Andy Rourke, the bassist for indie legends the Smiths, died today of pancreatic cancer at the age of 59. Rourke’s childhood friend and former Smiths bandmate Johnny Marr confirmed the news of his passing on Twitter, and in a lengthy tribute on Instagram wrote that he will be “remembered, as a kind and beautiful soul by everyone who knew him, and as a supremely gifted musician by people who love music. “Now, Morrissey eulogized his former bandmate in a statement on his website, writing, “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.” Read his full statement below.
Sometimes one of the most radical things you can do is to speak clearly. When someone dies, out come the usual blandishments … as if their death is there to be used. I’m not prepared to do this with Andy. I just hope … wherever Andy has gone … that he’s OK. 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.