The Smiths have announced that Andy Rourke, their bassist, has died at the age of 59. Rourke died away lately, according to guitarist Johnny Marr, who noted that he did so after a protracted fight with pancreatic cancer.
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.”
As a bassist recognized for his lyrical style, Rourke met Marr, a future Smiths bandmate, when he was just 11 years old. When the two decided to form a band, Marr proposed that Rourke switch to bass. The two used to play guitar over school lunches.
After the band’s debut performance, he joined them and later contributed to some of their most well-known songs, such as “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” and “This Charming Man.” No other bass player could equal Rourke’s rhythmic contributions to their records, according to Marr.
Following the band’s dissolution, Rourke joined Mani from the Stone Roses and Peter Hook from New Order in the supergroup Freebass and contributed to vocalist Morrissey’s solo albums. As a session musician, he also performed with Sinéad O’Connor, the Pretenders, Killing Joke, and Badly Drawn Boy.
However, Rourke’s post-Smiths career was first hampered by a heroin addiction that had a significant negative impact on his health and finances. As a result, he and his former bandmates engaged in several legal disputes, which made it challenging for him to maintain a profession.
Despite this difficulty, Rourke was able to kick the habit, and afterward, he devoted all of his time to charitable work as the man in charge of organizing Manchester’s yearly Versus Cancer performance. Tim Burgess has spoken as follows: “He was an inspirational musician with a style that made so many of us pick up a bass guitar; and the driving force for Manchester Versus Cancer.”
As one of the pioneers of the British indie scene and a very great musician, Rourke will be remembered.
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 pic.twitter.com/KNehQxXoFz
— Johnny Marr (@Johnny_Marr) May 19, 2023