Andy Rourke, bassist for the Smiths, dies aged 59 after ‘lengthy’ battle with pancreatic cancer
The Smiths’ bassist Andy Rourke has died aged 59
The Smiths’ bassist Andy Rourke has died aged 59 following a ‘lengthy’ battle with pancreatic cancer. Bandmate and Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr announced the tragic news via social media this morning.
In a statement, 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.”
Rourke will be remembered for his dynamic bass additions to the legendary indie-outfits greatest hits such as This Charming Man and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out. Rourke also performed with New Order’s Peter Hook and Stone Roses’ Gary “Mani” Mounfield as part of the supergroup, Freebass.
Born in Manchester, in 1964, after leaving school at 15, Roukejoined forces with Morrissey and fellow schoolmate Johnny Marr to form The Smiths. The group went on to record four studio albums including best-selling album ‘The Queen Is Dead’ released in 1986 - the same year Rourke was briefly fired from the band.
Tributes have rolled in from fellow collaborators including record producer Stephen Street and Suede bassist, Mat Osman. Street said: “I’ve just read this tweet from @matosman and I am so saddened to hear this news! Andy was a superb musician and a lovely guy. I haven’t been able to read any other news about details yet but I send my deepest condolences and thoughts to his friends and family. RIP #AndyRourke”
Osman said: “Aw man. RIP Andy Rourke. A total one-off - a rare bassist whose sound you could recognise straight away. I remember so clearly playing that Barbarism break over and over, trying to learn the riff, and marvelling at this steely funk driving the track along.”