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


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https://variety.com/2022/music/obituaries-people-news/andy-fletcher-dead-depeche-mode-1235279096/

 

I've seen a few obits for him by now, but that one is my preferred one, as I learned things I didn't know. Variety tends to do more in-depth reporting in their obits.

 

The Rolling Stone obit is truly weird. Funny as well, even in the context of his death. Andy apparently had a very over-the-top British dry sense of humor.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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I only know the band by a few songs. I will have to dig into their music. What I like about them is what I think of as spacious with a clean groove. I read a couple obituaries and agree that the Rolling Stone mag was "weird." What he contributed musically is unclear but what a cool gig for the "band accountant." Only 60 😞

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I think that puts to bed the criticism that Alan Wilder had, that was the primary cause of his departure from DM in 1995. It's obvious that Fletch was NOT riding on his laurels and lazing away while collecting ⅓ of the royalties, with Alan doing ALL of the work. Alan's a workaholic and a perfectionist and probably pushed himself to do the extra duties that led to such great sounds and arrangements, but I don't think it was cool how he trashed Fletch and this became taken as gospel.

 

I saw DM several times right before they hit it big, and they were electric in concert. Always different each time, but not so much due to being creative types, as simply not having equipment that could dependably recreate what they did in the studio. Constant breakdowns, but they never missed a beat, unlike many other all-synth bands of the 80's. They were adept at keeping the energy and the song going no matter what went wrong on stage, and making it sound great at all times. Fortunately there's a lot of live recordings from that era.

 

This David Letterman slot reminds me a bit of those early days, when the focus was on passion and connecting rather than on carbon copies of the albums as became the case when they first hit the level of being an arena rock band. I think that was around the time that Fletch had a bit of a nervous breakdown from the pressure of non-stop touring at such a level; plenty of other famous musicians have reacted similarly and retracted in some way. But he did keep playing, even while becoming de facto band manager. It also seems that his pop and punk perspective continued to influence the final product regardless of how many parts he played himself in the studio.

 

I thought I remembered Fletch taking on a "real instrument" at one point, just as Gore became more of a guitarist over the years. Didn't he play drums at one point?

 

In the Letterman clip, the other keyboardist is Peter Gordeno, who has toured with them since 1998 and occasional co-writes, just as does touring drummer Christian Eigner. Gordeno is the son of the same-named famous choreographer and dancer, who did a lot of work with James Bond composer John Barry and is part-Burmese.

 

Regardless of the ebb and flow of Fletch's actual playing in the studio and in concert, in combination with his increasing role as band manager, everyone except for Alan Wilder seems to agree that he was a genuinely nice person and easy to get along with. No one makes it through life without having at least one enemy, I guess.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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