Andy Gill, guitarist of legendary post-punk group Gang Of Four, has died, according to posts on the band’s social media Saturday afternoon (February 1). He was 64.
Gill passed away at a London hospital after a battle with respiratory illness, according to reports.
“This is so hard for us to write, but our great friend and Supreme Leader has died today,” Gang Of Four wrote in their message, signed by Gill’s current band mates John Sterry, Thomas McNeice, and Tobias Humble. “Andy’s final tour in November was the only way he was ever really going to bow out; with a Stratocaster around his neck, creaming with feedback and deafening the front row.”
The band added: “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…”
Gang Of Four rose up through England punk scene of the late-’70s, and the band’s slashing guitars, upbeat funk and disco rhythms, and whipsmart lyricisms became a blueprint for countless bands that came after them. Their 1978 debut LP Entertainment! is regarded as one of the most influential records of all time, known for its incendiary indie dance floor staple “Damaged Goods.”
As news of Gill’s death spread online, many were quick with tributes, condolences, and appreciation of his talents and impact. “Just heard that Andy Gill from Gang Of Four has died,” tweeted Gary Numan. “That is tragic. Andy was a unique talent.”
R.E.M. co-founder Mike Mills tweeted: “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.”
On Instagram, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello wrote: “So sorry to hear of the passing of the great #AndyGill, guitarist of Gang of Four. One of my principal influences on the instrument as his jagged plague disco raptor attack industrial funk deconstructed guitar anti-hero sonics and fierce poetic radical intellect were formative for me. So glad I got to see him and revel in his incendiary art and wry wit several times over the past year. He was really, really fucking great.”