The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr yesterday paid an emotional tribute to bassist Andy Rourke after confirming his bandmate had died from cancer aged 59.
Rourke played on The Smiths’ most famous songs, including This Charming Man and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.
He also featured in solo singles for singer Morrissey after the group broke up in 1987.
Marr, 59, wrote on Twitter: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.
“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 said it was an “absolute privilege” to play alongside Rourke throughout their lives, explaining how they met “as schoolboys
Marr also recalled the final time the pair played together, in New York last year.
He said: “The last time Andy played on stage was with me and my band at Madison Square Garden in September 2022. It was a special moment that we shared with my family and his wife Francesca. Well done Andy. We’ll miss you brother.”
The Smiths drummer Mike Joyce tweeted: “Not only the most talented bass player I’ve ever had the privilege to play with but the sweetest, funniest lad I’ve ever met. I miss you so much already. Forever in my heart, mate.”
Suede bassist Mat Osman described Rourke as “a total one-off” and “a rare bassist whose sound you could recognise straight away”.
The Smiths’ producer Stephen Street added: “I am so saddened to hear this news. Andy was a superb musician and a lovely guy.”
Singer Billy Bragg said: “He was a lovely guy and an amazing bass player.”
Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess added: “Such sad news about Andy Rourke.
“He was an inspirational musician with a style that made so many of us pick up a bass guitar.”