ "
–S. T. Karnick