Indie rock band The Smiths is down one member. Guitarist Johnny Marr broke the sad news on Instagram explaining that he and bassist Andy Rourke “met as schoolboys in 1975. We were best friends, going everywhere together. 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.”

Marr added, “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.” He explained that he and Rourke remained friends, and the last time Rourke performed “on stage was with me and my band at Maddison Square Garden in September 2022.” That was also the last time Rourke will ever perform.

Rourke has died at the age of 59. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Marr concluded his post by 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.Well done Andy. We’ll miss you brother.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Johnny Marr (@johnnymarrgram)

On his website, Smiths vocalist Morrissey posted his own tribute to Rourke. He wrote, “He will never die as long as his music is heard. He 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. I suppose, at the end of it all, we hope to feel that we were valued. Andy need not worry about that.”

Rest in peace.