The Smith’s bassist Andy Rourke has died aged 59.
Rourke who played on all the band’s studio albums between 1984 and 1987, passed away following a battle with cancer.
Following the band’s split, several rows over royalties between the bandmates emerged, with Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce taking Morrissey and Johnny Marr to court.
“a kind and beautiful soul”
Despite the court cases and the band’s collapse, Marr’s friendship with Rourke survived, with Marr confirming the sad news regarding his bandmate and childhood friend’s death via social media.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer”, Marr wrote. “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
“We’ll miss you brother”
In a further tribute to Andy Rourke posted to Instagram, Johnny Marr also wrote the following statement.
“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”, he wrote.
“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”.
Marr continued, “Throughout our teens we played in various bands around South Manchester before making our reputations with The Smiths from 1982 to 1987, and it was on those Smiths records that Andy reinvented what it is to be a bass guitar player.”
“We maintained our friendship over the years, no matter where we were or what was happening and it is a matter of personal pride as well as sadness that the last time Andy played on stage was with me and my band at Maddison Square Garden in September 2022,” Marr added. “It was a special moment that we shared with my family and his wife and soul mate Francesca”.
Finishing off the post, Marr concluded, “Well done Andy. We’ll miss you brother. Johnny x”.