Andy Rourke, iconic bassist of the Smiths, has died at the age of 59

Steph Deschamps / May 19, 2023

The bassist of the Smiths Andy Rourke died of pancreatic cancer, announced Friday Johnny Marr, the ex-guitarist of this band flagship of English indie rock of the 1980s.
 
"It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a long illness, pancreatic cancer," wrote Johnny Marr on his Twitter account, linked to his official website.
 
"Those who knew him will remember Andy as a kind and beautiful soul, fans as an extremely gifted musician," he added on Instagram. Hailing from Manchester, in the north of England, the band formed in 1982 and notably made a name for themselves with their album "The Queen is Dead", released in 1986. 
 
Plagued by heroin addiction and financial difficulties, Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce had sued Johnny Marr and singer and lyricist Morrissey in a dispute over the distribution of their royalties after the band split in 1987.
 
An agreement had finally been found and the friendship between the bassist and the guitarist had survived. Morrissey has adopted an increasingly reactionary speech - he had performed in 2019 in an American show with a badge of a British far-right party. He was virulent towards his former comrades, before adopting a more conciliatory tone in his autobiography published in 2013.
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