Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Smiths bassist Andy Rourke has died at the age of 59

Bassist Andy Rourke plays music at a party on October 25, 2014 in New York.

Smiths bassist Andy Rourke has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 59, Johnny Marr, former guitarist of the legendary 1980s British indie rock band, said on Friday.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a long illness with pancreatic cancer,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Those who knew him will remember Andy as a kind and beautiful soul, fans will remember him as an extremely talented musician,” she added on Instagram alongside a photo of the two when they were younger.

Born on January 17, 1964, Rourke was the third of four children, all boys. His parents gave him a guitar when he was 7 years old, and he began playing the bass shortly thereafter.

Together with his great childhood friend Marr, whom he had met at school, he joined the funk band Freak Party.

He was not the first bass player for The Smiths, but he joined them that same year, which he had formed in 1982.

The group from Manchester in the north of England rose to fame four years later with the album “The Queen Is Dead”.

They split in 1987 and Rourke has since played with musicians such as Sinead O’Connor from The Cranberries, The Pretenders, Aziz Ibrahim or Dolores O’Riordan, who died in 2018.

Smith’s former drummer Mike Joyce said, “He was not only the most talented bass player I’ve had the privilege of playing with, but also the most engaging and fun person.”

Suede bassist Matt Osman paid tribute to a “rare bassist” whose “sound was instantly recognizable.”

Following the legendary band split, Rourke, involved in a battle with his heroin addiction, joined Joyce to sue two of his former bandmates, Marr and singer Morrissey, in a dispute over the distribution of copyrights.

They eventually reached an agreement and the childhood friendship between bassist and guitarist survived.

“As long as his music is heard, Rourke will never die,” Morrissey wrote on his official website. “He didn’t even know about his power, and everything he touched had never been touched”, he said, praising his originality even after The Smiths disbanded.

A controversial character, Morrissey was furious with his former teammates, before adopting a more friendly tone in his autobiography published in 2013.

Nation World News Desk
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