KILLING JOKE's JAZ COLEMAN Pays Heartfelt Tribute To KEVIN 'GEORDIE' WALKER: 'I Shall Never Recover From Your Passing'

December 28, 2023

KILLING JOKE frontman Jaz Coleman has paid tribute to the band's guitarist Kevin "Geordie" Walker who died on 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.

Earlier today (Thursday, December 28),Jaz took to his Instagram to write: "My dearest Geordie, for days I have been staring at the blank paper in front of me unable to write anything. How does one begin to convey this immeasurable sadness within? Or reduce the last 45 years into a few paragraphs? The epic journey we have shared together – the hardships and the victories, thousands of concerts, the multiple lives we have experienced together in this short life across the world. None of it would have been possible without your unfaltering resolve. When the going got tough and the money ran out, others left – you never. Over four and a half decades the only constant witness was you. The only individual to have attended every single KJ concert and recording since our genesis.

"All of us who have ever loved KJ owe so much to you. I am overwhelmed by grief; nothing can fill the terrible void you have left for you were the other part of me. I spent more of my life with you than my own blood brother, or any other human being for that matter. And, although in recent years we were separated by my sobriety, you always knew I was never far away from you, and you could rely on me if you needed me.

"I wish I could've been by your side in your final hours to give you comfort. Nevertheless, I take solace that your dad Ron, Terry Cox, Raven, and Alan Glover were all waiting for you on the other side, and that you will wait for me when my time comes. We found each other before, and we will do so again.

"I want you to know how privileged I feel to have been the first person you met in London back in the seventies, and one of the last people to have an in-depth conversation with you before your parting. I know of your hopes, musical aspirations, and remaining goals for KJ – radical changes which you were both passionate and empathetic about. I know you will whisper in my ear and guide me in all my future endeavours. Thy will be done.

"Geordie, my beloved brother, you live in my heart for evermore. I shall never recover from your passing. Your work will shine on 'til the end of time.

"Your loyal and ever-loving brother. Jaz #jazcolemanofficial #killingjoke #geordiewalker".

In the days following Geordie's passing, KILLING JOKE's fellow original members Martin "Youth" Glover (bass) and Paul Ferguson (drums) also paid tribute to the guitarist. 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.

Image above from 2018 KILLING JOKE press photo

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