R.I.P. Andy Fletcher, Depeche Mode Founding Member Dead at 60

Longtime keyboardist also served as the band's de facto manager and spokesperson

Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode death
Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode, photo by Francesco Castald / Getty Images

    Depeche Mode founding member and keyboardist Andy Fletcher has died at the age of 60.

    “We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” Depeche Mode announced in a statement on Thursday, May 26th.

    “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,” the statement continued.

    “Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time.” No cause of death has been made public at this time.


    The origins of Depeche Mode date back in the late 1970s, when Fletcher and schoolmate Vince Clarke began playing music together. They soon linked up with Marin Gore to form a synth group named Composition of Sound, and then, after recruiting David Gahan to sing vocals, rebranded themselves as Depeche Mode. Clarke left the group following the release of their debut album, 1981’s Speak & Spell,  and was replaced by Alan Wilder.

    Fletcher was the only Depeche Mode without a songwriting credit, and did not sing in concert. In D.A. Pennebaker’s 1989 documentary about the band, Fletcher famously joked about his musical contributions, saying: “Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the good musician, Dave’s the vocalist, and I bum around.”

    “I definitely said that tongue in cheek,” Fletcher explained in a 2017 interview with Consequence. “People feel we’re not a rock band; we’re an electronic band. We play layered music. In the studio, we’re a team that work together, and onstage as well. I don’t play a bass guitar, or I’m not a drummer. People typically only understand bands like that. “Who’s the drummer? Who’s the bass player?”


    “I play bass, guitar, and keyboards, but I was originally a bass player,” Fletcher added. “Vince Clarke ordered us to become an electronic band.”

    Fletcher also served many roles for Depeche Mode behind the scenes, including acting as the band’s de facto manager, spokesperson, and psychologist — he helped stave off a breakup in the early 2000s by resolving a dispute between Gahan and Gore.

    As a member of Depeche Mode, Fletcher appeared on all 14 of the band’s studio albums, from 1981’s Speak & Spell through 2017’s Spirit. He also participated in every one of the group’s world tours. For his contributions, Fletcher and the rest of Depeche Mode were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

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