The three Classically Smiths concerts planned for June and July have been canceled as a result of a dispute that arose around their announcement. The shows, which were to take place before a wider tour, were said to feature Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, bassist Andy Rourke and guitarist Craig Gannon performing tracks from the band’s catalog along with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra.

Soon after the schedule was revealed, Rourke distanced himself from the project, stating that he’d been “deeply saddened” about “false statements” that gave the impression he was involved. A representative added that quotes attributed to him “were not provided, authorized or otherwise approved” by him.

In response, Joyce quit the project hours later, saying via Facebook: “It is with much regret that I have to announce that I will not be taking part in the show(s) ‘Classically Smiths.’ I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon. Andy was asked originally but I wasn't informed that he had passed on this project. Unfortunately it became apparent that Andy would not be taking part and was never a part of this.”

He also revealed that he’d been told not to discuss Rourke’s position in media interviews. “I agreed with Andy that I would take part in the press conference and inform people that he would not be taking part," he said. "Unfortunately on the morning of the press conference I was informed I would not be able to say this. I therefore agreed to take part in the press interviews but did so without discussing Andy's participation in the venture at any point … After much deliberation and soul-searching I have decided that without Andy, an integral part of why I agreed to take part in the first place, I have come to this difficult decision. I still believe the shows and concept to be a fantastic idea and wish them all the success they deserve."

However, Joyce’s statements were followed by a cancellation announcement from event organizers Bad Productions, who said: “In response to recent comments in the press, the planned Classically Smiths events will now no longer be taking place.”

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