Born on January 1st 1956, Andy Gill was the guitarist and the founder of the legendary English rock band, the Gang of Four from Leeds. Andy Gill was known for his guitar playing style. He would also stop playing the guitar many times letting the drum and the bass go on.
Considered as one of the most influential post-punk bands in the 80’s, the band inspired many guitarists and singers. Michael Stipe from R.E.M stated that “Gang of Four knew how to swing. I stole a lot from them.” Bono from the popular band U2 once described, "Hard, angular, bold... Andy Gill's chin is the very black hole of '90's music we should have all disappeared into... if we had sense... a dimple atop the body politic, a pimple on the arse of pop. A Gang of Four metal guru, a corporation of common sense, a smart bomb of text that had me 'at home feeling like a typist.'"
Andy Gill started listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones when he was a kid. One of his early excitements which lead him learn the guitar was “Satisfaction”. Velvet Underground and the Band and Jimi Hendrix were some of his other inspirations in his younger years.
Before forming the Gang of Four, Andy Gill played with different local bands in the mid 1970’s. One of the bands was Bourgeois Brothers. Andy studied at the Leeds and this is how he met Jon King. The duo started writing songs together and planned to form a group. They met Hugo Burnham and Dave Allen who later became the drummer and bass player of the band.
The bands first album, Entertainment was not a big hit. However, it was welcomed by critics with songs like “Glass”, “Anthrax”, “I found that essence rare”, “Not Great Men”, “Natural’s Not In It”. The latter had a guitar riff in the middle of the song which was accompanied by two voices.
Gang of Four were requested to perform a song in the then famous British music show, “Top of the Pops”. However, after requesting for a performance, “Top of the Pops” felt that they were too extreme for a family show and wanted to avoid them. The show managers asked the band members to change words for censorship which the band obliged. However, purposeful repeated change requests irritated the band members and they unfortunately did not play on the show.
Andy Gill and the Gang of Four had influenced many legends in music. Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers describes that, “Gang of Four is the first rock band I could truly relate to. These limies rocked my world.” Michael Hutchence of INXS mentions, “Gang of Four took no prisoners. It was art meets the devil via James Brown.”. By the 1980’s the band had influenced and revolutionized many in the post-punk era.