LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, keyboardist for British synth pop giants Depeche Mode for greater than 40 years, has died at age 60.
Depeche Mode introduced the loss of life of founding member Fletcher on its official social media pages.
An individual near the band stated Fletcher died Thursday from pure causes at his house in the UK. The particular person spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk publicly.
“We’re shocked and crammed with overwhelming unhappiness with the premature passing of our expensive pal, member of the family and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” the band’s posts stated. “Fletch had a real coronary heart of gold and was all the time there if you wanted assist, a full of life dialog, an excellent chortle, or a chilly pint.”
Fletcher shaped Depeche Mode together with fellow synthesizer gamers Vince Clarke and Martin Gore, and lead singer Dave Gahan, in Basildon, England in 1980.
The band would escape a yr later with their debut album “Communicate and Spell,” which opened with the modest hit “New Life” and closed with one of many band’s enduring hits, “Simply Can’t Get Sufficient.”
Clarke would depart the group and get replaced by Alan Wilder after the album.
The group would discover worldwide success with 1984′s “Some Nice Reward” and the only “Individuals are Individuals,” and their prominence would solely develop all through the Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties.
Fletcher would lend his keyboards to basic albums together with “Music for the Lots,” “Black Celebration” and “Violator.”
The primary of those led to a world tour that introduced a dwell album, a documentary, and a legendary live performance on the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, that represented the top of the band’s prominence.
The bespectacled redhead with a penchant for chess, Fletcher assumed a low-profile within the group. He didn’t sing or write songs, and his face by no means as acquainted as these of his bandmates.
“Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the nice musician, Dave’s the vocalist, and I bum round,” he stated within the tour documentary, “101.”
However Fletch was a uniting determine and infrequently the tiebreaking vote within the squabbles of his extra well-known bandmates.
He additionally often performed bass within the band.
His loss of life leaves Gahan and Gore as the one everlasting members.
Fletcher’s musical friends paid him tribute as phrase of his loss of life unfold.
“His keyboard sounds crafted not simply Depeche Mode’s sonic method however shifted the route of Techno, EDM, Downtempo, Triphop, & Electronica. Essential loss,” Dwelling Color guitarist Vernon Reid tweeted.
The Pet Store Boys stated on Twitter that he was “a heat, pleasant and humorous one who beloved digital music.”
Orchestral Maneuvers within the Darkish tweeted that he was a “stunning particular person in a tremendous band.”
The eldest of 4 siblings, Fletcher was born in Basildon and raised in Nottingham, England.
He grew to become childhood buddies with Clarke, and with singer Alison Moyet, who would kind Yazoo (generally known as Yaz within the U.S.) with Clarke after he left Depeche Mode.
“Since we had been 10,” Moyet tweeted Thursday. “Identical property. Class mates to label mates. He who stored religion with all of the outdated gang and so they with him. It doesn’t compute. Fletch. I’ve no phrases.”
As teenagers, Fletcher and Clarke would kind the short-lived group “No Romance.”
With Gore, who Fletcher met at a pub in Basildon in 1980, they shaped the trio Composition of Sound, with all three enjoying synthesizer. Gahan was recruited into the group later within the yr, and the title was modified to Depeche Mode.
Fletcher would stay with the group till his loss of life, although reported struggles with despair in 1994 spurred him to sit down out a part of a tour.
He began his personal file label, Toast Hawaii, in 2002, releasing an album by the band CLIENT.
Fletcher would carry out DJ units on the band’s dwell reveals, which he continued to do at festivals and golf equipment after he and CLIENT parted methods.
Fletcher is survived by his spouse of practically 30 years Gráinne Mullan, and their youngsters Megan and Joe.