Gang of Four founding member and guitarist Andy Gill has died, the band disclosed via a statement earlier today (February 1). “Andy’s final tour in November was the only way he was ever really going to bow out; with a Stratocaster around his neck, creaming with feedback and deafening the front row,” the statement reads. According to representatives, Gill passed away following a “short respiratory illness.” He was 64 years old. Find the full statement from the band below.
Andy Gill co-founded Gang of Four alongside original vocalist Jon King in the late 1970s after the two met while attending art school in Leeds. The band quickly rose to prominence after a co-sign from John Peel, signing to EMI for the debut album Entertainment!, released in 1979. The follow-up, 1981’s Solid Gold, was Gang of Four’s first album to chart in the United States. As Gang of Four’s longest-serving member, Gill co-produced or produced the band’s entire discography. His guitar style, defined by propulsive strumming and long washes of feedback, proved integral to the development of post-punk going into the 1980s.
After a hiatus that lasted for much of that decade, Gang of Four reunited with Gill and King at the helm with Mall in 1991. Another hiatus followed in mid-’90s before the two once again reconvened with original bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham for reunion shows in 2004. Following the release of Content in 2011, King ceased working with Gill. Andy Gill continued to tour and record under the name with other band members until his passing.
In addition to his tenure in Gang of Four, Gill was a respected record producer, notably working with Red Hot Chili Peppers on their self-titled debut in 1984. Other bands he produced include the Jesus Lizard, the Stranglers, Killing Joke, and Fight Like Apes, among others.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork