Andy Gill: Gang Of Four guitarist dies, aged 64

1 February 2020, 19:55

Gang Of Four guitarist Andy Gill has died, aged 64
Gang Of Four guitarist Andy Gill has died, aged 64. Picture: Twitter - Gang of Four
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Andy Gill, the guitarist and founding member of British post-punk band Gang Of Four, has died aged 64.

The band confirmed the Manchester-born guitarist's death in a statement posted on Twitter early Saturday evening.

His bandmates, John, Thomas and Tobias, who referred to Gill as their "Supreme Leader," described him as "one of the best ever to do it" and "a bit of a genius."

Blur guitarist Graham Coxon was among those to pay tribute to the post-punk rock star, alongside former Tubeway Army singer Gary Numan, who called Gill "a unique talent."

Gang Of Four embarked on a 40th-anniversary world tour last year, playing in countries including Australia, Greece, Japan, New Zealand and Spain.

Alongside his performances, Gill worked as a producer and collaborated with bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Stranglers.

He was the longest-serving member of the group - formed in 1976 - and co-produced or produced their entire discography, including their debut album Entertainment! and their 1981 follow-up Solid Gold.

Gill's scratchy, innovative and feedback-heavy riffs came to define the band's signature sound, influencing future groups, such as Franz Ferdinand, Fugazi and Nirvana.

His wife Catherine Mayer tweeted: "This pain is the price of extraordinary joy, almost three decades with the best man in the world."

No cause of death was given but reports suggest it involved a short respiratory illness.

The band's full statement read: "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 ... Love you mate."