The Smiths Bassist Andy Rourke Passed Away At 59
via The Independent / Youtube
Andy Rourke, the bassist of The Smiths, has passed away at age 59 after a long battle with cancer.
Guitarist Johnny Marr announced the news on social media saying:
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.
“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans. We request privacy at this sad time.”
Rourke was born in Manchester in 1964. He started playing guitar at the age of 7 and met Marr at school. Rourke moved to play bass and their friendship led to years of experimenting with music together until they formed Freak Party and later joined the Smiths after their first show in 1982.
The bassist appeared on all four albums of the Smiths released between 1984 to 1987, but then he was briefly fired from the band as a result of heroin addiction but rehired weeks later. Rourke continued working with singer Morrissey for several years, and also collaborated with the Pretenders and Killing Joke, among others. Later on, he became a host on the U.K. radio station XFM.
In a previous statement, Morrissey stated that Rourke “will never die as long as his music is heard.” He continued:
“He didn’t ever know his own power, and nothing that he played had been played by someone else. His distinction was so terrific and unconventional and he proved it could be done. He was also very, very funny and very happy, and post-Smiths, he kept a steady identity – never any manufactured moves. I suppose, at the end of it all, we hope to feel that we were valued. Andy need not worry about that.”
While drummer Mike Joyce noted:
“Not only the most talented bass player I’ve ever had the privilege to play with but the sweetest, funniest lad I’ve ever met. Andy’s left the building, but his musical legacy is perpetual. I miss you so much already. Forever in my heart, mate.”
In a 2004 interview with Mojo, Rourke recalled his first time playing with the Smiths that “it all clicked” and added:
“Literally six months later we were on Top of the Pops.
“We were a gang, a very tight band of brothers. When we were at our peak nobody could penetrate that – we were united in what we were doing. I think that got us through the pressures of getting famous, management, record companies. We were always tight, and nobody could chip away at that.”