MATRIXSYNTH: Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode Has Passed Away



Thursday, May 26, 2022

Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode Has Passed Away



Andy Fletcher passed away today at the age of 60. I saw Depeche Mode live for the first time as a teenager back on July 14, 1986, at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheter in Irvine, CA. I grew up with their music and still listen to them to this day. They will always be a staple in my life. I have Andy Fletcher and the rest of Depeche Mode to thank for so much magic in my life on so many levels, from being a kid frolicking about in the 80s, to an adult dealing with the trials a tribulations of the day. Depeche Mode is a big part of that and Andy Fletcher was core to the band. He will be sorely missed by so many of us.

This post features two images of Andy. One from Wikipedia, and one from Discogs. The following bio is from Wikipedia. Don't miss the last sentence.

"Andrew John Leonard Fletcher (8 July 1961 – c. 26 May 2022), sometimes known as Fletch, was an English keyboard player, DJ, and a founding member of the electronic band Depeche Mode. In 2020, Fletcher was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Depeche Mode.[1]

In the late 1970s, Fletcher and schoolmate Vince Clarke formed the short-lived band No Romance in China, in which Fletcher played bass guitar. In 1980, Fletcher met Martin Gore at the Van Gogh pub on Paycocke Road in Basildon. With Clarke, the trio, now all on synthesizer, formed another group called Composition of Sound.[2] Clarke served as chief songwriter and also provided lead vocals until singer Dave Gahan was recruited into the band later that year, after which they adopted the name Depeche Mode at Gahan's suggestion.[3] Clarke left the group in late 1981, shortly after the release of their debut album Speak & Spell.[2]

Their 1982 follow-up album, A Broken Frame, was recorded as a trio, with Gore taking over primary songwriting duties.[4] Musician and producer Alan Wilder joined the band in late 1982 and the group continued as a quartet until Wilder's departure in 1995. From then on, the core trio of Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher remained active, up to the release of their 2017 album Spirit and ensuing world tour.[5]

Fletcher's role within Depeche Mode was often a topic of speculation. In early incarnations of the band, he played (electric and later synth) bass. As the band evolved after Vince Clarke's departure in 1981, Fletcher's role changed as each of the band members took to the areas that suited them and benefited the band collectively. In a key scene in D.A. Pennebaker's 1989 documentary film about the band, Fletcher clarified these roles: "Martin's the songwriter, Alan's the good musician, Dave's the vocalist, and I bum around."


Andy Fletcher and Daniel Miller talking about Depeche Mode early days

video upload by Michele Bisceglia

"This interview was shot in november 2015, but never edited and published.
We were in Verbier, Switzerland, for the 3 days happening Audi-o-Rama.
Depeche Mode founding member and keyboardist Fletch & Mute Records boss Miller remember the day they met and discuss other stories about the early days of the band"

A search on the first video to feature Depeche Mode comes up with the following 1981 performance from Top of the Pops. Andy Fletcher is on the Moog Prodigy.

Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough 1981

video upload by memorylane1980s

The following is a live tribue by DX5. If you follow the site you should be familiar with his numerous covers of Depeche Mode. This site is about synths and the people who love synths. This is the first tribute I've seen by a fan of Depeche Mode and I wanted to include it.

Andy (Fletch) Fletcher, has sadly passed away today :( :( Chat and synth tribute to him.

video upload by DX5

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