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Morrissey shares Andy Rourke tribute: ‘he will never die as long as his music is heard’

'His distinction was so terrific and unconventional,' said Morrissey.

By Nick Reilly

The Smiths (Picture: Alamy)

Morrissey has shared a personal tribute to Andy Rourke, after the seminal bassist of The Smiths’ death was confirmed.

His passing was announced this morning by Johnny Marr – his bandmate in The Smiths – who said that Rourke had been living with pancreatic cancer for some time.

While Marr shared his own tribute and outlined a friendship with Rourke that originated when they were just 11, Smiths frontman Morrissey has now offered his own memories of the bassist.

“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,” he wrote.

“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.”

Andy Rourke (Picture: Nalinee Darmrong)

In his own tribute, Marr said: “Andy and I spent all our time studying music, having fun, and working on becoming the best musicians we could possibly be. Back then Andy was a guitar player and a good one at that, but it was when he picked up the bass that he would find his true calling and his singular talent would flourish.”

Other tributes came from The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, who wrote: “Such sad sad news about Andy Rourke – He was an inspirational musician with a style that made so many of us pick up a bass guitar; and the driving force for Manchester Versus Cancer. Our thoughts are with everyone who knew him. Travel well x”

Suede’s Mat Osman said: “Aw man. RIP Andy Rourke. A total one-off – a rare bassist whose sound you could recognise straight away. I remember so clearly playing that Barbarism break over and over, trying to learn the riff, and marvelling at this steely funk driving the track along.”

Oasis guitarist Bonehead added: “RIP Andy, one of the nicest people, you’ll be missed.”