Andy Rourke Illness

The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke died at 59 following an illness. Learn about Andy Rourke illness and health issues from this article.

English musician Andrew Michael Rourke is best known for playing bass with the Smiths. He was renowned for his musical bass-playing style.

Rourke used a variety of basses throughout his career, including Fender Precision Basses, Squier Precision Basses, Fender Jazz Basses, and a Yamaha BB2000.

He also used Trace Elliot GP-11 and Peavey Mark III Head amplifiers. Johnny Marr, a guitarist, shared the information about Andy on social media. 

Marr made the following statement in a tweet: “Music fans will remember Andy as a phenomenally talented musician in addition to being recognized as a kind and beautiful man by those who knew him.”

He continued, “We ask for privacy at this difficult time.” The death of famous Bassist Rourke saddens the entire musical world. 

What was the cause of his death? Let’s find out if he suffered from any illness or health issues. 

Andy Rourke Illness And Health Issue: Was The Smiths Bassist Sick?

Andy Rourke, the famous Bassist from The Smiths, died at 59 on May 19, 2023.

The death of Rourke after a protracted battle with pancreatic Cancer was confirmed by guitarist Johnny Marr “with deep sadness.”

Rourke contributed to some of the Smiths’ most well-known songs, such as This Charming Man and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.

Andy Rourke illness
Andy Rourke died of pancreatic Cancer at the age of 59. (Source: Sky News)

The Smiths broke up in 1987 after Marr thought a fake Morrissey-placed NME piece titled “Smiths to Split” was real.

As a result, Joyce and Downey sued Morrissey and Marr in 1989 over a royalties disagreement.

The Bassist contributed to the singer Morrissey’s solo singles following the band’s 1987 dissolution.

The Bassist contributed to The Smiths’ four studio albums, including The Smiths from 1984, Meat Is Murder from 1985, The Queen Is Dead from 1986, and Strangeways, Here We Come from 1987.

Mike Joyce, Rourke’s bandmate and drummer, tweeted that Rourke was not just the most brilliant Bassist he has ever had the pleasure of playing with but also the sweetest, funniest young man he had ever encountered.

The Bassist for Suede, Mat Osman, called Rourke “a total one-off” and “a rare bassist whose sound you could immediately recognize.”

The musician recalled, “I remember so clearly playing that Barbarism repeatedly breaks, trying to understand the riff, and marveling at this steely funk driving the track along.”

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Andy Rourke Was Always Enthusiastic About Music

Yes, Andy loved music from a very young age. Andy’s parents gave him an acoustic guitar when he was seven years old.

He made friends with the young John Maher (soon to be Johnny Marr) when he was 11 years old since they both liked music.

During lunchtimes at school, the two would jam and play guitar. Rourke, a guitarist (at that time), was invited to try out bass when Marr and Rourke started their band.

Andy Rourke Illness
Andy’s childhood friend Jonny Marr was the first person to share the grief of his death. (Source: The Independent)

Rourke immediately fell in love with the instrument and has kept with it ever since. Rourke dropped out of school at age 15.

He worked at several low-paying jobs while playing guitar and bass in several rock bands. He also collaborated with his schoolmate Johnny Marr in the short-lived funk band Freak Party.

Later, Marr and Morrissey joined together to become the Smiths. Rourke joined the group after its debut performance and stayed for most of its lifespan.

He was fired from the band at the beginning of 1986 due to his heroin addiction, and he returned two weeks later, right before they released The Queen Is Dead.

Second guitarist Craig Gannon joined the group in his place. Marr stated that Rourke’s contribution to that record was “something no other bass player could match” (p. 6).

Strangeways, Here We Come was released by The Smiths in 1987 to favorable reviews, but they broke up soon after.

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