In Memoriam: Andy Rourke

Andy Rourke

Photo: Johnny Marr/Twitter

The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke has passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 59 years old. Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr shared the sad news on social media.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer,” he wrote on Twitter. “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.”

Born in Manchester, Rourke started music at an early age and became friends with Johnny Marr at 11 years old. Marr would form the Smiths with Morrissey and Rourke would join after their first gig. He played with the band for their full run except for two weeks where he was fired and replaced temporarily by Dale Hibbert.

Rourke’s melodic bass style and unique feel inspired a generation of bassists. Check out this live version of “Barbarism Begins At Home”:

The Smiths broke up in 1987. Rourke would go on to play for Sinead O’Connor, Morrissey, Badly Drawn Boy, and more throughout his career. In 2007 he formed Freebass with fellow bassists Mani and Peter Hook. The collaboration lasted several years with the group releasing a handful of EPs.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Andy Rourke.

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Share your thoughts