- Andy died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
- Andy’s death was announced by bandmate Johnny Marr.
- Andy was the bassist for the Smiths.
Andy Rourke has sadly died at the age of 59. The Smiths bassist’s death was announced on May 19 by former bandmate and friend Johnny Marr. Johnny penned heartfelt messages about Andy’s passing.
“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,” Johnny wrote in his Instagram tribute to Andy. Learn more about Andy’s life and career below.
Andy died from pancreatic cancer.
Johnny announced in the early hours of May 19, 2023, that Andy had died after a “lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.” Johnny’s full tweet read: “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. We request privacy at this sad time.”
Andy was the bassist for the Smiths.
Johnny and Morrissey formed the Smiths in 1982, and Andy joined soon after the band was created. Andy was kicked out of the band briefly after he was “busted” for heroin possession, but he ended up rejoining the band before their last American tour, Andy told The Daily Beast in 2017. The Smiths ultimately broke up in 1987.
Andy stayed friends with Johnny Marr after the band split up.
Johnny wrote a longer tribute post to Andy on his Instagram and opened up about their decades-long friendship after meeting when they were boys. Even though the band split up in 1987, Johnny and Andy remained close. “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 Maddison Square Garden in September 2022. It was a special moment that we shared with my family and his wife and soul mate Francesca,” he wrote.
Andy battled heroin addiction when he was younger.
Andy revealed in his interview with The Daily Beast that he began using heroin when he was 16 or 17 years old. “I just started dabbling with drugs. You’re a young kid, and then overnight you’re in a successful band. You start getting a bunch of money and don’t know what to do. You start spending it on drugs,” he said. He didn’t get clean until 20 years later.
Andy created other bands after the Smiths.
After the Smiths split up, Andy later went on to form the band Freebass. He also created the band D.A.R.K. with The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan. Throughout his career, he also performed with Sinead O’Connor, The Pretenders, and Ian Brown.
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