Depeche Mode keyboardist and founding member, Andy Fletcher, has died aged 60

 “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,”

Andrew Fletcher Depeche Mode

Image: Getty

Andy Fletcher, the keyboardist and founding member of electronic music outfit Depeche Mode, has passed away.

The news comes via the Depeche Mode Twitter account today, 26 May. It reads: “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 60 years old. At the time of writing, no cause of death has been revealed.

Fletcher founded Depeche Mode in the late 70s alongside Martin Gore and Vince Clarke, who were both originally in a band called Composition of Sound. When singer Dave Gahan later joined, they became Depeche Mode, although Clarke departed the band after their first album, Speak and Spell in 1981, to form Yazoo and Erasure.

With Gore as main songwriter and Alan Wilder replacing Clarke, Depeche Mode went on to become a band at the forefront of the electro pop and new wave movements. In 2020, they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Fletcher was the band’s keyboard and synth player, along with the various other roles he played such as bassist and handler of business matters. Although, in the band’s 1989 documentary 101, released in conjunction with an album of the same name, Fletcher quipped “Martin [Gore]’s the songwriter, Alan [Wilder]’s the good musician, Dave [Gahan]’s the vocalist, and I bum around.”

According to Equipboard, Fletcher’s first synthesizer was a Moog Prodigy that Vince Clarke convinced him to buy for £295 in 1980 from a store in Hadleigh, Essex. He used the synth in two different Top Of The Pops performances and in the Just Can’t Get Enough music video.

Fletcher continued as an active member of Depeche Mode since its formation and released a total of 17 albums with the band – being one of only three members to feature on every single Depeche Mode album.

Tributes are pouring in from across the music industry and beyond. The Cure’s Roger O’Donnell wrote that “This is turning out to be a very bad day for Rock and Roll…” Lol Tolhurtst, founding member of The Cure, also wrote: “Very sad news today. Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode has passed. I knew Andy and considered him a friend. We crossed many of the same pathways as younger men.”

Faithless’ Sister Bliss said, “RIP Andy Fletcher keyboard warrior, gon way too soon[sic].”

This story will be updated with more information as it arrives.

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