Andy Rourke, The Smiths bass participant, is lifeless at 59 : NPR






Andy Rourke, who performed bass for British rock band The Smiths, has died. He is seen right here in 2013 in New York Metropolis.

Craig Barritt/Getty Photos for The Glenlivet

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Craig Barritt/Getty Photos for The Glenlivet

Andy Rourke, who performed bass for British rock band The Smiths, has died. He is seen right here in 2013 in New York Metropolis.

Craig Barritt/Getty Photos for The Glenlivet

Andy Rourke, whose fluid bass taking part in helped The Smiths soar from their roots in Manchester, England, to grow to be an influential and beloved indie rock band, has died at age 59.

Rourke had been ailing with pancreatic most cancers, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr mentioned as he introduced the information.

“Andy will all the time be remembered,” Marr mentioned by way of Instagram, “as a form and delightful soul by everybody who knew him, and as a supremely gifted musician by individuals who love music.”


“He won’t ever die so long as his music is heard,” Smiths vocalist Morrissey mentioned by way of his web site. “He did not ever know his personal energy, and nothing that he performed had been performed by another person.”

On The Smiths recordings within the Eighties, Marr mentioned, “Andy reinvented what it’s to be a bass guitar participant.”

Rourke carried out a kind of alchemy on his bass elements, crafting propulsive traces that brimmed with melody — a chic counterpart to Marr’s jangling guitars and Morrissey’s vocals. In case you bought misplaced making an attempt to comply with both of the latter, you could possibly all the time rely on the previous to deliver you dwelling.

After The Smiths disbanded, Rourke labored on a variety of tasks, together with stints taking part in with Marr and Morrissey throughout their solo careers. He additionally performed with different artists, from Sinéad O’Connor and Badly Drawn Boy to New Order bassist Peter Hook.

Rourke spoke concerning the angst in The Smiths’ music

The Smiths have been solely collectively from 1982 to 1987, recording 4 stellar albums — a breakneck tempo that Rourke later attributed as a important motive the band could not keep collectively.

Recounting the band’s origins, Rourke instructed MOJO journal that he had taken classes in classical guitar however later switched to bass after realizing that the bassist in an early band he was in with Marr might solely play one track: “Do not Consider A Phrase,” by Skinny Lizzy.

“I simply bought actually into it,” Rourke mentioned — and that included an appreciation for jazz and funk. “I began listening to Stanley Clarke and, dare I say, Degree 42 — although not for very lengthy. I used to be simply pushing the boundaries, seeing the place I might take it.”

When he performed with The Smiths, Rourke mentioned, there was a pure rigidity between him and the drummer, Mike Joyce. For the primary yr, the 2 hardly ever spoke.

“It created fairly a dynamic however aggressive sound. Even on the quiet ones there’s some sort of angst there between us, so not speaking a lot most likely helped us. There was nothing contrived about it. We have been dueling off one another,” Rourke added.

As information of Rourke’s demise unfold, Joyce tweeted, “Andy’s left the constructing, however his musical legacy is perpetual. I miss you a lot already. Endlessly in my coronary heart mate.”

Marr mourns his longtime good friend

“Andy and I met as schoolboys in 1975. We have been greatest mates, going in every single place collectively,” Marr mentioned as he introduced Rourke’s demise.

At age 15, Marr mentioned, he moved in with Rourke. The 2 mates performed collectively in a number of bands within the Manchester space, earlier than writing their musical legacy with Morrissey and Joyce in The Smiths.


“Andy and I spent all our time finding out music, having enjoyable, and dealing on turning into the perfect musicians we might probably be,” Marr mentioned.

It was “an absolute privilege” to look at Rourke play bass, he mentioned.

“Effectively achieved Andy. We’ll miss you brother,” Marr added.

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