Andy Gill, the guitarist from the British post-punk band Gang of Four, has died at the age of 64.

We received the news via a press release that he'd been hospitalized in London for a "short respiratory illness." The release included a statement from the other band members, singer John Sterry, bassist Thomas McNeice and drummer Tobias Humble. "This is so hard for us to write, but our great friend and Supreme Leader has died today," they began. "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 and planning the next tour from his hospital bed."

They continued: ""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 a genius too. One of the best to ever do it, his influence on guitar music and the creative process was inspiring for us all, 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 mate"

Born in Manchester, England, on Jan. 1, 1956, Andy Gill formed Gang of Four in 1976 with singer John King, bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham. They released their debut single, "Damaged Goods," in December 1978, with Entertainment! arriving the following September. Their mixture of political lyrics and angular rhythms -- led by Gill's spiky guitar -- proved influential, particularly on R.E.M., Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose debut LP Gill produced.

Gang of Four broke up in 1983, but Gill and King regrouped in 1987 and continued for another decade. A second reunion, this time with all four began in 2004, although by 2012, Gill was the only original member remaining, with the existing lineup in place since 2016. Their most recent album, Happy Now, came out last year, and the press release states that they had "just finished" a new studio record.


In Memoriam: 2020 Deaths

More From Ultimate Classic Rock