Former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke slammed this week’s announcement that he and his ex-colleagues Mike Joyce and Craig Gannon were reuniting in the summer to perform orchestral versions of selected songs from their band's catalog. Both he and his spokespeople denied that he will take part in the shows.

“I am deeply saddened that during the week of the death of my dear friend Dolores O’Riordan, that false statements are made on my behalf," he told Rolling Stone. "At no time did I give my consent for anyone in connection with this Classically Smiths project to act on my behalf or my name and nothing was ever confirmed, approved or contracted by me or my team.”

Rourke and O'Riordan worked together in the 2016 project D.A.R.K., whose album Science Agrees featured the singles "Curvy" and "Loosen the Noose."

His comments were backed up by a representative, who issued a statement: “At no point in time did Andy Rourke agree to participate or otherwise license or authorize the use of his name, likeness or any personal quotes in any manner in connection with this Classically Smiths project. The parties involved were advised of this on multiple occasions prior to them going to press. A press conference and press release were scheduled and serviced to the media without Andy Rourke’s or his team’s knowledge or approval. Any quotes by Andy Rourke that were attributed in any press materials in regards to the Classically Smiths project were not provided, authorized or otherwise approved by him or his representatives.”

Drummer Joyce last week began teasing fans with the slogan “Rourke Joyce Gannon” posted on social media. It was followed with the official announcement that three shows, entitled Classically Smiths, would be performed during June and July in the U.K., with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra, and an “epic production” aiming to propel “the legacy of the band into the here and now.”

Rourke was quoted in the press release as having said, “To have been there the first time round and seen it first hand, and to still be such a big fan of the Smiths today, I am both thrilled and excited to be involved in Classically Smiths. I’m really proud of the band’s work, and being able to present those songs again in this particular production format promises to be a real gift for audiences everywhere.”


Smiths Albums Ranked