Keith Levene, guitarist and founding member of The Clash, dies aged 65

Keith Levene, guitarist and founding member of The Clash, has died at the age of 65. 

He had been suffering from liver cancer, although the cause of his death has not been made public.

Levene was born in north London and formed The Clash with Mick Jones in 1976, convincing Joe Strummer to leave The 101ers to join them.

Levene left The Clash, joining Public Image Ltd in 1978 with John Lydon from the Sex Pistols - then known as Johnny Rotten.

He left Public Image Ltd in 1983, before their success in the mid-1980s, but he continued co-writing with them.

Levene then moved to Los Angeles and, later in his career, he worked with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers among others.

News of his death was confirmed online by his close friend, author Adam Hammond.

Hammond said on Twitter: "There is no doubt that Keith was one of the most innovative, audacious and influential guitarists of all time.

"Keith sought to create a new paradigm in music and with willing collaborators John Lydon and Jah Wobble succeeded in doing just that.

"His guitar work over the nine minutes of Theme, the first track on the first PiL album, defined what alternative music should be.

"Our thoughts and love go out to his partner Kate, sister Jill and all of Keith's family and friends.

"The world is a darker place without his genius.

"Mine will be darker without my mate."