Morrissey has shared a statement paying tribute to his late former The Smiths bandmate Andy Rourke, who passed away Friday at age 59 of pancreatic cancer.
In a piece titled “Beam of Light” posted on his Morrissey Central website, the singer begins, “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,” Moz continues. “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.”
Along with guitarist Johnny Marr and drummer Mike Joyce, Morrissey and bassist Rourke played together in The Smiths during the group’s brief but hugely impactful run from 1982 to 1987.
“[Rourke] was also very, very funny and very happy, and post-Smiths, he kept a steady identity — never any manufactured moves,” Morrissey writes. “I suppose, at the end of it all, we hope to feel that we were valued. Andy need not worry about that.”
Rourke’s passing was announced Friday by Marr, who wrote, “Andy reinvented what it is to be a bass guitar player.” While Marr became infamously estranged from Morrissey after The Smiths dissolved, the guitarist and Rourke had remained friends.
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