Killing Joke guitarist Geordie Walker has died, as the band announced via their social media. He was 64. The band writes, “It is with extreme sadness we confirm that at 6:30am on 26th November 2023 in Prague, Killing Joke’s legendary guitarist Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker passed away after suffering a stroke, he was surrounded by family. We are devastated. Rest In Peace brother.”
Born Kevin Walker in England in 1958, he was given the nickname of “Geordie” because of his northeastern accent. He joined Killing Joke in 1979, responding to an ad placed by vocalist Jaz Coleman, and remained in the band up through the present. He and Coleman were the only two constant members of Killing Joke in its four-decade run.
After Walker joined Killing Joke, the group released their 1980 self-titled debut album, the beginning of a series of highly influential post-punk albums including 1985’s Night Time, which featured the hits “Eighties” and “Love Like Blood.” The group took a turn toward more industrial-influenced sounds into the ’90s and beyond, and likewise, Walker was a member of the similarly industrial-minded Murder Inc. and The Damage Manual.
Killing Joke played a major role in influencing the next four decades of music, with bands such as Metallica and Nirvana among the groups who outwardly showcased that influence. Dave Grohl even played drums on the band’s 2003 self-titled album.