Former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce has paid tribute to his ex-bandmate Andy Rourke, following the news of his passing.
Rourke died after “a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer”, confirmed a statement from Johnny Marr this morning (May 19). He was 59 years old.
Expressing his “deep sadness” over his death, Marr added: “Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans.”
Rourke formed The Smiths in Manchester with Marr, Morrissey and Joyce back in 1982.
Writing on Twitter today, the latter hailed Rourke 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”.
Joyce continued: “Andy’s left the building, but his musical legacy is perpetual. I miss you so much already. Forever in my heart mate.” You can see that tweet below.
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. Andy’s left the building, but his musical legacy is perpetual. I miss you so much already. Forever in my heart mate.
— Mike Joyce (@mikejoycedrums) May 19, 2023
Following The Smiths’ break-up in 1987, Rourke and Joyce both played with Sinéad O’Connor. They also provided the rhythm section for two solo singles by Morrissey: ‘Interesting Drug’ and ‘The Last Of The Famous International Playboys’ (both released in 1989).
Additionally, the pair performed with the group Moondog One alongside former Oasis guitarist Bonehead.