Andy Gill, the lead guitarist of British rock band Gang of Four, has died. He was 64.
The rocker’s death was announced by his band in a statement on their website on Saturday, February 1. “Our great friend and Supreme Leader has died today,” they wrote. “We’ll remember him for his kindness and generosity, his fearsome intelligence, bad jokes, mad stories and endless cups of Darjeeling tea.”
“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,” the band added.
No cause of death was given in the statement. However, a band spokesperson has subsequently said that Gill passed away due to pneumonia, according to The New York Times.
Gill’s wife, Catherine Mayer, later retweeted the band’s statement and added: “This pain is the price of extraordinary joy, almost three decades with the best man in the world.”
Gill co-founded Gang of Four in 1976, alongside singer Jon King, guitarist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham. They made their debut three years later with Entertainment!, which is regarded by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest punk albums of all time. Over the next four decades, Gill would release nine more LPs with the band, the last being 2019’s Happy Now.
The guitarist also kicked off a prolific career as a producer in the ’80s, with credits on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1984 eponymous debut album. Other notable works include The Jesus Lizard’s 1998 record Blue and Michael Hutchence’s posthumous self-titled 1999 album.
RIP, Andy Gill. Revisit Gang of Four’s debut album, Entertainment!, below: