Depeche Mode keyboardist Andy “Fletch” Fletcher has died. The news came from a statement on the band’s social media. He was 60 years old.
“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 wrote in a post on Twitter. “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 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 toward a synth sound. Their 1981 debut album Speak & Spell helped place the electronic group within the British new wave scene that formed in the early ’80s, and quickly became one of the most influential artists of the century.
“All I can say is that we’re persistent. Good songs, and we’ve made ourselves into a good live band,” Fletcher explained to The Skinny of Depeche Mode’s longevity back in 2017.
“I suppose that we’ve been outside the mainstream, almost doing our own thing. We think our music is quite melodic — it’s not just a noise. We’ve never really gone for the tabloid press, and that’s another Mute thing — we’ve always tried to avoid the tabloids. The big cult of celebrity — we’re musicians in one of the top bands in the world, but we’re not celebrities — that’s the important thing. We lead totally normal lives. I go to the pub, I go to the cinema, and I don’t get any hassle.”
Depeche Mode were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.
“Deeply saddened and shocked at the loss of Fletch… one of the true characters in this business,” The Cure‘s Roger O’Donnell wrote on Twitter in response to the news.
We send our condolences to Fletcher’s loved ones, bandmates and fans. Rest in peace.
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