Last Friday, Andy Rourke, bassist and founding member of The Smiths, passed away aged 59 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. The Smiths are considered one of the most enduring, unique and important acts of all time, with a huge part of their appeal being down to Rourke’s melodic, intricate bass playing.
Andrew Michael Rourke was born in Manchester on 17 January 1964 and will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and a supremely gifted musician by music fans.
Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr tweeted on Friday morning: “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’s melodic bass lines formed a backbone to The Smiths soundscape with attention usually going towards outspoken singer Morrissey and fellow songwriter Marr.
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Rourke, left, playing live with The Smiths in England in 1984
During their short time together as a four-piece band, The Smiths deliberately stayed away from the mainstream of popular music, garnering a cult following on the independent music scene.
As they gained in notoriety, the band put out some of the best-remembered British songs of the 1980s, such as “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and “Girlfriend In A Coma.” Despite having a track record for being gloomy, The Smiths’ songs were sincerely wickedly hilarious and reinforced by cheerful chords. A staple of any self-respecting music listener, their albums, such as “The Queen is Dead” and “Meat is Murder,” are at the forefront of the resurgence of vinyl records.
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An entity of flesh and bones in pursuit of becoming a higher being. A connoisseur of the mystic arts and everything musical. His origins are unknown, and so are his true motives.