By JOHN DALY
Andy Gill, the founder and lead guitarist to Gang of Four, passed away last weekend. Gang of Four was considered one of the most influential new wave British rock bands.
Gill died in a London hospital on February 1 from a respiratory illness, the group announced in a statement. He was 64.
“This is so hard for us to write, but our great friend and Supreme Leader has died today,” the band posted in a statement on the website. “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. 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,” the statement reads, “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…”
Gang of Four was forced to cancel a show in New York at the last minute last year due to Gill’s hospitalization from chest infection.
He was considered among the world’s greatest guitar players and he inspired generations of musicians including Nirvana, REM, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party and Liars.
He enjoyed working with and producing artists including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Stranglers, The Futureheads, Michael Hutchence, Bono, Therapy and the Young Knives, according to BMG, the publisher of Gill’s catalogue.
The Gang of Four produced a post-punk sound that defined a new music coming out of Britain in the late 1970s.
Gang of Four continued to evolve, innovate and remain vibrantly relevant, and last year released the album Happy Now.