Musician and founder member of The Silencers Born March 20, 1957; Died March 26, 2007. Cha Burns, guitarist with Scottish rock band The Silencers, died from cancer on March 26. Born in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire in 1957, Cha (Charles) Burns became a guitarist on the London punk and new wave scene of the mid 1970s before forming Fingerprintz with fellow Coatbridge boy Jimme O'Neill.

Following the release of their first single, Dancing With Myself, in 1979, three albums followed. The Very Dab, Distinguishing Marks and Beat Noir are recognised in retrospect as influential, but failed to gain any real commercial success in the UK.

In 1985, he formed The Silencers, again with O'Neill. A three-track demo secured a deal, but during the recording of the first album, Cha had a brain haemorrhage.

He was back playing guitar six weeks later, despite the fact that he was still re-learning basic reading skills.

The first album in 1987, A Letter From St Paul, shows a rock band with unashamedly Celtic influences. Once again, domestic success eluded them, but the album and single Painted Moon were popular in the US. A support slot on a Squeeze tour culminated in a gig at Madison Square Garden in central New York.

The day before, Cha collapsed and was hospitalised. Fears of another serious illness were unfounded, however, and he recovered in time to play.

On the back of a second album, A Blues For Buddha, the band toured Europe for four months with Simple Minds.

The Silencers proved to be a popular opening act for the world's biggest bands, with David Bowie and U2 also requesting their support.

Throughout the following three albums, Dance To The Holy Man, Seconds of Pleasure and So Be It, critical recognition in the UK never translated to mass sales.

In France and Spain, however, the band had an almost fanatical following.

After five albums with The Silencers, Cha eventually left in 2000 and rarely played on-stage again. After spending two years living in Switzerland, he moved to Wales at the end of 2002.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer six months ago and had courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

As a keen environmentalist whose motto was "Planet Before Profit", he was keen to try metabolic therapy, a controversial alternative treatment not available on the NHS, which uses natural methods including diet to boost the immune system.

Band mate JJ "Jinky" Gilmour organised a benefit concert, which took place at the ABC in Glasgow in January. Despite Cha believing he was the "forgotten man of Scottish rock", the 1500 capacity venue sold out.

The date was planned six weeks after his last course of chemotherapy, and on the night he had regained enough strength to play with original band members and those from subsequent line-ups.

He died at his home in Prestatyn, surrounded by his family and band members.

He is survived by his son, Colan.

A humanist memorial service was held in Coatbridge on Tuesday.