Tributes have been paid to Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker – the guitarist in English rock band Killing Joke – after he died aged 64.
Walker died in Prague on Sunday 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 the Melody Maker magazine.
Along with Jaz Coleman, he was the only constant member of the band. He also performed alongside Paul Ferguson and Martin ‘Youth’ Glover.
The band was influenced by the rhythms of the dub scene and in 1980 they released their debut self-titled 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 a key musical influence.
Walker was also in industrial groups The Damage Manual and Murder, Inc.
Tributes poured in for Walker, with Guns N’ Roses guitarist Duff McKagan saying: “May you rest in peace Geordie Walker. My thoughts are with 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 posted on Instagram.
Randy Blythe, the lead singer of heavy metal band Lamb of God, said he was “immensely saddened” about Walker’s death.
He described seeing Walker play at 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 music this heavy and he made everything look completely effortless and cool,” Blythe posted.
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“I was so excited to play with Killing Joke again at Sick New World festival next year, to witness the power of that guitar once more, but sadly that will not be happening – we lost a true sonic pioneer today.
“Rest in peace, Geordie; thanks for the incredible music.”