The Smiths Bassist Andy Rourke Dead at 59

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Andy Rourke, The Smiths, Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Cancer, Death
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Andy Rourke, longtime bassist of British indie rock band The Smiths, has passed away at 59 years old. Rourke endured a long fight with pancreatic cancer at New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The band was initially formed in 1982 in Manchester, England. Original members included singer Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, and drummer Mike Joyce. Today, Rourke is remembered for his skillful bass playing that gave way to a new generation of alternative rock music.

Today, Rourke’s family, friends, and collaborators are honoring his memory and contributions to music. Guitarist Johnny Marr’s daughter posted a sincere tribute in honor of her father’s close friend.

Marr himself shared a throwback image of his best friend playing the bass guitar for The Smiths, calling him a “kind and beautiful soul.” The pair had been friends since childhood, pre-dating The Smiths.

The Smith’s lead singer Morrissey additionally eulogized the late bassist. He said that “He [Rourke] didn’t ever know his own power, and nothing that he played had been played by someone else. His distinction was so terrific and unconventional and he proved it could be done. He was also very, very funny and very happy, and post-Smiths, he kept a steady identity – never any manufactured moves.”

Fellow musician Rick Astley recalled a moment of kindness from Rourke in Los Angeles in the 1980s.


Fans of the bassist recall some of his most memorable performances.

The Smiths In Popular Culture

The Smiths parted ways in 1987 after releasing four albums together as a group. A lengthy legal battle between the musicians over royalties then ensued. Prior to the band’s breakup, Rourke struggled with a heroin addiction. Despite the challenges associated with his time in the band, Rourke told the BBC in 2007 that while the breakup “still smarts a bit” that the music still “stand the test of time.”

Decades after much of their most popular music was released, they reached a new generation through a film feature. 2009’s “500 Days of Summer”, which starred Zooey Deschanel opposite Joseph Gordon Levitt, heavily featured the band’s catalogue in their soundtrack, with the two titular characters bonding over the track “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” in an elevator.


The scene even sparked a popular TikTok trend recently. Even Deschanel herself participated.


I said what I said.

♬ there is a light the never goes out – neve ୨୧


happy halloween from your favorite spooky film franchise???? (and #ghostface text-to-speech is back ???????? GO USE IT) #jennaortega #screammovie #halloween #paramountpartner

♬ there is a light the never goes out – neve ୨୧

Rourke additionally collaborated with several other popular musicians, including The Pretenders and New Order. He is survived by his wife, Francesca Mor.

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