Smiths bassist Andy Rourke dies aged 59 after battle with pancreatic cancer – as bandmate he credits ‘extremely gifted musician’
Smiths bassist Andy Rourke has died aged 59 after battling pancreatic cancer.
Former bandmate Johnny Marr broke the tragic news on Twitter this morning, describing Rourke as a “hugely gifted musician”.
He continued, “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Andy Rourke, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after a long illness.”
“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by all who knew him, and a tremendously gifted musician by music fans.”
“We ask for privacy at this sad time.”
Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has died at the age of 59, it was announced this morning
Former bandmate Johnny Marr tweeted the tragic news, describing Rourke as a “very gifted musician”.
Left to right: Marr, Morrissey, Mike Joyce and Rourke before their first performance in Detroit during the 1985 Meat Is Murder Tour
Suede guitarist Mat Osman, brother of Pointless presenter Richard, today paid tribute to a “unique work”.
He tweeted: “Oh man. RIP Andy Rourke. An absolute one-off – a rare bassist whose sound was immediately recognizable.
“I vividly remember playing that barbarism break over and over, trying to learn the riff, and marveling at that steely funk that drives the track.”
Born on January 17, 1964 to an English mother and Irish father, Rourke showed a passion for music from an early age.
He learned to play the guitar when he was seven and met Marr when he was eleven. The two became friends and played their guitars together in their school’s music room.
After leaving school at 15, Rourke formed The Smiths with Marr in Manchester. Morrissey and drummer Mike Joyce in 1982.
The group became the seminal Manchester act of the 1980s, releasing four albums between 1982 and 1987 before a royalties dispute for their now extensive repertoire spelled the end of the quartet.
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