In Memoriam: Tribute & Lament for Andy Fletcher, Depeche Mode

Andy Fletcher
Andy Fletcher
Sometimes in this world we only need to live and leave in silence as we mourn the death and passing of a person that made our lives so much more significant and meaningful through their vision, but we also need to share and communicate through this tribute and lament for Andy Fletcher.
•• ••

Time stood still on that Thursday afternoon in late May as the sky went out — we shuddered and collapsed.

The death and passing of Andy “Fletch” Fletcher of Depeche Mode on May 26, 2022 left us immensely bereft in this world as we begin to learn how to live again. Amidst his eternal loss the world dissipates as time crawls in the haunting end of an era that eclipses.

I vividly remember the time I saw you Fletch in that intimate setting at Plaza Condesa in México City on your DJ tour in 2011. It was the recognition of a soulmate that transcends time as you gave us the gift of music in the remarkable darkness of that night that lingers beyond time. You reimagined the music of Depeche Mode and other artists through your brilliant live performance as you drank white wine and smoked while remixing the transcendent sounds that created a different reality. We were (and are) so unified.

Andy Fletcher
Andy Fletcher

Sometimes in this world we only need to live and leave in silence as we mourn the death and passing of a person that made our lives so much more significant and meaningful through their vision, but we also need to share and communicate through this tribute and lament for Andy Fletcher.

We lived our lives through the monument of a “broken frame,” and really your “broken frame,” as that was the only way that we could have lived all those years ago in shaping who we are today.

Andy created a dark and resplendent frame of emotional life as we saw and felt the world through his eyes. A person that provided us with a vision beyond the perception of our own awareness in how Depeche Mode’s virtuosity of sound in the birth of electronic synth Britannia across the globe created a worldview.

Depeche Mode possess a quality that is unsurpassed in how they dwell within integral raw emotion in sound and lyric that is exposed in entire honesty on the world stage and inhabited in our private corridors. Fletch evocatively embodied the spirit of Depeche Mode in his shaping presence on the stages of the world throughout his life until that last night of the Global Spirit tour those years ago.

Andy Fletcher
Andy Fletcher

The immense ingenuity of Andrew Fletcher and the members of Depeche Mode from their beginnings in Basildon was in inhabiting a new form of sound that was beyond what could be constructed and imagined at that time. From their founding moment and through the trajectory of their career, they have continually shattered and illuminated a delicate scintillating balance of how to exist within ourselves and on the margins of society in our emotive wondering of our own lives and the human experience.

Yet, we need to think about beginnings. By happenstance, as life really is — Andy made a connection with Vince, which led to Martin and then Dave. As with most initial formations of bands at that time in the late 70s and early 80s they had no clear idea of what they were creating but they had ambition which led to innovation in the sampling of unconventional non-musical sounds as industrial sound in their music. These sounds became timeless melodic synth-electronica trademarks that emboldened their uniqueness in defining DM’s worldview and our own lives.

Much like Bowie in Berlin, there was the birth of a sound and vision that had not been heard before. Bowie at the founding time of Depeche was the critical turning point for many teenagers like Andy, Martin, and Dave — as we saw in DM performing “Heroes” on their last Global Spirit tour. We can imagine and dream about those rudimentary beginnings of DM and how that has evolved throughout time into becoming the impeccable soundtrack and sustenance to all of our lives.

Andy Fletcher
Andy Fletcher

For me, in the tumultuous years as a teenager and young adult, Fletch and DM continually provided me with a language and an awareness of consciousness in which I could understand myself, others, and the world with greater degrees of connection, authenticity, and clarity. In friendships over the years, the mutual love of Depeche has instilled a similar outlook on the world as their music ignited deep and lasting friendships and camaraderie during many a glorious night and in the illustrious daylight. As every new LP loomed on the horizon over the years we waited with immense anticipation to hear a new journey in sound that would impact our lives in profound ways. The pop synth beginnings of DM in Speak and Spell, A Broken Frame, and Construction Time Again offered a new way in sound where one could already feel the emergence of a revolution in electronica that began in the secret garden of consciousness.

Black Celebration, Music for the Masses and Violator were the soundtracks of youth, heady college days, swirling levels of intensity, and falling in love for the first time; Songs of Faith and Devotion and Ultra instilled an immense sense of existential awareness, endless nights, and how the the darkness of life could be re-examined in luminescence; the latter albums Exciter, Playing the Angel, Sounds of the Universe, Delta Machine charted different periods in life with immense joy and heartbreak as the stories of these LPs and songs provided us with remarkable levels of levitation and solace; and as the last album Spirit inspired us in their societal and political critique, it also enabled us to reconsider our worldviews on solitude and longing in how we preciously inhabit what it means to be alive as captured in the beguiling song “Cover Me.”

Depeche Mode created an immense musical and cultural revolution.

Without the contingency of Fletch meeting Vince Clarke — and later Martin L. Gore and Dave Gahan, there would never have been Depeche Mode as we know and love them throughout the decades of our lives.

In the over 40 year trajectory of a career in music, Fletch inspired generations across time in DM’s mesmerizing style of darkness and light in a new way of life, and how this could be understood in sound.

We stand aside, breathe, and as we exhale, we realize that through Andy’s vision amidst DM’s inspiration and creation, we reside within intimate rooms of meaning across the beauty and scars of our souls in the descent of always “Waiting for the Night” — as we light a candle for Andy in the darkness of our own rooms in the world.

“I’m waiting for the night to fall
I know that it will save us all
When everything’s dark, keeps us from the stark
I’m waiting for the night to fall
When everything is bearable
And there in the still, all that you feel
Is tranquility
There is a star in the sky
Guiding my way with its light
And in the glow of the moon
Know my deliverance will come soon”
– “Waiting for the Night,” Depeche Mode

We dwell within Andy Fletcher’s eternal legacy to the music world, and remain aching in his immense loss.

We miss you Andy.

Thank you for inspiring all of these lives and people across the world.

You gave us your being, and we remain within you and your vision and music that reverberates forever.

You are an icon and our Black Celebration of your life permeates throughout time. ?

“Angels with silver wings
Shouldn’t know suffering
I wish I could take the pain for you
If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it’s your eyes He’s seeing through”
– “Precious,” Depeche Mode

xoxo, David Buyze ?

As I was writing this tribute and lament, I reached out to Depeche Mode fans and friends across the world in asking them to share their thoughts on the passing of Andy Fletcher and what this means in their own lives in thinking about him and DM. These are their immensely poignant reflections in tribute and lament.

Some words of faith and devotion…

I saw Depeche Mode’s Instagram post regarding the loss of Andrew Fletcher. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was on May 26th, around 9:00 PM in France.

How can I express myself about this sad news? I was shocked and profoundly sad. Really. . . . it’s like if I had lost a member of my own family.

At that time, I knew that things will never be the same for me but also for all the other fans all around the world. People wrote me to say how shocked they were, most of them were crying. All of them were also worried about the fact that the band would probably never play on stage or release albums without their friend.

Depeche Mode will never be the same without Andrew. How can it be? Andrew died and in my heart, the band died with him.

The band means so much to me. They saved my life and helped me through my physical and mental recovery. I forgot my whole life after being in a coma for a few days after a severe accident in 1999, I was 25 years old. Depeche Mode’s music was the only thing I could remember and it is the only connection I have with my former life. I had the strength to fight with myself to recover listening to their music. (Doctors said I will never walk on my own two legs again, that I will stay in a wheelchair forever, that I will never have kids, that my memory will never come back – on that one last point only, they were correct!)

These 3: Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and ANDY FLETCHER are Depeche Mode forever in my heart and in my soul.

And as fans say about Depeche Mode:  « You wrote the soundtrack of my life ». They did. They Do. Forever. I would like to thank Andrew to have contributed to build who I am.

Carine, 48, Perpignan, France, June 2022

One of the lucky “Spirits in the Forest”

J‘ai lu la publication de Depeche Mode concernant la perte d’Andrew Fletcher. Je ne pouvais pas en croire mes yeux. C’était le 26 mai, vers 21h00. (Sur Instagram)

Comment puis-je m’exprimer sur cette triste nouvelle ? J’étais choquée et profondément triste. Vraiment… C’est comme si j’avais perdu un membre de ma propre famille.

A ce moment-là, j’ai su que les choses ne seraient plus jamais les mêmes pour moi mais aussi pour tous les autres fans à travers le monde. Les gens m’ont écrit pour me dire à quel point ils étaient choqués, la plupart d’entre eux pleuraient. Tous étaient également inquiets du fait que le groupe ne jouerait probablement plus jamais sur scène ou ne sortirait plus d’albums sans leur ami.

Depeche Mode ne sera jamais le même sans Andrew. Comment serait-ce possible?

Andrew est mort et dans mon coeur, le groupe est mort avec lui.

Le groupe représente tellement pour moi. Ils m’ont sauvé la vie et m’ont aidé à me rétablir physiquement et mentalement. J’ai oublié toute ma vie après avoir été dans le coma pendant quelques jours dans un grave accident en 1999, j’avais 25 ans.  Leur musique était la seule chose dont je pouvais me souvenir et est le seul lien que j’ai avec mon ancienne vie. J’ai eu la force de me battre avec moi-même en écoutant cette musique qui m’était connue. (Les médecins m’ont dit que je ne marcherai plus jamais sur mes deux jambes, que je resterai dans un fauteuil roulant pour toujours, que je n’aurai jamais d’enfants, que ma mémoire ne reviendrait jamais – Ils ont seulement eu raison sur ce point!)

Ces 3-là : Dave Gahan, Martin Gore et ANDY FLETCHER sont Depeche Mode pour toujours dans mon coeur et au plus profond de mon âme.

Et comme les fans de Depeche Mode le disent si bien: “Vous avez écrit la bande originale de ma vie “.

Ils l’ont fait. Ils le font. Pour toujours. Je tiens à remercier Andrew d’avoir contribué à construire qui je suis aujourd’hui.

Carine, 48 ans, Perpignan, France, June 2022

L’une des heureuses elues de “Spirits in the Forest”

•• ••

Fletch Tribute

Although he never possessed Martin Gore’s lyrical knack for finding the holy within the hideous, or Dave Gahan’s tragic grandeur, Andy Fletcher was an essential element of the Depeche Mode story, helping it acquire resonance and endurance across the years through carefully crafted soundscapes and savvy business sense. Fletch was a calm but never complacent genius. Born in my hometown, Nottingham, on July 8, 1961, he moved to Basildon at an early age, met Vince Clarke through the local Methodist church, became a dab hand with a Korg 700, among other instruments, and the rest, as they say, is musical history.

I’ve followed Depeche Mode since their 1981 début single, always mesmerized by the way their music hums with spiritual mystery, but I’ve only ever seen them on tour once, on a balmy evening in Dallas, late September 2017. The concert was a raw spiritual experience. And now Fletch’s untimely passing on May 26, 2022, makes me wish for more – “to see you again.”

Of course, my views are not shared by everyone. “I often wonder why God bothered with Depeche Mode,” journalist John Gill declared in late January 1983, shortly after the release of “Get the Balance Right.” But fair-minded arbiters everywhere will tarry not to wonder. They know the Lord’s got a terrific sense of humor; His synth pop wonders to perform…

Darren J. N. Middleton, Texas, June 2022

•• ••

My youth was shaped by the sound of Depeche Mode. I remember driving down the Henry Hudson highway to NYC with the new sound of techno. Yes, the new sound which became the signature companion to my moods both of loss and happiness. The world lost “Fletch” and I lost a musician who shaped the rhythm of my thinking and being as a young girl. At night, Andy Fletcher was the sound I’d hear when I was sleeping. His bass was the core of my heart ❤️ I will miss him and his ingenuity of the sonic tempo of DM. He broke techno music with his introduction of the unique Depeche Mode sound. I will miss him.

Mehnaz Afridi, New York, NY, June 2022

•• ••

Hit by a meteor…

On May 26 I was hit by a meteor: A piece of the history of electronic music, an irreplaceable member of the band that has accompanied large part of my life, was prematurely gone: Uncle Andy, how I would like to remember him, bid us farewell. It was the glue of Depeche Mode: with his kindness, gentleness, and humor, he was able to lead a project of unprecedented musical quality. Songs that will remain in the history, heart and soul of every “devotee”. They had such a radical impact on my life that I was driven to create a tribute band, Strange Mode (“spreading the news [their music] around the world”, quoting the song ‘Sacred’). The question everybody is asking now is: will Depeche Mode carry on without the Uncle? I cannot even bring myself to think about this and it truly seems impossible. See you next time Andrew.

*Translated by Shaul Bassi

Gabriele Antonangeli, Venice, Italy, June 2022

Il 26 Maggio mi è arrivato addosso un macigno: un pezzo della storia della musica elettronica, un pezzo insostituibile della band che ha accompagnato gran parte della mia vita se n’è andato prematuramente: lo zio Andy, così mi piace ricordarlo, ci ha salutati. Era il collante dei Depeche Mode, quello che ha saputo con la sua bontà, la sua gentilezza e il suo spiccato senso dell’humor tener le redini di un progetto di una qualità musicale senza precedenti. Canzoni che rimarranno nella storia e nel cuore e nell’animo di ogni “devoto.” Hanno avuto un effetto così dirompente sulla mia vita da spingermi e creare una tribute band (Strange Mode), “spreading the news (their music) around the world” (cit. Sacred – Depeche Mode) .  La domanda che ora tutti si pongono è: i Depeche Mode continueranno senza lo zio? Non riesco nemmeno a pensarci e mi sembra davvero impossibile. See you next time Andrew.

Gabriele Antonangeli, Venice, Italy, June 2022

•• ••

We have followed these bright young things in a special arc of time beginning forty kilometers from London where they created something lasting and then ending abruptly with the demise of their founding member Andy Fletcher this year. I have an important question to ask Andy Fletcher, however now that I can’t ask it the end seems more real, the last encore done, and the curtain closed forever. Many of us entered this arc of time known as Depeche Mode in a serious way when we bought our first ever compact disc “Black Celebration”, it felt fitting that this most modern of groups should be encased in an ethereal disc, flashing with prism light. If “Fletch” were in my living room today I would put on “Black Celebration” for him, to hear his thoughts on how this music impossibly hasn’t aged and why it is relevant in tone and sound today as it was in my junior year of High School, circa 1986. It was a lucky thing to grow up in Southern California during the eighties because you could hear the embryonic beginning of hip hop and gangster rap on the radio, but also on the dial were champions of the synth music revolution at radio station KROQ. When Fletcher picked up his first Moog Mini Model D synthesizer it started an era experimentation that wasn’t possible before. Moving beyond the bounds of music theory the work of Depeche Mode connects directly with imagination, manipulates sound to evoke a unique theater of the mind, for myself and many fans around the world we shared in their creation this way and will until the end of our personal journey.

Scott Dennis, New York, NY, June 2022

•• ••

It was one of those school dances. The room was dark except for some attempt at multicolored lighting. Teenagers were lost in the fleeting joy of letting loose, dancing non-rhythmically, leaning into each other without excuse. It was a forgettable time, but I was okay with being there. A harangue of 80’s pop trespassed any presence of thought. And then the noise just stopped. It was a dramatic pause –  perhaps choreographed by the DJ. “Enjoy the Silence” drifted into the space like a fog. Many moved and swayed, but I was stone still. In that blurry darkness, I was transported to a realm of sound, voice, and soul. Synesthesia is real. The sinuous melody, the velvet timbre, the sustained notes, were long brush strokes on a canvas. I stepped into that song and its reverberating color, reminding myself to always inhabit music as I did that night.

Dina Hendawi, New York, NY, June 2022

•• ••

Farewell Andy, from Indra

Depeche Mode was with me my entire life, their songs becoming soundtracks to many of the formative events that shaped me into who I’m now as a person. Their music created a sense of belonging, comfort and safety throughout my years of abandonment and discrimination, as it did for countless others. And as time went, like any other true fan, I became tethered to the artists who created the music that sheltered and soothed me. But, of all of the band members, Andy was the one who I felt closest to. In him I saw a strange facial resemblance of my stepfather, a music connoisseur who first introduced me to Depeche Mode. Perhaps his similarity with my father fostered a sense of trust and made him feel more realistic and closer to me in real life. But above all, I admired the calm, quiet, confident aura with which he strode to the stage to perform. I’d like to imagine this was how he was every other time. He was never brash, but he held so much power, as he was the backbone this band depended on to stand tall.

Through his conviction to the band and to its music, he ensured Depeche Mode’s immortality. It wouldn’t be fair to highlight his significance above the rest of the band. However, I believe that without him to manage and to hold together, I doubt that Depeche Mode would’ve enjoyed its current mythic stature and longevity.

It breaks my heart to bid farewell to this great artist, whom I never had the fortune of meeting and expressing my gratitude.

Indra Amarjargal, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 2022

•• ••

A friend introduced me to Violator…

The unapologetic intensity of World in My Eyes hit hard. I was rapt. A rousing opening that could have decayed into an album briefly enjoyed but easily forgotten. Little did I know. Synth-pop had little play in my Dublin/London, eclectic college musical adventures. Gary Numan, Jean-Michel Jarre, and even Tangerine Dream occupied central roles in my electronic interest, later followed by the sophistication of Japan and David Sylvian. Suffice to say, early Depeche Mode was not it.

Turn to the new directions of my NYC post-graduate years; a friend introduced me to Violator:  As the album developed, the richness of multi-layered harmonies and interweaving melodies were evident, peaking on Enjoy the silence, Policy of Truth, and the lamenting terminal appeal of Clean. Frequently relived at lease-breaking levels on Saturday mornings, a pivotal musical moment was born.

Violator was a new Depeche Mode and here to stay.

Adegboyega Adefope, Harlem, NY, June 2022

•• ••

Disbelief and Rupture of the Heart…

Depeche Mode devotees felt pain and bewilderment at the news of Andy Fletcher’s passing.

Who knows how many, in withdrawal crisis like me four years after the last tour, recently took a look at the official social profiles of the group in the hope of finding a hint of the release of a new album, a new artistic production or even a highly anticipated new tour.

An announcement actually appeared in the late afternoon of a late May day…but it wasn’t what we expected: that announcement shocked us, opened a chasm beneath us. Yes, because Andrew FLETCH Fletcher was to the devotees of Depeche an immortal being, outside of space and time, the silent pillar of the group, the wise and reassuring friend we would all like to have.

Depeche Mode is part of my life, and that of millions of people around the world: we are a big community, a family, and reading the posts that have been written by fans in the various social groups these days I am even more convinced of it.

Of course, each of us has our own preferences: my friends are aware of my crazy falling in love with Dave Gahan, other fans are particularly devoted to Martin Gore, still others are clamoring for the return of Alan Wilder or Vince Clarke. But for all “Fletch,” as everyone used to call him, was (and is) untouchable, was (and remains) the discreet and very important pivot around which all the gears fit, settle down.

The wound that his disappearance has caused is profound: time will perhaps partially soothe the pain, but for us Fletcher will forever remain a member of Depeche Mode, irreplaceable, fundamental, exceptional.

A man delivered to eternity… a man who became legend.

Have a good voyage, Fletch…

Anna Brugnoli, Como, Italy, June 2022

Incredulità e lacerazione…

I devoti dei Depeche Mode hanno provato dolore e smarrimento alla notizia della scomparsa di Andy Fletcher.

Chissà quanti, in crisi d’astinenza come me dopo quattro anni dall’ultimo tour, di recente davano spesso un’occhiata ai profili social ufficiali del gruppo nella speranza di trovare un accenno all’uscita di un nuovo album, di un nuovo lavoro o addirittura di un nuovo attesissimo tour.

Un annuncio è effettivamente comparso nel tardo pomeriggio di un giorno di fine maggio…ma non era quello che ci aspettavamo: quell’annuncio ci ha sconquassato, ha aperto una voragine sotto di noi. Sì, perché Andrew FLETCH Fletcher era per i devoti dei Depeche un essere immortale, al di fuori dello spazio e del tempo, il pilastro silenzioso del gruppo, l’amico saggio e rassicurante che tutti noi vorremmo avere.

I Depeche Mode fanno parte della mia vita, e di quella di milioni di persone in tutto il mondo: siamo una grande comunità, una famiglia, e leggendo i post che in questi giorni sono stati scritti dai fans nei vari gruppi social ne sono ancora più convinta.

Certo, ognuno di noi ha le sue preferenze: i miei amici sono a conoscenza del mio folle innamoramento per Dave Gahan, altri fans sono particolarmente devoti a Martin Gore, altri ancora reclamano a gran voce il ritorno di Alan Wilder o Vince Clarke.  Ma per tutti “Fletch,” come erano soliti chiamarlo i suoi fans, era (ed è) intoccabile, era (e rimane) il perno discreto e importantissimo attorno al quale tutti gli ingranaggi vanno a posto, si sistemano.

La ferita che la sua scomparsa ha procurato è profonda: il tempo forse in parte lenirà il dolore, ma per noi Fletcher rimarrà per sempre un membro dei Depeche Mode, insostituibile, fondamentale, eccezionale.

Un uomo consegnato all’eternità… un uomo divenuto leggenda.

Fai buon viaggio, Fletch…

Anna Brugnoli, Como, Italy, June 2022

•• ••

The first song I think of that really impacted me was “Somebody”. I was too young to even really know what it meant to share “innermost thoughts and intimate details.” The song tugged at heart strings I was still figuring out, and still am.  The dark side Depeche Mode portrayed was unapologetic and sincere.

Jennifer Lee, New York, NY, June 2022

•• ••

On that Thursday, May 26th, I was taken aback by the news of Fletch’s untimely death. I felt just as shocked as everyone else. If I was so overwhelmed with emotion, just imagine his family, band mates and circle of friends. Before being everyone’s idol, he was also a loving father, husband and friend. He was the goody two-shoes of the band. The one that always pulled them toward a more pop approach. And his behavior mirrored that same energy. He was always available for a chat with the fans. I had two encounters with him, each one on one of his DJ nights. The first was a very brief one in 2007. He was DJ’ing in a nightclub that had recently opened in Rio and I just happened to be a regular there. So I made my way into the VIP area behind the DJ booth and I got to ask him to autograph my PTA CD sleeve. The second time was in 2011 and it just blew my mind. It was at a different venue, but, for whatever reason, the event organizer got into touch with my group of friends and we had our own 20-minute-long exclusive meet-and-greet. He was so down to earth and easy-going. I got another autograph, even more pictures and a night to remember. Me and my friends gave him a Brazilian football (soccer) jersey and a flag. I wrote down the title of a song by The Killers on the flag, which was very fitting: “Andy, you’re a star”. May you shine upon all of us. R.I.P.

Daniel Cassus, Berlin, Germany, June 2022

•• ••

I had a physical response when I saw this. My heart dropped. My skin tingled. I was in shock and shaken very deeply. I immediately hoped it was an online hoax. But it was Neil Tenant’s Instagram post.

It wasn’t just Fletch’s death. It registered to me as Depeche’s death, which I did not want to accept.

Joe D’Espinosa, Brooklyn, NY, June 2022

•• ••

As I’ve been processing the death of Andy Fletcher, I’ve been revisiting everything Depeche Mode I can find; articles, interviews, videos, documentaries and, of course, their albums. This immersion has allowed me to reminisce and replay scenes of my life that are inextricably tied to the music of Depeche Mode. I’ve harkened back to the time in my life when I was first introduced to Depeche Mode. I grew up in a devoutly religious home environment and I experienced degrees of seclusion and a crisis of faith as a teen. I was raised in a very strict Southern Baptist home where secular music was not completely forbidden, but it was highly screened and monitored by my parents. I became familiar with Depeche Mode through my friends when I was in high school in the late eighties and early nineties. I would borrow my friend Raya’s Depeche Mode cassette tapes and I would listen to them on my Walkman at night, under the covers, so my parents would not ask to inspect what I was listening to. Depeche Mode’s music was preached against from the pulpit and my parents, like the rest of my church, believed their music to be overtly blasphemous and a tool by which the devil had a stronghold on the youth. I was already moving in a different spiritual and intellectual direction than my parents and I realized my future wasn’t going to look like what my parents wanted and expected. Depeche Mode’s music helped me feel validated and it was a place where my soul could take refuge, even if only in the darkness of night during those years.

I’ve been contemplating and appreciating the immeasurable importance of Andy Fletcher’s stabilizing and unifying presence in the dynamic of the band all these years. Succinctly and profoundly fitting, his own motto for life was “sure and steadfast”. Sure and steadfast, he certainly was. While it may be an overly optimistic dream, I hope that Depeche Mode will take to the music and tour again. In Andy Fletcher’s memory and honor. After all, it’s the music that has helped heal and save them, and us—their fans, time and time again. There’s no better balm for our souls, no better outlet for validation and processing our innermost feelings than with the music itself.

Tami Zeiner, Fort Worth, TX, June 2022

•• ••

The news of Andrew Fletcher’s death catapulted me into a heady reverie of my past. Days when I wore black and wore my angst as a proud badge while lighting moody candles in my room. Who was I then, this awkward girl thinking people are people, feeling every emotion too viscerally, the pain of love and life were fresh self-inflicted wounds only music could assuage? My intertwined mind flashes now to 1991 Dodger stadium, nose bleeds, when I thought that was the best place to be wearing a black t-shirt with a red rose…while the music played, and life was simple.

Zeba Boughner, June 2022

•• ••

I was introduced to Depeche Mode by a good friend back in 1998. I was traveling cross country living out of my van, and their music was most certainly a part of my adventure soundtrack. I could not get enough of their unique electric sound and have had countless dance parties to their tunes.

I was fortunate to get to see them live in Vegas at the Palms Theater in 2013. My boyfriend and I got the best seats with our own private balcony and cocktail waitress to bring us drinks directly. It may have been one of the best shows I have ever seen. They played a bunch of my favorites and I was dancing and singing at the top of my lungs the entire time. Maybe it was a good thing we had a private balcony! I do wish they had played ‘Behind the Wheel’ as it is one of my all time favorite tunes, but there’s always the Depeche Mode:101 movie. God I wish I could have won that contest but I was only 11 at the time.

To hear of Andy’s passing was truly devastating for me. I so appreciate everything he and his bandmates brought to the world of music and will be a fan for life.

Kelly Kumpf, Rochester, NY, June 2022

— —

— — — —

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