The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke has died at the age of 59 after a “lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer”, it has been confirmed this morning.
The devastating news of his passing was announced by his bandmate Johnny Marr.
Taking to social media to confirm Andy’s death this morning, Marr said in a statement: “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.”
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
Born in Manchester on 17 January 1964, Rourke was of course best-known as the bassist for iconic Manchester rock band, The Smiths – which he formed with frontman Morrissey in 1982, and went on to have a celebrated career with chart-topping albums and hits such as ‘This Charming Man’ and ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’.
Rourke was known, and often commended for, his melodic approach to bass playing.
As well as being a member of The Smiths until the band eventually split in 1987, Rourke also notably played with artists such as The Pretenders, Sinead O’Connor, and Badly Drawn Boy.
Writing again on Instagram, Marr added: “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.”