Andy Gill, lead guitarist and co-founder of the British post-punk band The Gang of Four, died Saturday. He was 64.
“This is so hard for us to write, but our great fiend and Supreme Leader has died today,” the band announced on social media. “Andy’s final tour in November was the only way he was ever going to bow out; with a Stratocaster around his neck, screaming with feedback and deafening the front row.”
No cause of death has been announced yet, but the band’s statement said he was “listening to mixes for the upcoming record, whilst planning the next tour from his hospital bed.”
The band’s statement reads in full:
This is so hard for us to write, but our great fiend and Supreme Leader has died today.
Andy’s final tour in November was the only way he was ever 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 out 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.
John, Thomas and Tobias
GANG OF FOUR
Andy Gill. pic.twitter.com/DHNCz5lAe6
— GANG OF FOUR (@gangof4official) February 1, 2020
Gill co-founded The Gang of Four in 1976 with lead singer Jon King. It was considered one of the leading bands of the post-punk movement of the late ’70s into the early ’80s. Its debut album “Entertainment!” went on to be named the fifth greatest punk album of all time by Rolling Stone.
Known for his jagged guitar work, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers have called Gang of Four the chief influences of their style, and Kurt Cobain listed “Entertainment!” among his favorite albums.
Gill went on to produce albums for Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Jesus Lizard, the Stanglers, the Futureheads and more.