Bassist Andy Rourke Dead at 59

Andy Rourke, the bassist for the popular band The Smiths, passed away late last week after fighting pancreatic cancer.

Rourke’s bandmate, guitarist Johnny Marr, took to Twitter over the weekend to announce the sad news and show remembrance of Rourke. Marr said, “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.”

The Smiths formed in 1982 with Steven Patrick Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke, and Mike Joyce. The band quickly found success and are still considered one of the most important British bands of the ‘80’s. Rourke stayed with the band throughout all 4 studio albums until they split in 1987.

He continued his music by working with Morrissey on his solo music and working with The Pretenders’ Sinéad O’Connor. Eventually, in 2007, Rourke created his own band called Freebass with two other bassists, Mani, and Peter Hook. Freebass performed for three years until 2010, then Rourke moved to New York City and formed a new band, D.A.R.K. with Olé Koretsky and Dolores O’Riordan, the singer from the Cranberries.

In the years after The Smiths, Rourke remained friends with bandmate Johnny Marr as they both continued their music careers. Marr told reporters that last September Rourke came to one of Marr’s shows at Madison Square Garden and performed with the band. Marr said it was a beautiful moment that they shared with his family and Rourke’s wife, Francesca.

Rourke has made an impact on the music world and will be missed greatly. As Johnny Marr said, “Well done, Andy. We’ll miss you brother.”

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