One of the best bassist that the music industry ever got is “Andy Rourke”.He is an English musician who is historically known as the bassist for the Smiths.His unique playing style ,evolved from fully cranked tone knob and pick , gave each record a unique ,fresh and evergreen tone.
”Smiths” is an famous english rock band formed in Manchester in the year 1982 A.D. The members of the “Smiths” band were Morissey(main vocalist ) Johnny Marr(guitarist) , Rourkeand Mike Joyce(Drummer).
He born on 17 January 1964 in Manchester Lancashire, England.His real name is Andrew Michael Rourke.
|Full Name||Andrew Michael Rourke|
|Date of Birth||January 17, 1964|
|Age||59 Years Old|
|Death||19 May 2023|
|Birth Place||Manchester, England|
|Height||5 feet 9 inches tall|
Rourke’s father and mother was Irish and English . He had received an acoustic guitar at the age of seven by his parents.Then he started learning to play guitar . His passion towards music increased day by day and he used to practice everyday as well.
At the age of 11 he became friend with John Maher ( who is currently known as Johnny Marr) . Both of them had great interest in music. They used to spend their lunch breaks in school jamming together , playing on their guitars, learning and teaching each other.
Later Marr and Rouke formed a band ,Rourke who was currently a guitarist was invited in the band to try on the bass. He got a chance to learn and play bass for the first time.From guitar to bass ,he learnt it soo well.As he fell in love with soo hard that he continued to play it for the rest of his life.
At the age of 19 ,Rourke dropped out from theschool and went for series of menial jobs, playing guitar and bass in multiple rock bands.He also played in the short lived funk band Freak Party with Marr.He became bassist for that band on Mark’s encouragement.
Marr teamed up with Morrissey and formed the band “ Smiths” . Rourke joined the band after his first gig.Rourke replaced Dale Hibbert on bass in the Smiths. He was perfoming great in the band but later in 1986 he was sacked from the band.Suffering from heroin addiction was the reason of being sacked.After 2 weeks he rejoined the band and released the third studio album “The Queen is Dead “ .
Marr declared that Rourke’s playing on that album was a masterpiece that no other bass players could ever match.
In 1987 Smith band released their 4th album “ Strangeways, Here We Come “ .Unfortunately it was 4th and last album of Smith band. After release of 4th album , Smiths split apart , all the members went separate ways in their own musical journey.
Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce made legal proceedings against Morrissey and Marr over royalities. Due to his heroin addiction, he was short on money ,Rourke settled out of court for £83,000 and 10% of future royalties while relinquishing all further claims.
Joyce pursued the claim until 1996 and was awarded substantially more in court.After the settlement ,later Rourke found himself being declared himself Bankrupt following a petition of the inland revenue on 25th January 1999.
After the breakup with the Smiths , Rourke and Joyce played with Sinead O’connor ( but not Joyce).They released second studio album I Don’t Want What I Haven’t Got in 1990.
He provided the rhythm section for 2 singles by former Smiths lead Vocalist Morrissey “Interesting Drug” & “The Last of the Famous International Playboys” in 1989.
|Album Title||Artist||Release Date|
|The Smiths||The Smiths||February 1984|
|Hatful of Hollow||The Smiths||November 1984|
|Meat is Murder||The Smiths||February 1985|
|The Queen is Dead||The Smiths||June 1986|
|Strangeways, Here We Come||The Smiths||September 1987|
|Viva Hate||Morrissey||March 1988|
|Kill Uncle||Morrissey||March 1991|
|Your Arsenal||Morrissey||July 1992|
|Ripped & Torn||Freebass||August 2010|
|I Am Not a Dog on a Chain||Morrissey||March 2020|
Awards and Nominations for The Smiths:
Awards and Nominations:
|NME Awards||Best New Band||1983|
|NME Awards||Best Single (“This Charming Man”)||1984|
|Brit Awards||Best British Group||1987|
|Q Awards||Inspiration Award||1992|
|Rock and Roll Hall of Fame||Inductees||2015|
Awards and Nominations for Morrissey:
|NME Awards||Best Solo Artist||1991|
|Q Awards||Best Solo Artist||1992|
|BRIT Awards||Best British Male||1995|
|NME Awards||Godlike Genius Award||2007|
|Q Awards||Icon Award||2018|
Social works :
Andy Rourke has been involved in a number of charitable and social causes over the years.
Rourke in collaboration Nova Rehman , production company and great northern productions and other organizers, together they organized Manchester v Cancer . It was a series of concerts to benefit cancer research .
Later it was named as “Versus Cancer”.
Rehman’s father and sister were diagnosed with the disease so they came up to creating these events to raise awareness share love and care amoung others.
The very first Manchester v Cancer concert happened in January 2006.
It featured a reunion between Rourke and his former Smiths bandmate Johnny Marr.They performed one song together.
He also organised further concerts in the three following years
Here are the social work/organizations and their respective years in tabular format:
|Musicians Against Homelessness||2016|
|Manchester Aid to Kosovo||1999|
|City of Hope||2008|
|Teenage Cancer Trust||2011|
|Music for Youth||2014|
Unfortunately Rourke is no longer with us .He left the world at the age of 59. On 19 may 2023 Rourke died from pancreatic cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City .
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