Andrew Fletcher, keyboardist and founding member of British electronic band Depeche Mode, has died at the age of 60. A statement released by the band on social media read: “We are shocked and filled with great sadness at the passing of our dear friend, a family member., and bandmate Andy “Fletch” Fletcher.”
Formed in Basildon in the late 1970s, the band had 17 UK Top 10 albums and achieved international success with songs including Enjoy The Silence, Personal Jesus and Just Can’t Get Enough.
In their statement, the band continued, “Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cool pint. Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy at this time.” distressing.”
Born in 1961 in Nottingham, Fletcher moved to Basildon where he formed the band Composition Of Sound in the late 1970s alongside Martin Gore and Vince Clarke. With singer Dave Gahan enlisting, they changed their name to Depeche Mode, and the quartet continued to enjoy a spree of the early ’80s off the chart.
With the departure of Clarke, who formed Yazoo and then Erasure, Gore became the lead songwriter, and with the addition of Alan Wilder, the band’s sound took a darker, more gothic turn. They achieved massive international success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Fletcher leaves behind a wife, Grainne, to whom he has been married for nearly 30 years, and two children, Megan and Joe.
He played on all of Depeche Mode’s studio albums, including Songs Of Faith And Devotion in 1993 and Ultra in 1997, both of which reached number one on the UK album chart.
Fletcher was not the lead singer or songwriter, and in later years he was often seen by fans as the manager figure within the band, taking care of the commercial side of a group credited with selling over 100 million records worldwide. In 2013, he told an interviewer that he was “the tall guy in the background, without whom this international company called Depeche Mode would never work.”
In director D.A. Pennebaker’s 1989 documentary 101, which was based on the 101st date of the band’s Music For The Masses tour, Fletcher was more understanding of his role, saying, “Songwriter Martin, good musician Alan, singer Dave, and I thrive next door.”
Wilder quit in 1995, leaving the group in three-piece form. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.
Lol Tolhurst was one of the first performers to pay tribute to the founding member of Cure, who said, “I knew Andy and considered him a friend. We crossed many of the same paths that the younger guys did. My heart goes out to his family, bandmates, and DM fans.”
Yazoo singer Alison Moet, who recorded on the same record label as Depeche Mode, She said She had known Fletcher since childhood: “I just heard the news. Since we were 10. Same estate. Classmates to name mates. He who kept faith in all the old gang and they are with him. Don’t count. Fletch. I have no words.”
The official social media account of Pet Shop Boys Spread: “Fletch was a kind, friendly and funny person who loved electronic music and could also give reasonable advice on the music business.”