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Hang the Blessed DJ

Andy Rourke will make a guest DJ appearance at Bar Smith’s Sticky Fingers night this Friday night in downtown Phoenix, and The Spec is excited for a crazy good time.

While we look forward to this weekend, today’s history lesson looks back at Rourke’s impact on music, and his role in legendary 80s band, The Smiths.

Rourke cut his musical teeth as a bassist, playing around with schoolmate John Maher in various projects. In 1982, John became Johnny Marr, and recruited Andy to play bass in a band he formed with a boy named Steven Morrissey. The Smiths were born.

Rourke’s playing style is intimidating. He incorporated wildly intricate bass lines into The Smiths’s sound, creating a solid platform for Johnny Marr, who seemed all but intent on establishing himself as one of the most inventive pop guitarists of all time.

After The Smiths dissolved, Rourke played and recorded with various bands, including contributions to Morrissey’s early solo efforts.

Rourke is currently involved with a music project called Jet Lag, and DJs a show by the same name on East Village Radio, based out of New York. Jet Lag has produced remixes for such acts as The Tokyo Police Club.

Icon status, as The Smiths have arguably achieved, is not earned by simply an enigmatic singer and provocative lyrics. The Smiths were a completely sound musical entity, each part as capable as the next. Attempting to re-create the band’s use of rhythm, or simply listening to the music itself, allows one to appreciate what was accomplished – the effective turning of the musical page.

Too often the role of the bassist is maligned to a few notes played over and over, building a backbone without an inkling of creativity. Give a listen to “Cemetry Gates,” “Bigmouth Strikes Again” or the fabulous, “This Charming Man,” and you’ll find that though Rourke’s bass lines can often seem drowned out by the rambling guitar, his contribution was a vast web of rhythm and nuance, without which The Smiths would never have been The Smiths.

In a recent interview with, Rourke said, “I don’t think you can retire from playing music.” The artist is one who dedicates his life to his work, and Rourke has done just that. I don’t know about you Phoenix, but I am excited for this Friday night.


WHO: Andy Rourke of The Smiths with local acts: William F*cking Reed, Prince$$, 2TONEDISCO, Pickster One, Austin Head, BC/AD, Borismo, Hunnycut
WHAT: Sticky Fingers weekly dance party
WHERE: Bar Smith, 130 E Washington St
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, 9 P.M. – 3 A.M.

Tix are $10 and can be purchased at the door on online at TicketWeb.
*This event is 21+ only.

For more information, visit the event page.

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