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A Charming Man: Andy Rourke, Bassist of The Smiths, Passes Away

todayMay 19, 2023


Bigmouth Strikes Again, Back to the Old House, Girl Afraid, Barbarism Begins at Home…

No, that’s not the track-list to some greatest hits album. That’s just what came to mind while thinking of the legacy of Andy Rourke.

The Smiths, Manchester’s influential rock band formed in the 1980s, were led by vocalist Morrissey and guitar hero Johnny Marr. However, often forgotten are the contributions of Mike Joyce on drums and Andy Rourke on bass. Rourke’s melodic and intricate bass lines provided a solid foundation for the band’s music, while Joyce’s skillful drumming added drive and energy to their sound. Together with Morrissey’s distinctive vocals and Marr’s innovative guitar work, the quartet created a unique and influential musical style that has provided a lasting impact on the alternative music scene.

It is with a heavy heart we announce that today we have lost Andy Rourke, at just 59, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Johnny Marr took to social media this morning to announce the following.

Afterwards, more and more tributes began flowing in from Britian’s indie talent.

On his official website, Morrissey had the following to say:

Sometimes one of the most radical things you can do is to speak clearly. When someone dies, out come the usual blandishments … as if their death is there to be used. I’m not prepared to do this with Andy. I just hope … wherever Andy has gone … that he’s OK. He will never die as long as his music is heard. He didn’t ever know his own power, and nothing that he played had been played by someone else. His distinction was so terrific and unconventional and he proved it could be done. He was also very, very funny and very happy, and post-Smiths, he kept a steady identity – never any manufactured moves. I suppose, at the end of it all, we hope to feel that we were valued. Andy need not worry about that. – Morrissey, May 19, 2023

There is a light that will never go out. Andy Rourke’s.



Written by: Jace