Killing Joke guitarist Geordie Walker has died

"We are devastated," said his bandmates. "Rest In Peace brother."

Killing Joke guitarist Geordie Walker has died
Kerrang! Staff

Killing Joke guitarist Kevin 'Geordie' Walker has died after a stroke, aged 64.

The news was broken by Martin Atkins, former Killing Joke drummer and with whom Geordie also played in Murder, Inc, who posted on his Instagram, "Geordie Walker has left the building".

The band have now shared their own announcement. In a post on Instagram, they wrote: "It is with extreme sadness we confirm that at 6:30am on 26th November 2023 in Prague, Killing Joke's legendary guitarist Kevin 'Geordie' Walker passed away after suffering a stroke, he was surrounded by family. We are devastated. Rest In Peace brother."

Geordie was one of only two constant members of the legendary British post-punk band, alongside singer Jaz Coleman, whose advert in Melody Maker the guitarist answered in 1979. His riffing style, simple, repetitive amd minimalist, but also enormous sounding and with a world of subtle dynamics and mastery of cold melody, helped to turn Killing Joke into one of the most important and influential cult bands in the history of rock music.

Their music was hugely important in the foundations of industrial music, but can be felt even amongst the biggest bands to emerge after them. Metallica who covered The Wait from their essential self-titled 1980 album, while Nirvana's Come As You Are riff is eerily close to KJ's classic Eighties, and whose drummer Dave Grohl would play on their astonishing 2003 album, also self-titled. Lamb Of God, Ghost, Guns N' Roses, Tool, Creeper, Paradise Lost, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and countless more have all saluted the band, often noting Geordie's unique style.

Kerrang! sends our deepest condolences to Geordie's family, bandmates and friends.

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