Andy Rourke, Bassist for Legendary English Rock Band The Smiths, Dies at 59
The iconic band The Smiths shared some sad news with fans. Andy Rourke, the bass guitarist for the British rock band has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was just 59 years old. His former bandmate Johnny Marr shared the news with a statement on social media.
The statement read, “It is with deep sadness that we announce that Andy Rourke has passed away in the early hours today at age 59 in New York City at Memorial Sloan Kettering 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.”
Marr shared several photos of the two jamming out over the years and wrote a very sweet tribute as well. He recalled, in part, “Andy and I met as schoolboys in 1975. We were best friends, going everywhere together. When we were fifteen I moved into his house with him and his three brothers and I soon came to realise that my mate was one of those rare people that absolutely no one doesn’t like. Andy and I spent all our time studying music, having fun, and working on becoming the best musicians we could possibly be. Back then Andy was a guitar player and a good one at that, but it was when he picked up the bass that he would find his true calling and his singular talent would flourish.”
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The Smiths began creating music in 1982 and ultimately only rocked out until 1987. Despite creating music as a four-piece band for such a short time, their music remains timeless, especially in the independent music scene with many of the songs having depressing lyrics with uplighting melodies.
Later, Rourke collaborated with many other musicians, including The Pretenders, Sinéad O’Connor, and Ian Brown. In the 2000s, Rourke and his then-manager Nova Rehman and his production company, Great Northern Productions organized a series of concerts called Manchester v Cancer to benefit cancer research. During the event, Rourke and Marr reunited and performed a song together.
In addition, he formed the group Freebass with fellow bass players Mani and Peter Hook for several years, worked as a club DJ, and had a program on the radio. Rourke also formed a band called D.A.R.K. with singer Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries and Olé Koretsky. They released their album in 2016. May he rest in peace.