Killing Joke Guitarist Geordie Walker Dead At 64

Killing Joke Guitarist Geordie Walker Dead At 64

Killing Joke guitarist Geordie Walker has died at 64. The band confirmed the news on Instagram, writing: “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.”

Walker was born in England in 1958. In 1978, he became a founding member of Killing Joke after answering an advertisement placed in a magazine by singer Jaz Coleman. Killing Joke released their debut EP Turn To Red the following year, and they had an early champion in John Peel. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1980. Coleman and Walker were the two core members of the group, navigating an ’80s run that included seven studio albums that straddled post-punk, goth, metal, and alternative rock. It also included a fascination with the occult, a move to Iceland to escape the apocalypse, and a number of different lineup configurations.

Killing Joke’s output slowed in the ’90s and beyond, and they went on hiatus for a time, but they continued putting out new music, most recently last year’s Lord Of Chaos EP. They influenced acts like Metallica, who covered “The Wait” early on in their career, and Nirvana, whose “Come As You Are” riff was likened to Killing Joke’s “Eighties.” Dave Grohl would later drum on the band’s 2003 album.

“Killing Joke, the band he spearheaded through four decades of successes and crises, [is] still one of the most influential ever,” his close friend Luca Signorelli wrote in a eulogy to Walker. “Others will certainly talk about Geordie’s musical record better than I could ever do. None of this really matters to me now. What I want to remember is that Geordie was, for 40 years, the closest friend and most important person I’ve ever had outside my family.”

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