I met Andy Gill just once, but he left an impression: intense, uncompromising, and deadly serious about the music he made.
Gang of Four came out of the punk era (est. 1976) with a spiky, angular, often political, occasionally funky, and sometimes deliberately unnerving sound that helped lay the groundwork for many bands to follow. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, for example, were so much into Gang of Four vibe that they insisted that Andy produce some of their earliest records. (That didn’t end well, but never mind for now.)
Here’s a sample with Andy hacking away at his Strat.
There were a total of 10 Gang of Four studio albums, the last being Happy Now from 2019.
Gill apparently recently contracted a respiratory illness and died today (February 1). The announcement was made on Twitter.
Andy Gill. pic.twitter.com/DHNCz5lAe6— GANG OF FOUR (@gangof4official) February 1, 2020
“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, whilst planning the next tour from 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. He just so happened to be a bit of genius, too.
“One of the best to ever do it, his influence on guitar music and the creating 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. Go give ’em a spin for him…”
–Love you mat
John, Thomas and Tobias, GANG OF FOUR