Stereo Embers The Podcast: Andy Rourke (The Smiths, Freebass, D.A.R.K., Blitz Vega)

Written by on 06/07/2023

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“Andy Rourke Remembered”

Well, he may have been in a band with the greats, but let’s face it, Andy Rourke was one of them as well. The Manchester born Rourke joined his childhood pal Johnny Marr’s band The Smiths in 1982 and he played
with them until their demise in 1987. That’s Rourke you hear on every Smiths record, including The Queen Is Dead, Strangeways Here We Come and Louder Than Bombs. After the legendary band broke up, Rourke played with Sinead O’Connor, The Pretenders, Killing Joke,
Badly Drawn Boy, Ian Brown of the Stone Roses and Morrissey. Rourke also teamed up with New Order’s Peter Hook and Mani of the Stone Roses and formed the band Freebass. He also played with Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries in the band D.A.R.K. and around the time I chatted with him, he had formed Blitz Vega with Kav Sandhu, a band that also featured Johnny Marr as a special guest. Rourke’s life was busy and exciting and this list doesn’t cover all he did, but it does serve as a reminder of how brilliant he was. A prowling blend of rockabilly, funk and post-punk, Rourke’s baselines were intricate, inventive and artful. Rourke died in Mid-May and the tributes that poured in were testament after testament that this man was loved. Perhaps it was Moz’s, however, that was the most on-point: “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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