The Smiths Bassist Andy Rourke Dead at 59
'The Smiths' Bassist Andy Rourke Dead At 59 ... After Bout With Cancer
5/19/2023 5:42 AM PT
Andy Rourke, the bass guitarist for the iconic British rock band, The Smiths, has died.
His bandmate, Johnny Marr, made the announcement Friday on Twitter, revealing that Rourke had been fighting pancreatic cancer before his passing.
Marr said, "Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans."
After joining The Smiths in the '80s, Rourke was featured on the group's four studio records, including "Meat Is Murder" and "Strangeways, Here We Come."
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.— Johnny Marr (@Johnny_Marr) May 19, 2023 @Johnny_Marr
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
With Rourke on bass, Marr on lead guitar, Mike Joyce on drums and Morrissey on vocals, the foursome created a pioneering sound that still has an influence on music today. Some of their most classic tunes were "This Charming Man" and "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out."
During his time with The Smiths, Rourke struggled with heroin addiction and was arrested for possessing the drug in 1986. He even got kicked out of the band at one point, but he returned two weeks later.
In 1987, The Smiths broke up, but Rourke went on to produce several singles with Morrissey and to record music with Sinéad O’Connor and The Pretenders. He also sued Morrissey and Marr for an equal share of The Smith's earnings and royalties, but later settled for just over $103,000.
Rourke was 59.