The Smiths' Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke Reunite After 35 Years on "Strong Forever"

"I wanted exactly what Johnny does," Rourke said of asking Marr to guest on the new Blitz Vega single

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Nov 17, 2022

This is how soon now is: (half of) the Smiths have reunited! Guitarist Johnny Marr and bassist Andy Rourke have teamed up for the first time in 35 years on "Strong Forever," the newest single from Blitz Vega — Rourke's band with Kav Blaggers, formerly of Happy Mondays.

The track comes ahead of Blitz Vega's upcoming album, and had its genesis back in January 2020 as a charity song for an anti-bullying campaign. "We approached a few people to guest on the track, and I asked Johnny, who very kindly recorded some guitars and sent them over," Rourke told Rolling Stone.

Another featured guest was then-Kasabian bandleader Tom Meighan, who stepped down from the group after pleading guilty to domestic assault a few months later — so Blitz Vega pulled the song from the campaign. Later, Blaggers replaced Meighan's vocals with his own and the duo put the finishing touches on "Strong Forever" this year.

"I wanted exactly what Johnny does," the bassist continued of bringing his former bandmate on board. "He has a very distinctive sound, and that's what he did. We love what he brought to the track."

Rourke added, "We've remained friends, we've known each other since we were 13 years old. He's my oldest and dearest friend and I feel our friendship gets stronger as time passes."

So wholesome! Heaven knows chilly Morrissey will have something long-winded to say about it.

Listen to "Strong Forever" below.

Marr also reunited with Modest Mouse earlier this year.

Tour Dates

Latest Coverage