The Smiths drummer Mike Joyce appeared on BBC Breakfast yesterday (May 21) to pay tribute to his late former bandmate Andy Rourke.
Johnny Marr announced on Friday (May 19) that Rourke, who played bass in the Mancunian indie band, had died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 59, sparking a wave of tributes from across the music industry.
Speaking on the Sunday morning TV programme, Joyce said: “I don’t think Andy realised just how good a bass player he was. I don’t think Andy ever really embraced just how momentous his contribution towards music is.
He added: “I don’t think he ever grasped that and realised that. He was such a self-effacing character, he never saw himself as a great bass player because it was so effortless for him and so easy for him. He just put the bass on and magic would happen.”
Joyce said he had met up with Rourke in New York in February. “It was brilliant, it was only four days we went over.
“I wanted to see him. He’s not very good on texting, he’s not very good on Skype and what have you … I wanted to see him face-to-face and say hello and see how he was doing. It was great to see him, it was lovely.
“Regardless of how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other, every time we meet up, it’s as though it was yesterday.”
Joyce paid tribute to Rourke on Twitter as “not only the most talented bass player I’ve ever had the privilege to play with but the sweetest, funniest lad I’ve ever met”.
The drummer continued: “Andy’s left the building, but his musical legacy is perpetual. I miss you so much already. Forever in my heart mate.”
Meanwhile, Morrissey said that he hoped that “wherever Andy has gone … that he’s OK.”
“He will never die as long as his music is heard,” he continued. “He didn’t ever know his own power, and nothing that he played had been played by someone else.”