Photo: Photo taken by Paul Cox. Distributed by Sire Records - Public Domain

The Smiths’ Andy Rourke: Dead At 59

Legendary Smiths’ bassist, Andy Rourke, has died at the age of 59.

Taking to Twitter earlier today (5.19,) the iconic band’s guitarist Johnny Marr confirmed that Rourke had passed away following a battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Alongside a throwback photo of Rourke playing the bass guitar, Marr wrote “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.” 

Mike Joyce, the Smiths’ drummer paid tribute to his former bandmate by tweeting, “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.” 

Throughout his stint with the band Andy played on all four of the Smiths’ studio albums including The Smiths (1984,) Meat Is Murder (1985,) The Queen Is Dead (1986,) and Strangeways, Here We Come (1987.)

Rourke also played and recorded with the Pretenders, Killing Joke, Sinead O’Connor, Aziz Ibrahim, Badly Drawn Boy, and after the Smiths disbanded in the late-1980s, Rourke played on several of frontman Morrissey’s solo songs.

Later in his career, Rourke formed the supergroup Freebass with Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield from the Stone Roses and Peter Hook from New Order, and the alternative band D.A.R.K. with Olé Koretsky and Dolores O’Riordan. Andy also formed Blitz Vega alongside frontman and guitarist Kav Sandhu of the Happy Mondays.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Photo taken by Paul Cox. Distributed by Sire Records – Public Domain