The unexpected death of Depeche Mode's Andrew Fletcher at age 60
Andrew Fletcher, a founding member of Depeche Mode since its inception in 1980, has died at the age of 60.
Depeche Mode shared the difficult news on social media.
Photo: Instagram - @depechemode
"We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member and bandmate Andy," the band said in their statement.
The causes of Fletcher's death have not been made public. The band asks that "their privacy be respected at this difficult time."
Depeche Mode is a benchmark of electronic music in the 1980s to the present. The group has sold more than 100 million records in more than forty years of its career.
The band's original line-up included Andy Fletcher (keyboard), Vince Clarke (keyboard/songwriter), and Martin Gore (keyboard/singer/songwriter). Initially, they called themselves 'Composition of Sound'.
The appearance of singer-songwriter Dave Gahan changed everything. In 1980, having played together for a year, they changed their name to Depeche Mode.
Vince Clarke only lasted two years in the band. By the end of 1981, he was replaced by Alan Wilder who would stay with Depeche Mode until 1995.
The bad relationship between Wilder and Fletcher was notorious, although it was treated with conspicuous discretion. It took them 15 years to reconcile. They did so in the midst of a concert in London.
From the mid-'90s, Depeche Mode was a trio made up of Fletcher, Gahan, and Gore.
The British band produced some real hymns of the 80s and 90s, such as 'Personal Jesus', 'Enjoy the Silence' and 'Just Can't Get Enough.'
Since 2020, Depeche Mode has been part of the Rock Hall of Fame. They are recognized as part of pop music history.
The British band was formed in Basildon, in the county of Essex, just over 40 kilometers from London. In the statement after his death, the band praised the role of Andy Fletcher over the four decades of Depeche Mode's success.
"Fletch had a genuine heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint," the statement said.
Andrew Fletcher was neither a singer nor a songwriter, so many fans thought that he ran the business side of the band.
In an interview with 'The Guardian' in 2013, Andy Fletcher defined himself as "the tall guy in the background, without whom this international corporation called Depeche Mode would never have worked." His keyboard was, of course, essential to the band's sound.
It remains to be seen what happens with the group, now that its pillar, Andy Fletcher, is gone.