Andy Gill , founding member and guitarist for the British post-punk outfit Gang of Four, has died at the age of 64.
Gill’s current band mates Thomas McNeice, John Sterry and Tobias Humble announced the guitarist’s death Saturday on Twitter. No cause of death was provided, but the band noted that Gill recently spent time in the hospital.
“This is so hard for us to write, but our great friend and Supreme Leader has died today,” Gang of Four wrote. “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.”
The band continued, “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…”
The politically conscious Gang of Four formed in the late Seventies in the wake of the punk explosion, with the band fusing punk with genres like funk and reggae, all punctuated by Gill’s jagged and incomparable riffs. Gang of Four’s 1978 debut LP Entertainment! was listed as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Album of All Time.
As Gang of Four’s lone full-time member, Gill served as guitarist and producer on all nine of the band’s albums, including 2019’s Happy Now.
“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,” Gang of Four tweeted.
“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.”