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Morrissey Eulogizes the Smiths’ Andy Rourke: “He Will Never Die as Long as His Music Is Heard”

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Morrissey and Andy Rourke circa 1984

Morrissey, Andy Rourke (Getty Images)

Morrissey Eulogizes the Smiths’ Andy Rourke: “He Will Never Die as Long as His Music Is Heard”

“His distinction was so terrific and unconventional and he proved it could be done,” Morrissey wrote of his former bandmate. “He was also very, very funny and very happy, and post-Smiths, he kept a steady identity—never any manufactured moves.”

Andy Rourke, the bassist for the Smiths, died today from pancreatic cancer. Among those who have paid tribute to Rourke’s impact on indie-pop and rock music are Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, the band’s label, Rough Trade, and, now singer Morrissey. In a statement on his website, Morrissey eulogized his former bandmate, writing, in part, “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 Morrissey’s remarks in full below.

After the Smiths disbanded, Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce began legal proceedings against Morrissey and Johnny Marr over royalties. Rourke settled with his former bandmates, and he also continued to work with Morrissey on songs like “Piccadilly Palare,” “Yes I Am Blind,” “Interesting Drug,” “November Spawned a Monster,” and “The Last of the Famous International Playboys.”

Morrissey:

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.

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