Reported first by Chronicle-Journal, Andy Gill, the guitarist for the band, Gang of Four, passed away at the age of 64. He died this past Saturday after suffering from a respiratory illness. After his passing was announced, the band released a statement commemorating Gill, describing him as a person with an “uncompromising artistic vision.”
Gill, alongside Dave Allen, Hugo Burnham, and Jon King, dropped their album, Entertainment!, which was later named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the greatest albums ever. The record was included in their 2003 list, 500 Greatest Albums Ever.
When Gill passed away, many people close to him paid tribute online, including Tom Morello and Gary Numan. Gill also developed a reputation for himself as a great record producer, working with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their first record in 1984.
Some of the other bands he worked with included The Stranglers, Killing Joke, and The Jesus Lizard. Andy was also known for his unique style of guitar playing, which was described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as “virtually weaponized.”
With that said, Gill sometimes made comments about other artist’s work, including Coldplay, whom he described as “mawkish, pompous, and unbearably smug” in 2008. He later went on to refer to them as the “sonic equivalent of wilted spinach.”
Gill first studied art in Leeds where he met the singer of the band, King, and even though they never hit the top of the charts, many of their songs became cult classics, including “At Home He’s A Tourist,” and “Naturals Not In It.”
As it was noted above, The Red Hot Chili Peppers worked with Andy Gill on their debut album in 1984. Famously, Anthony Kiedis wrote in his autobiography, Scar Tissue, that Andy Gill had referred to one of their songs, “Police Helicopter,” as “s**t”
Anthony claimed in his book that he and the rest of the band were continuously at odds with Andy Gill over the creation of their record, especially he and Flea. Kiedis wrote, “now we’re working with the enemy,” in reference to their relationship with Gill.