The bassist with legendary English rock band The Smiths, Andy Rourke, has died at the age of 59, the group’s former guitarist Johnny Marr has announced.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer,” Marr wrote on Twitter on Friday.
“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans,” he added.
Mike Joyce, who was drummer for The Smiths, described Rourke as “not only the most talented bass player I’ve ever had the privilege to play with but the sweetest, funniest lad I’ve ever met.” The musical legacy of his former bandmate is “perpetual,” Joyce said in a tweet.
Rourke was with The Smiths from 1982 to 1987, performing on all four of the band’s studio albums: ‘The Smiths’ (1984), ‘Meat Is Murder’ (1985), ‘The Queen Is Dead’ (1986), and ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ (1987).
He also had an impressive career after the group split up, playing with Smiths’ frontman Morrissey on his solo projects and with the likes of Sinead O’Connor, The Pretenders, Dolores O’Riordan, Badly Drawn Boy, Killing Joke, and guitarist Aziz Ibrahim.
In 2005, Rourke put together a supergroup called Freebass with fellow bassists Peter Hook, who previously played with New Order and Joy Division, and Gary “Mani” Mounfield of the Stone Roses and Primal Scream. Among other things, he also worked as a DJ on the popular British rock radio station XFM, now known as Radio X.
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