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Andy Gill dead: Guitarist and founding member of Gang of Four dies, aged 64

The Independent logo The Independent 2/02/2020 Peter Stubley
Andy Gill looking at the camera © Provided by The Independent

Andy Gill, the founding member of post-punk band Gang of Four, has died at the age of 64.

The group announced his death in a statement on their official Twitter account, hailing the guitarist as “our great friend and Supreme Leader”.

Gill died after a “short respiratory illness”, a spokesman said, just two months after Gang of Four's last tour.

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His bandmates John Sterry, Thomas McNeice and Tobias Humble described him as “a bit of a genius” and “one of the best ever to do it”.

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

“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.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - JULY 19: Jon King (L) and Andy Gill of Gang of Four perform as part of the Download at the Shoreline Amphitheater on July 19, 2008 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images) © 2008 Tim Mosenfelder MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - JULY 19: Jon King (L) and Andy Gill of Gang of Four perform as part of the Download at the Shoreline Amphitheater on July 19, 2008 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images) “His uncompromising artistic vision and commitment to the cause meant that he was still listening to mixes for the upcoming record, while planning the next tour form 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.”

The band concluded: “Go give ‘em a spin for him... Love you mate.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20:  Andy Gill of Gang of Four performs at the 2008 Download Music Festival at the Gibson Amphitheater on July 20, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic) © 2008 Jason LaVeris LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Andy Gill of Gang of Four performs at the 2008 Download Music Festival at the Gibson Amphitheater on July 20, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Gill’s wife Catherine Mayer said: “This pain is the price of extraordinary joy, almost three decades with the best man in the world.”

Other musicians also paid tribute, with Gary Numan tweeting: “That is tragic. Andy was a unique talent.”

Gill formed Gang of Four formed in Leeds in 1976 with bassist Dave Allen, singer Jon King, and drummer Hugo Burnham.

His jagged riffs provided the band with their signature sound, which influenced the likes of Nirvana, REM and Franz Ferdinand.

Gang of Four were perhaps best known for their debut album Entertainment!, which Rolling Stone ranked as the fifth greatest punk record of all time.

Gill was the sole remaining founding member in the band, who released their latest album Happy Now last year.

He also worked as a producer on albums for artists including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Stranglers, and the Futureheads.

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