Andy Gill, guitarist and founding member of Gang of Four, has died aged 64

"Our great friend and Supreme Leader has died"

Andy Gill, guitarist and founding member of legendary post-punk band Gang of Four, has died today following a short respiratory illness.

The news was announced in a statement posted today (February 1) on the band’s official Twitter account. “This is so hard for us to write, but our great friend and Supreme Leader has died today,” the statement begins.

“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.”

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Signed by his bandmates John Sterry, Thomas McNeice and Tobias Humble, Gill is described as “one of the best to ever do it,” adding that “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.” Read the full post below.

Gang Of Four wrote:

This is so hard for us to write, but our great friend and Supreme Leader has died today. 

A”ndy’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. 

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“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” 

Gang Of Four, Jon King, Andy Gill, performing on stage, Hof Ter Lo, Antwerp, Belgium, 2nd May 1981. (Photo by Gie Knaeps/Getty Images)

Gill played guitar for Gang of Four since the Leeds band’s inception in 1976, alongside original members Jon King, Dave Allen and Hugo Burnham. Though the band’s line up changed several times over the years, Gill remained the sole original member of Gang of Four throughout – a career ranging from 1978 debut single ‘Damaged Goods’ to 2019’s ‘Happy Now’, their most recent studio album.

Gang of Four
Andy Gill with the original Gang of Four line up. Credit: Virginia Turbett/Redferns/Getty

Gill was also a highly respected producer, not only on much of Gang of Four’s work, but several high-profile bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Stranglers, Michael Hutchence, Killing Joke, Therapy?, The Jesus Lizard and The Futureheads.

The entertainment world has been paying tribute to Gill this evening, including Gary Numan, Tom Morello, Graham Coxon, Frankie Boyle, Primal Scream’s Simone Marie, and more.

Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers has also joined the flood of tributes. Gill produced the band’s 1984 self-titled debut album, and in his tribute Flea calls him “one of my favorite guitar players of all time.”

View this post on Instagram

Andy Gill, one of my favorite guitar players of all time has left us. Go listen to the Gang of Four album ENTERTAINMENT right now. Turn that shit up loud and rock the fuck out. Dance. Think. Thats a record that changed my life forever, and was massively influential on my development as a musician, and showed me what a rock band could be. There is nothing else like it. It cut a fucking hole right the thick LA smog that I wanted to jump through. After not being in touch for many years, Andy and I had spoken recently, and communicated a lot of over the last several months about a Gang Of Four tribute album he was putting together. Myself, John Frusciante, and the youth choir from the Silverlake Conservatory of Music just finished recording a track for it, and sent in to Andy on Monday. I am shocked. Andy was one of my heroes, a man 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.

A post shared by Flea (@flea333) on

See a host of other tributes below, from Tom Morello, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Run The Jewels’ El-P and many, many more.

Gill is survived by his wife Catherine Mayer, his brother Martin and “many family and elective family members who will miss him terribly” according to a separate press statement.

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