The Smiths bass guitarist Andy Rourke dead at 59,Andy Rourke, the bass guitarist for British rock band The Smiths, died following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 59.
His bandmate, guitarist Johnny Marr, confirmed his death in a tweet on Friday that also included a photo of a younger Rourke.
“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans,” Marr wrote. “We request privacy at this sad time.”
Born Jan. 17, 1964 in Manchester, Rourke initially met Marr when they were in school. The pair bonded over their mutual love of guitar, according to Billboard. They later connected with Mike Joyce and Steven Morrissey, and the foursome went on to become a worldwide sensation.
Rourke was a member of all four of the band’s iconic and cherished albums: the self-titled album “The Smiths” released in 1984, followed by “Meat Is Murder” in 1985, “The Queen Is Dead” in 1986, and finally “Strangeways, Here We Come” in 1987. As part of The Smiths, alongside Marr on lead guitar, Joyce on drums, and the charismatic frontman Morrisey, Rourke contributed to the establishment of the indie rock genre, creating popular hits such as “There Is a Light That Will Never Go Out,” “This Charming Man,” and “How Soon Is Now” in 1987.
Throughout their eventful five-year tenure, Rourke faced challenges with heroin addiction and was arrested for possession in 1986. He was temporarily removed from the band during this period but returned a mere two weeks later.
Following The Smiths’ split, Rourke was featured on several of Morrisey’s solo singles. He also worked with Sinéad O’Connor and The Pretenders.
Rourke later sued Morrissey and Marr for an equal share of The Smiths’ earnings and royalties. He eventually settled for just over $103,000.