Andy Rourke, bass guitarist for British band “The Smiths,” died at the age of 59 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
Rourke’s former bandmate and close friend Johnny Marr confirmed his passing in an Instagram on Friday. “Andy and I met as schoolboys in 1975. We were best friends, going everywhere together,” he said in his tribute. “When we were fifteen I moved into his house with him and his three brothers and I soon came to realize that my mate was one of those rare people that absolutely no one doesn’t like,” he said.
Marr concluded his tribute, writing, “Andy will always be remembered, as a kind and beautiful soul by everyone who knew him, and as a supremely gifted musician by people who love music.”
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Marr described some of his earlier memories of Rourke.
“Andy and I spent all our time studying music, having fun, and working on becoming the best musicians we could possibly be.”
“Back then Andy was a guitar player and a good one at that, but it was when he picked up the bass that he would find his true calling and his singular talent would flourish,” he said.
Marr said that when Rourke played with The Smiths, he truly “reinvented what it [was] to be a bass guitar player.”
“I was present at every one of Andy’s bass takes on every Smiths session. Sometimes I was there as the producer and sometimes just as his proud mate and cheerleader. Watching him play those dazzling baselines was an absolute privilege and genuinely something to behold,” Marr wrote.
Rourke touched many fans with his incredible talents, and has left a legacy in the music industry. Marr touched on the significance of Rourke’s talents by sharing a memory of an inspirational moment that he holds near.
“When I sat next to him at the mixing desk watching him play his bass on the song The Queen Is Dead. It was so impressive that I said to myself ‘I’ll never forget this moment,” he wrote.
Marr then said a final farewell to his pal.
“We maintained our friendship over the years, no matter where we were or what was happening and it is a matter of personal pride as well as sadness that the last time Andy played on stage was with me and my band at Madison Square Garden in September 2022,”
Some of his most popular songs include, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and “Girlfriend In A Coma.” (RELATED: Last Surviving Founding Member Of Lynyrd Skynyrd Dead At 71)
After moving on from The Smiths, Rourke collaborated with other musicians including Sinéad O’Connor, The Pretenders, Ian Brown and Badly Drawn Boy.
Marr signed off his tribute message with a heartfelt closing line.
“Well done Andy. We’ll miss you brother,” he wrote.