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

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.

“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.”

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Shock tactics: Alan Jones, Chrissie Hynde, Jordan and Vivienne Westwood at ‘Sex’ on King’s Road, London

Rex Features

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Shock tactics: The Sex Pistols

Joe Stevens

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Givenchy autumn/winter 2013

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Christopher Kane spring/summer 2013

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Lanvin spring/summer 2013

1/5 punk5-rex.jpg

Shock tactics: Alan Jones, Chrissie Hynde, Jordan and Vivienne Westwood at ‘Sex’ on King’s Road, London

Rex Features

2/5 punk1-joe-stevens.jpg

Shock tactics: The Sex Pistols

Joe Stevens

3/5 punk4.jpg

Givenchy autumn/winter 2013

4/5 punk3.jpg

Christopher Kane spring/summer 2013

5/5 punk2.jpg

Lanvin spring/summer 2013

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

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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