Smiths Bassist Andy Rourke Passes Away

19 May 2023 | 7:26 pm | Stephen Green

Respected musician loses his battle with Pancreatic cancer.

The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke has passed away aged 59 with the news broken on social media by bandmate Johnny Marr

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.

Rourke played on all of the band's classic back catalogue after joining the band soon after its founding in 1982, including hits like The Light Never Goes Out and This Charming Man as well as jumping on bass duties for some of frontman Morrissey's solo efforts. 

He also recorded with artists like The Pretenders, Sinead O'Connor and The Cranberries' Delores O'Riordan

The Smiths were one of the most influential bands in British rock history. The band have been listed by Oasis, The Stone Roses, AFI and Blur in setting the scene for the Britrock scene. 

Oasis' Noel Gallagher said  "When the Jam split, the Smiths started, and I totally went for them." The Smiths' bleak portayal of suburban England set the scene for a new generation of bands who reflected the times through music, resulting in four seminal albums with three reaching #2 in the UK and a third, Meat Is Murder topping the charts. All four records went gold in their home country, while The Queen Is Dead and Strangeways, Here We Come both cracked the Australian top 30. 

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Tributes have flowed from musicians across the world. 

Billy Bragg said: "I have great memories of him playing with Johnny Marr and myself on the Red Wedge tour. He was a lovely guy and an amazing bass player."

Suede's Mat Osman said "A total one-off - a rare bassist whose sound you could recognise straight away. I remember so clearly playing that Barbarism break over and over, trying to learn the riff, and marvelling at this steely funk driving the track along."