Keyboardist Andy Fletcher, one of the founding members of Depeche Mode, has died aged 60.
The news was confirmed on the band’s official social media accounts, although no further details regarding the cause of death were given.
“Fletch had a real heart of gold and was always there when you needed support,” said a Tweeter from Depeche Mode read, “An animated conversation, a good laugh or a cold pint.”
Born in Nottingham, England on July 8, 1961, Fletcher and schoolmate Vince Clarke formed their first band, No Romance in China, in the late 70s. Shortly after, they met Martin Gore in a pub local and form a new band, Composition of Sound. When vocalist Dave Gahan arrived, the group decided on its final name: Depeche Mode.
Fletcher’s role in the band changed often – he could play bass as well as keyboards and synthesizers. In 101DA Pennebaker’s 1989 documentary film about the band, Fletcher addressed his changing responsibilities with a memorable quote: “Martin is the songwriter, Alan [Wilder]is the good musician, Dave is the singer and I hang around.”
At times when the band did not have a full-time manager, Fletcher also occasionally handled business and legal matters. “Sometimes it’s frustrating not to be taken seriously,” he said in a interview 2009. “After all, you could also say that my work is the most important; without me, there would be no more group. But it’s the same in big companies – people who do good work in the background don’t don’t get as much attention as those who would take the microphone and announce the right quarterly numbers.”
The rise of Depeche Mode has been slow but steady. It took several years for their music to gain a following in Europe, the UK and eventually the US, but by the time of their seventh album, Violatorcame out in 1990, there was one of the biggest bands in the world. Violator reached #7 in the US, remained on the chart for 74 weeks, and was certified triple platinum. The immensely popular world The Violation Tour followed.
In 2020, Depeche Mode was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. “Growing up, listening to music on the radio and having music, it really helped us to feel normal, to be part of something,” Gahan said during their acceptance speech. “That’s what music does for people, and I think that’s what Depeche Mode has done for a lot of people. I think music really brings people together, and God knows we need that more. today than it seems at any other time.”
“We were realistic – we thought we’d have a few hits and then we’d go,” Fletcher said. Result in 2017. “Really, it’s like a dream come true to be here now, to have done so much, to have so many fans. It’s just a fantastic feeling.”
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