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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Randall Roberts

Andy Fletcher, Depeche Mode co-founder and keyboardist, dies at 60

Andy Fletcher, a founding member of multiplatinum synth-pop band Depeche Mode, has died. He was 60.

The keyboard player helped define the sound of 1980s and ’90s alternative music and beyond through hits including “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “Personal Jesus,” “Enjoy the Silence” and “People Are People.”

Fletcher’s death was announced by Depeche Mode in a Twitter post, which read, in part, “We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher. Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint.”

“Very sad news today. Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode has passed,” wrote the Cure’s Lol Tolhurst on Twitter. “I knew Andy and considered him a friend. We crossed many of the same pathways as younger men. My heart goes out to his family, bandmates, and DM fans. RIP Fletch.”

A cause of death was not announced.

Depeche Mode, which was founded in 1980 by Fletcher, singer Dave Gahan and keyboardists Martin L. Gore and Vince Clarke, in Basildon, England, ascended to become one of the most successful rock acts of its time. Of his role in the group, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020, Fletcher humbly said, “Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the good musician, Dave’s the vocalist, and I bum around.”

He was underplaying his contribution. In fact, the seeds of Depeche Mode were planted during the punk and new wave explosion of the late 1970s, when Fletcher and friend Clarke started a band called No Romance in China, which morphed into Composition of Sound. When Fletcher and Clarke discovered Kraftwerk and other early electronic music, they swapped strings for circuits, added kindred spirit Gore and, not long after, brought on Gahan as vocalist.

Along with Gahan and Gore, Fletcher remained with Depeche Mode across the decades as the band went platinum with albums including “Music for the Masses,” “Violator” and “Songs of Faith and Devotion,” no small feat considering band members’ very public battles with addiction and depression in the 1990s.

Depeche Mode’s most recent album, “Spirit,” was released in 2017.


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