Andy Gill, the founding member and guitarist of Gang of Four, has died aged 64, following a “short respiratory illness”.
The band shared a statement with the news of his passing, which says: “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.”
“Inspiring” is definitely the right word for what Gill did. Many bands and artists cited his noisy, choppy guitar style as an influence, including REM, Kurt Cobain (who once called Nirvana “a Gang of Four and Scratch Acid ripoff”), and Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose debut album Gill produced.
The latter have paid tribute to the musician, along with many others in his orbit, including Gary Numan, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, and the filmmaker Edgar Wright.
Gill performed his final tour with Gang of Four in November, in support of 2019’s Happy Now, the band’s 10th album. “Andy’s final tour in November was the only way he was ever really going to bow out,” the band’s statement reads: “with a Stratocaster around his neck, screaming with feedback and deafening the front row.”
“He was still listening to mixes for the upcoming record, whilst planning the next tour from his hospital bed.”
Read the full statement and some of the tributes below.