News: The Smiths’ bass player Andy Rourke dies at age 59.

Photograph: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Glenlivet

Very sad news today as it is reported Andy Rourke, bass player for The Smiths, has died at the young age of 59, from pancreatic cancer.

Rourke’s muscular style of bass playing was an integral part of The Smith’s sound – rhythmic yet expressive and capable of powering through the Johnny Marr jingle jangle sounds with a solidity and expression. His contribution to the overall sound was immeasurable and he as much as the other members defined the sound.

The news was reported by Johnny Marr on his socials, saying:

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.

Other than featuring on all of the The Smith’s catalogue, he also played on Morrissey’s solo material and in the supergroup Freebass with two other celebrated Mancunian bass guitarists, New Order’s Peter Hook and the Stone Roses’ Mani, and recorded with Sinead O’Connor, the Pretenders, Ian Brown and, in the group DARK with the Cranberries vocalist Dolores O’Riordan.

His most distinct style is at the fore, for me, in ‘Rusholme Ruffians’:

Vale Andy Rourke, a sad loss, 17 January 1964 – 19 May 2023.

Photograph: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Glenlivet

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