Gang of Four release record in celebration of the life of Andy Gill
The surviving members of influential British band Gang of Four, have joined with Andy Gill's widow Catherine Mayer to celebrate Andy through music - while raising funds for Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, who cared for him during the last years of his life.
Gang of Four guitarist and songwriter Andy became a patient of Guy's and St Thomas’ in 2012, after being diagnosed with rare inflammatory condition sarcoidosis. He died at St Thomas' Hospital in February after contracting pneumonia.
Released on 17 July, Gang of Four's EP ANTI HERO includes the new track 'Forever Starts Now', which was released as a single on 29 May. All proceeds from the sales of the EP and any singles will be donated to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, as a tribute to all of the staff at the Trust who cared for Andy over the years.
Andy's wife Catherine said: "I am donating to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity to recognise, celebrate and support all those who tried so hard to save Andy. I am joined in this by his beloved band members and close colleagues.
"The kindness and expertise demonstrated by the whole St Thomas' team is something none of us will ever forget. Nothing can prepare you for losing the person you love most in the world, but I carried away from those dark days the comfort of seeing the care given to Andy by the incredible critical care staff - the highly skilled nurses and doctors, the caterers and cleaners.
"We could all see how tough their jobs are and how vital. By giving to the charity, we want the whole team to know they make a difference - and we hope to make a difference to future patients, in loving memory of Andy."
Andy's thoracic consultant, Professor George Santis, said: "Andy was a wonderful man and someone whose creativity and brilliance shone through even in his last days.
"We are truly grateful to Catherine and his band members for donating proceeds to Guy's and St Thomas' in tribute to his legacy."
The second single, 'Day Turns To Night', which was released on 26 June, was written by Gang of Four's John Sterry just days after Andy's death.
John said: "I had no intention of it being about him. It just came out that way and also I didn't intend for it to be released. I often cloak lyrics with ambiguity and this felt too raw. But listening now, I'm glad I wrote it with no thought of where it might go - it's just a pure distillation of the years I'd spent with Andy and the band."
The EP artwork was designed by renowned Los Angeles based artist Shepard Fairey who created the iconic Barack Obama 'Hope' image.
Shepard said: "I was devastated to hear of Andy Gill's passing, but honoured to make a portrait of him in the hope of creating an iconic image of one of my heroes - with apologies to Andy, to me he was a hero - to serve as a reminder that though life may be fleeting, Andy's potent art and ideas will endure."
Andy's death prompted tributes from across the music industry. "Great musicians encapsulate their age; the very best echo endlessly onwards, and Andy Gill... has been reverberating along the baseline of alternative culture for 40 years," said the NME. Accolades during his life included the Diesel U Music Lifetime Achievement Award and frequent listings in rankings of the world’s best guitar players, while the band's debut, Entertainment!, features in Rolling Stone magazine’s best albums of all time.
Everyone who worked on the album provided their services for free. All net receipts received by Gang of Four from sales and streams of the forthcoming EP and associated singles will be donated to Guy's and St Thomas' Charity. Music distributor Republic of Music have also waived their distribution fees for this project, to maximise the income generated for the Charity.