Keith Levene, Founding Member Of The Clash, Dies At 65

Keith Levene, a founding member of and guitarist for The Clash and Public Picture Ltd, has died. He was 65.

Information of his demise was first shared by creator Adam Hammond, with whom Levene was engaged on a written historical past of Public Picture Ltd, in keeping with The Guardian. The British rock star had liver most cancers and died in his sleep at his Norfolk residence on Nov. 11, the newspaper stated.

“There is no doubt that Keith was one of the most innovative, audacious and influential guitarists of all time,” Hammond tweeted, describing Levene as a “close friend.”

Levene was born in London on July 18, 1957. He was solely 18 when he fashioned The Clash with Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. Joe Strummer, who was freshly impressed by punk music after seeing the Intercourse Pistols carry out in London round that point, joined The Clash at Levene’s request.

Regardless of contributing to a few of their biggest successes, together with “What’s My Name” from their 1977 debut album, Levene grew uninterested in the band. When the Intercourse Pistols broke up the next yr, he fashioned Public Picture Ltd with John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon and John “Jah Wobble” Wardle.

After leaving The Clash, Leven fashioned Public Picture Ltd with John Lydon and John Wardle.

Peter Noble by way of Getty Pictures

“Keith sought to create a new paradigm in music and with willing collaborators John Lydon and Jah Wobble succeeded in doing just that,” Hammond added. “His guitar work over the nine minutes of ‘Theme,’ the first track on the first PiL album, defined what alternative music should be.”

That album, “Public Image: First Issue,” charted at No. 22 with a self-titled single that broke into the highest 10. Followers and music historians think about it a traditional of the post-punk style, with Levene revealing to The Guardian in 2012 that “people thought I was classically trained, which was bollocks.”

“The Flowers of Romance” in 1981 marked Levene’s third and remaining outing with Public Picture Ltd, in keeping with Individuals. Levene formally left the group two years later, citing inventive variations throughout manufacturing of their fourth effort, “This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get.”

“There was a lot of vitriol, but it was a magic time and I wouldn’t swap any of it,” Levene instructed The Guardian. “People said [our second album] Metal Box was avant-garde, but we didn’t expect that in 30-odd years’ time people would be talking about a seminal record.”

Substance abuse, significantly heroin use, derailed Levene’s profession for a lot of the Nineteen Eighties, in keeping with Selection. Regardless of that, he moved to Los Angeles and produced the “Violent Opposition” EP with members of the Crimson Sizzling Chili Peppers in 1987 and wrote an autobiography.

“So much of what we listen to today owes much to Keith’s work, some of it acknowledged, most of it not,” Hammond tweeted, including: “The world is a darker place without his genius. Mine will be darker without my mate.”