LONDON — Andy Rourke, one of the most influential British bands of the 1980s, and The Smiths bass guitarist Andy Rourke has died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Johnny Marr, his former bandmate, said Friday.
He is 59 years old.
In a lengthy Instagram post, guitarist and songwriter Marr paid tribute to Rourke, whom he first met in 1975 when the two were students.
“We played in various bands in south Manchester during our teenage years before we made our name in The Smiths between 1982 and 1987, and it was on these Smiths records , Andy reinvented the identity of the bass guitarist,” Marr said.
In their brief time together as a four-piece band, The Smiths have deliberately stayed out of the mainstream of pop music, gaining a cult following in the indie scene.
While most of the focus has been on the songwriting collaboration between Marr and frontman Steven Patrick Morrissey (better known as Morrissey), the Smiths’ sound owes much to Rourke’s bass and his rhythm section. Partner drummer Mike Joyce.
As their popularity swelled, the band released some of the most enduring British hits of the 1980s, including “God Knows I’m in Misery” and “Girlfriend in a Coma”.
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