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Remembering Andy Rourke

Rising from the collapsing industrial backdrop of Manchester in the Thatcher era, The Smiths were a band who spoke for a generation of teenage outsiders from working-class backgrounds. Their bass player, Andy Rourke, who has died from a longterm illness, helped define this distinctive sound of northern England in the 1980s.

Originating from an Irish Catholic background, Rourke was a schoolfriend of Johnny Marr, and like his bandmate, was infatuated with music from a young age. Learning to play bass from listening to David Bowie’s Low on repeat, he developed a rich and distinctive style of playing from Japan’s Mick Karn, Chic’s Bernard Edwards and Return to Forever’s Stanley Clarke. In many respects, Rourke was The Smiths’ secret weapon. Elevating their sound with his exquisite tunnelling rhythm, he was their unsung hero...

Adelle Stripe writes about the long-lasting influence of Andy Rourke for the iPaper here


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