News: Geordie Walker of Killing Joke Passes at 64

Photography by  Lorne Thomson / Getty Images

Kevin “Geordie” Walker, founding member of Killing Joke whose influential guitar polyphonies inspired countless names and spawned many bands throughout the decades, has died. The band confirmed via Instagram that Walker suffered a stroke and passed away the morning of November 26 in Prague while surrounded by family. 

Alongside singer/keyboardist Jaz Coleman, Walker was a consistent member of Killing Joke. Walker met Coleman and drummer Paul Ferguson in 1979 by answering a Melody Maker ad promising “total publicity, total anonymity, total exploitation.” Killing Joke was Walker’s first band, and his visceral playing made him one of the more recognizable guitarists throughout post punk and industrial music. Since forming, Walker has played a significant role in shaping Killing Joke’s legacy of expanding the capabilities of punk rock with injections of groove, industrial metal, and dub-reggae throughout the band’s catalog spanning four decades. 

Walker’s playing style grew the band’s fans into legions worldwide, with members of Metallica, Soundgarden, Guns n’ Roses, Nirvana, and Jimmy Page being avid Gatherers. Killing Joke roamed the world like a Gnostic movement, never thoroughly canonized as a band whose existence tops a specific genre. This played to the band’s benefit; transcendence is better than being pigeonholed. 

Rest in Power, Geordie; you were one of a kind—Condolences to his family.

Photo courtesy of social media

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