Andy Gill, guitarist and founding member of legendary post-punk band Gang of Four, has died today following a short respiratory illness.
- Read more: Andy Gill – the NME obituary, 1956-2020: The guitar hero who made radical politics danceable
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.”
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.
Andy Gill. pic.twitter.com/DHNCz5lAe6
— GANG OF FOUR (@gangof4official) February 1, 2020
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.
“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”
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.
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.
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.
Really bummed to hear of Andy Gill’s passing. 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. #GangOfFour
— Mike Mills ❄️💨⛄️ (@m_millsey) February 1, 2020
View this post on Instagram
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.
Just heard that Andy Gill from Gang Of Four has died. That is tragic. Andy was a unique talent.
— Gary Numan (@numanofficial) February 1, 2020
Gang of Four – Ether https://t.co/sOW87H8qy0
— graham coxon (@grahamcoxon) February 1, 2020
So sad to hear about the passing of Andy Gill. Gang of Four were one of the best and working with Andy on our early singles and first album set us on our path. A true gent. Absolutely gutted.
— The Futureheads (@thefutureheads) February 1, 2020
rest in peace Andy Gill ❤️
— el-p (@therealelp) February 1, 2020
RIP Andy Gill. Long live Gang Of Four. https://t.co/aC3zzv5GjD
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) February 1, 2020
So sorry to hear the awful news about the passing of Andy Gill of @gangof4official. We'll be playing something tonight between 9-9.30pm on @BBC6Music. Most likely on #NP6Music tomorrow too… https://t.co/6J8UGmQ1Qw
— Tom Robinson (@freshnet) February 1, 2020
Sad to hear of the death of Andy Gill of the Gang of Four.
An amazing and very influential guitarist. Loved seeing them live too, I was besotted.https://t.co/3upP3K4ZsL
— Dave Haslam (@Mr_Dave_Haslam) February 1, 2020
RIP Andy Gillhttps://t.co/pE5tIWbBD8
— Frankie Boyle (@frankieboyle) February 1, 2020
Such sad news 💜 u will be remembered and loved for all the music X thoughts and love to his loved ones and band x https://t.co/Hl3vO7AYRd
— simone marie (@simonemarie4) February 1, 2020
RIP Andy Gill, Gang Of Four " Damaged Goods " will always remind me of being 19 and free. Thank you for that.
— Lol Tolhurst (@LolTolhurst) February 1, 2020
— Kevin Cummins (@KCMANC) February 1, 2020
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.