Geordie Walker, guitarist with Killing Joke, passed away at the age of 64. On Instagram, the band posted a statement confirming the tragedy, writing, “It is with extreme sadness that 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.” Geordie Walker had been diagnosed with a stroke earlier in the year. We are in utter disbelief. Brother, may you finally find rest”
1958 marks the year of Geordie Walker’s birth in England. After responding to an advertisement that was published in a magazine by singer Jaz Coleman in 1978, he joined Killing Joke as one of the band’s original members. The next year, Killing Joke distributed their first extended play (EP), titled Turn to Red, and John Peel became an early supporter of the band.
1980 saw the publication of the band’s debut record, which bore only their name. Coleman and Walker were the two primary members of the band, and they led the band through an extensive run in the 1980s that included the recording of seven studio albums that covered a range of musical styles including post-punk, goth, metal, and alternative rock.
In addition to that, there was a preoccupation with the occult, a relocation to Iceland in the hopes of avoiding the end of the world, and a variety of line-up reorganizations.
Killing Joke’s output slowed in the 1990s and beyond, and they went on sabbatical for a spell; nevertheless, they have continued to put out new music, the most recent of which was an EP titled Lord Of Chaos that was released in 2018.
Metallica, who covered “The Wait” early on in their career, was influenced by them, as did Nirvana, whose “Come As You Are” riff was likened to Killing Joke’s “Eighties.” Later on, Dave Grohl played drums for the band on their album from 2003.
“Killing Joke, the band he spearheaded through four decades of successes and crises, is still one of the most influential bands ever,” his close friend Luca Signorelli remarked in a eulogy to Walker after his passing away. “Geordie’s musical record will most likely be discussed by other people more eloquently than I ever could be.
Nothing of this is relevant to me at this point in time. The thing that I want to always remember about Geordie is that he was, for the better part of four decades, the guy who was both my closest friend and the most significant person I’ve ever had outside of my family.