Depeche Mode keyboardist Andy “Fletch” Fletcher has died at the age of 60. The news came from a statement on the band’s social media accounts, writing on Twitter: “We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher. 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. Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time.”
Fletcher was born in Nottingham, England, on July 8, 1961. He founded Depeche Mode in 1980 with Vince Clarke, Martin Gore and Dave Gahan. In earlier renditions of the band, he played the bass guitar, but he switched to the keyboard as they evolved. In 101, D.A. Pennebaker’s 1989 documentary film about the band, Fletcher addressed his role in the band with a memorable quote: “Martin’s the songwriter, Alan [Wilder]’s the good musician, Dave’s the vocalist and I bum around.”
Depeche Mode’s 1981 debut album Speak & Spell helped place them within the British new wave scene that formed in the early ’80s; by the time their seventh album, Violator, was released in 1990, there were one of the biggest acts in the world and they quickly became one of the most influential artists of the century. Violator reached No. 7 in the States, stayed on the chart for 74 weeks and was certified triple platinum. The popular World Violation Tour followed. In 2020, Depeche Mode were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
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