Andy Fletcher, founding member of Depeche Mode, dies at 60

Andy Fletcher, a member of Depeche Mode from the very beginning, has died. He was 60 years old.

We have no idea what happened. All we have is a statement from the band.

Fletch was there at the very start at Basildon in 1980 with Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Vince Clarke. He went through some crazy years with the band, including the crucial period from 1991 to 1994 on the 14-month devotional tour when there were so many booze and drug-fueled parties that everyone nearly died ( Dave did it, technically, for a few minutes of a speedball overdose at the Sunset Marquis Hotel.)

Fletch himself suffered from terrible depression which led to a full-blown nervous breakdown in 1994, exacerbating a lifelong state of anxiety that carried over into childhood. He walked away from the group for a while as he dealt with his mental health, devoting himself to more managerial duties. He joked that he was the band’s accountant.

Recovering from that and the departure of Alan Wilder (he replaced Clarke), Fletch and the guys enjoyed incredible success for the rest of the 90s. There were financial setbacks – bad investments, really – that took a while to adjust. He also owned a restaurant called Gascogne in the 90s. It wasn’t far from Abbey Road Studios in St. John’s Wood. He sold it after ten years, but then bought a pub called The Duke of Hamilton in Hamstead.

As far as we know, he was in good health, although he broke his wrist last April while on vacation in Barcelona. And let’s be clear on something: the band said he died of natural causes.

He leaves behind his wife Grainne, whom he married in 1993. He has two children, Megan and Joe.

I met him several times. Charming and calm man.

Earlier the same day (May 26), we learned that Yes drummer Alan White had died at the age of 72.

More can be found here.

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