Gang Of Four guitarist and co-founder Andy Gill has died at the age of 64.
The post-punk legend’s bandmates announced the news in a statement on Facebook. The guitarist died in hospital following a short respiratory illness.
The band said: “This is so hard for us to write, but our great friend and supreme leader has died today. Andy’s final tour in November was the only way he was ever really going to bow out; with a Stratocaster around his neck, screaming with feedback and deafening the front row.
"His uncompromising artistic vision and commitment to the cause meant that he was still listening to mixes for the upcoming record, whilst planning the next tour from his hospital bed.
"But to us, he was our friend – and we’ll remember him for his kindness and generosity, his fearsome intelligence, bad jokes, mad stories and endless cups of Darjeeling tea. He just so happened to be a bit of a genius too.
"One of the best to ever do it, his influence on guitar music and the creative process was inspiring for us, as well as everyone who worked alongside him and listened to his music. And his albums and production work speak for themselves. Go give ‘em a spin for him."
Gill co-founded Gang Of Four in Leeds in 1976, inspired by influences as disparate as Marxist politics, dub reggae and pub rockers Dr Feelgood. Early songs such as Love Like Anthrax and 1979 debut album Entertainment! were cited as touchstones by members of Nirvana, Fugazi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose self-titled debut album Gill produced.
Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea paid tribute to Gill on Instagram, saying: “Andy was one of my heroes, who inspired the shit out of Hillel, Anthony and I as youngsters; I was thrilled beyond belief when he agreed to produce our first album. May his beautiful soul be in bliss with the divine, I love you Andy.”
Gill was the sole constant member of Gang Of Four, who initially split in 1983 before reforming in 1987 and again in 2004.
Other musicians paid tribute to Gill, including Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills and Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs.
Andy Gill. pic.twitter.com/DHNCz5lAe6February 1, 2020
RIP #AndyGill of @gangof4official. A tremendous artist/guitarist who was hugely influential on my playing and my thinking about guitar & art. https://t.co/L0DLRlUAQsFebruary 2, 2020
“To have ambitions was my ambition...”A formative record for me. Andy Gill was such a unique guitarist and songwriter. Farewell, sir. pic.twitter.com/85WFWi9qS5February 1, 2020
Really bummed to hear of Andy Gill’s passing. He, and the rest of the Gang, changed how we attacked the live show, gave us a bar to try and rise to. And so much metallic volume...good bye to one of the best. R.I.P., Andy. #GangOfFourFebruary 1, 2020