Andy Rourke, whose fluid bass playing helped The Smiths rise from their humble beginnings in Manchester, England, to become an important and renowned indie rock band, died at the age of 59.
Rourke had pancreatic cancer, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr said.
“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by everyone who knew him, and as a supremely gifted musician by people who love music,” Marr said on Instagram.
“Andy reinvented what it is to be a bass guitar player,” Marr stated of The Smiths’ records from the 1980s.
Rourke worked alchemy on his bass sections, creating powerful lines brimming with melody – a perfect foil to Marr’s jangling guitars and Morrissey’s vocals. You could always rely on the former to get you home if you got lost attempting to follow either of the latter.
“Andy and I met in high school in 1975.” “We were best friends who went everywhere together,” Marr remarked, announcing Rourke’s death.
Marr said that he moved in with Rourke at the age of 15. The two buddies performed in a few Manchester bands before joining Morrissey and drummer Mike Joyce in The Smiths.
“Andy and I spent all of our time studying music, having fun, and striving to be the best musicians we could be,” Marr said.
It was “an absolute privilege” to see Rourke play bass, he remarked.
“Excellent work, Andy.” “Brother, we’ll miss you,” Marr said.