Andy Fletcher, Depeche Mode keyboardist, dead at 60

Andy Fletcher, the unassuming, bespectacled, red-headed keyboardist who for greater than 40 years added his synth sounds to Depeche Mode hits like Simply Cannot Get Enough and Private Jesus, has died at age 60.

Depeche Mode introduced the demise of founding member Fletcher on its official social media pages.

An individual near the band mentioned Fletcher died Thursday from pure causes at his house in the UK. The individual spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk publicly.

“We’re shocked and full of overwhelming unhappiness with the premature passing of our expensive good friend, member of the family and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” the band’s posts mentioned. “Fletch had a real coronary heart of gold and was at all times there if you wanted assist, a vigorous dialog, a very good snort, or a chilly pint.”

Fletcher fashioned the group that may develop into giants of British electropop together with fellow synthesizer gamers Vince Clarke and Martin Gore, and lead singer Dave Gahan, in Basildon, England, in 1980.

The band would get away a yr later with their debut album Converse and Spell, which opened with the modest hit New Life and closed with one of many band’s enduring hits, Simply Cannot Get Sufficient.

From left to proper, Andy Fletcher, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are proven at a March 8, 2017 occasion in New York Metropolis. (Theo Wargo/Getty Photographs)

Clarke would depart the group and get replaced by Alan Wilder after the album.

The group would discover worldwide success with 1984’s Some Nice Reward and the one Persons are Folks, and their prominence would solely develop all through the Nineteen Eighties and early Nineties.

Fletcher would lend his keyboards to basic albums together with Music for the Plenty, Black Celebration and Violator.

The primary of those led to a world tour that introduced a dwell album, a documentary, and a legendary live performance with over 100,000 followers on the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., that represented the head of the band’s prominence.

Current Rock Corridor induction

A fan of soccer workforce Chelsea FC with a penchant for chess, Fletcher assumed a low-profile within the group. He didn’t sing or write songs, and his face by no means as acquainted as these of his bandmates.

“Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the nice musician, Dave’s the vocalist, and I bum round,” he mentioned within the tour documentary, 101.

However Fletch was a uniting determine and infrequently the tiebreaking vote within the squabbles of his extra well-known bandmates.

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He additionally sometimes performed bass within the band.

Depeche Mode was inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame in 2020. Gahan, Fletcher and Gore needed to settle for the honour remotely together with all the opposite inductees within the pandemic yr. As traditional, Fletcher let his bandmates do practically all of the speaking.

His demise leaves Gahan and Gore as the one everlasting members.

Tributes circulation in

Fletcher’s musical friends paid him tribute as phrase of his demise unfold.

The Pet Store Boys mentioned on Twitter that he was “a heat, pleasant and humorous one that cherished digital music.”

Lol Tolhurst, former member of The Treatment:

Orchestral Maneuvers within the Darkish tweeted that he was a “lovely individual in a tremendous band.”

The eldest of 4 siblings, Fletcher was born in Basildon and raised in Nottingham, England.

He turned childhood associates with Clarke, and with singer Alison Moyet, who would kind Yazoo (often called Yaz within the U.S.) with Clarke after he left Depeche Mode.

“Since we had been 10,” Moyet tweeted Thursday. “Similar property. Class mates to label mates. He who saved religion with all of the previous gang they usually with him. It does not compute. Fletch. I’ve no phrases.”

As teenagers, Fletcher and Clarke would kind the short-lived group No Romance.

With Gore, who Fletcher met at a pub in Basildon in 1980, they fashioned the trio Composition of Sound, with all three enjoying synthesizer. Gahan was recruited into the group later within the yr, and the identify was modified to Depeche Mode.

Fletcher would stay with the group till his demise, although reported struggles with despair in 1994 spurred him to sit down out a part of a tour.

He began his personal report label, Toast Hawaii, in 2002, releasing an album by the band CLIENT.

Fletcher would carry out DJ units on the band’s dwell reveals, which he continued to do at festivals and golf equipment after he and CLIENT parted methods.

Fletcher is survived by his spouse of practically 30 years, Grainne Mullan, and their youngsters Megan and Joe.

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