November 28, 2023

KILLING JOKE's surviving original members Jaz Coleman (vocals, keyboards),Martin "Youth" Glover (bass) and Paul Ferguson (drums) have paid tribute to the band's guitarist Kevin "Geordie" Walker who died on Sunday (November 26) in Prague, Czech Republic after suffering a massive stroke. He was 64 years old.

Geordie was born in Chester le Street, Newcastle on December 18, 1958, and began his career in the late 1970s with seminal post-punk act KILLING JOKE with whom he would go on to write and record on 15 studio albums, earning worldwide critical acclaim and a ferocious fanbase. Geordie's utterly unique style drew widespread praise from fans and his peers alike.

Jaz said: "I spoke to Geordie last week. He began our hour-long conversation with 'there he is,' and apart from a flu, he was in fine spirits and looking forward to the future with optimism. We reincarnated before and we will reincarnate again. I never left his side in 44 years."

Youth said: "Still in shock and hard to believe he is no longer with us. Always seemed indestructible to me. Bullets bounced off him. He was truly destined to be.

"No man was cooler than Geordie, one of the very best and most influential guitarists ever. He was like Lee Van Cleef meets Terry Thomas via Noel Coward. Very charming, inscrutable and gracious, with a gentle effortless touch, ( both on the guitar and making you feel welcome) that is, when he wasn't shredding you with his razor sharp articulate shrapnel. He was a virtuoso gunslinger, both with his music and verbosity. He wouldn't hesitate to throw his flicknife into the mixing desk and demand a two bar count, not four, for his drop in, which always managed to focus the engineers attention ! He understood that the chemistry was the rub and that's actually where the magic and soul was ….in the conflict.

"He was my teacher, partner and at times a terrifying foe. Eternally grateful for the stars colliding that brought our fates together. He is now flying high with The Valkyrie's, on his way to the halls of Valhalla, where his seat at the table of legends is most certainly assured. He defined a generation or three with his genius.

"I am personally honoured and privileged to have served with him and share a vision with him of what the band could become and then see it go way way beyond that and what any of us could have imagined.

"Thinking of his family, mother and loved ones, band mates, all the fans, gatherers and many musicians he has influenced with his visionary playing and writing."

Ferguson said: "We are devastated by the news of our brother's sudden passing. Our collective look forwards have come to naught and the maestro strummed his last glorious chords. I was honored to play in the band with him, a rare talent and wit who suffered no fools. Rest in peace Geords."

KILLING JOKE emerged in the post-punk early 1980s, their eponymous debut album exhibiting funky heavy rock influences before electronic and synth-pop styles also filtered through their music. They would, in turn, influence later generations including METALLICA, NIRVANA and SOUNDGARDEN. "Love Like Blood" would give KILLING JOKE their greatest commercial success, a hit across Europe, peaking at No. 16 in the U.K. singles chart in 1985.

Walker and Coleman had been ever-constant members of the lineup and had been reunited with fellow founding members Ferguson and Glover since 2008.

In a 2006 interview with MTV, Coleman stated about Walker: "Working with Geordie Walker — he's a magic player. It's my deepest pleasure to have spent more years with him and more time with him than my own blood[-related] brother."

A decade ago, Walker told Metal Assault about how his guitar playing style has evolved over the years: "I just found the right instrument pretty early in the game, which is a hollow body. It has a bit of a life of its own. I think I'm starting to play with a little less violence on the right hand, which has helped me a lot in definition, if you know what I mean, and not breaking as many strings either, touchwood. I used to snap the D strings and be spiteful with certain chords."

This past March, KILLING JOKE released a brand new single, "Full Spectrum Dominance", via Spinefarm to celebrate the band's sold-out headline show at London's Royal Albert Hall. The epic track was mixed by Tom Dalgety (GHOST, PIXIES, ROYAL BLOOD) and was accompanied by a remix from Youth and artwork by longtime designer Mike Coles.

Under the banner "Killing Joke - Follow The Leaders", KILLING JOKE performed its first two albums in their entirety at the Royal Albert Hall — 1980's self-titled debut LP followed by their second full-length, "What's This For…!"

This special event was preceded by four intimate warm-up shows, including an appearance at London's legendary 100 Club.

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