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

"Our great friend and Supreme Leader has died"

Andy Gill performs live. CREDIT: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

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.”

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. 

“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.

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.”

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.

https://twitter.com/therealelp/status/1223679121051402241

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.