Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker: Killing Joke guitarist dies in Prague after stroke | Ents & Arts News


Tributes have been paid to Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker – the guitarist of English rock band Killing Joke – after he died aged 64.

Walker died on Sunday in Prague surrounded by family after suffering a stroke.

In a post on social media, the band said they were “devastated” by his death.

The late musician, who was from Chester-le-Street in Durham, joined Killing Joke in 1979 after seeing an advert in Melody Maker magazine.

Along with Jaz Coleman, he was the only permanent member of the band. He also appeared with Paul Ferguson and Martin ‘Youth’ Glover.

The band was influenced by the rhythms of the dub scene, and in 1980 they released their self-titled debut album.

Walker recorded 15 studio albums with Killing Joke, most recently its 2015 release Pylon.

In March this year, Killing Joke released their new single Full Spectrum Dominance and performed their first two albums, Killing Joke and What’s THIS For…!, live at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Bands including Metallica, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden have all cited Killing Joke as an important musical influence.

Walker was also in the industry groups The Damage Manual and Murder, Inc.

Geordie Walker of Killing Joke live at Hammersmith Palais.  London, 31/07/1983
Image:
Geordie Walker played with Killing Joke at Hammersmith Palais in 1983

Tributes poured in for Walker, with Guns N’ Roses guitarist Duff McKagan saying: “May you rest in peace Geordie Walker. My thoughts go out to his family and the Killing Joke guys.

“Geordie was a true inventor of a massive sound that has influenced so damn many of us. Man…a damn nice guy to boot,” he wrote on Instagram.

Randy Blythe, lead singer of heavy metal band Lamb of God, said he was “immensely saddened” by Walker’s death.

Killing Joke performing at HMV 363 Oxford Street, London, UK - 23 Oct 2015 Killing Joke - Geordie Walker 23 Oct 2015
Image:
Geordie Walker from Killing Joke performed at HMV Oxford Street in 2015

He described seeing Walker play at the Bloodstock Festival in Derby last year.

“It was at this show that I really felt the weight and power of his playing in an individual sense. Geordie played an old hollow-bodied gold Gibson, not the usual choice of guitars for such heavy music, and he got everything looking totally effortless and cool,” Blythe wrote.

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“I was so excited to play with Killing Joke again at the Sick New World festival next year, to witness the power of that guitar once again, but unfortunately it’s not going to happen – we lost a true sonic pioneer today.

“Rest in peace Geordie; thanks for the incredible music.”


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