Depeche Mode have confirmed that Andy Fletcher, a founding member of the band, has sadly passed away aged 60. The news was shared via the band’s Twitter feed.
The statement 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,” the statement continues, “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.”
Born in Nottingham, Fletcher moved to Basildon during the 1970s and became childhood friends with Vince Clarke. Together, they enjoyed a brief spell in the band No Romance in China before eventually teaming up with Martin Gore – and later Dave Gahan – to form the group Depeche Mode, pioneering the electronic sounds of the 1980s. The group delivered countless classic hits with ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ a song worthy of their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction alone.
Fletcher’s role within the group has often been discussed, especially after he delivered such a self-deprecating assessment when featured in D.A. Pennebaker’s 1989 documentary on the group. Speaking on the band’s main jobs, he noted: “Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the good musician, Dave’s the vocalist, and I bum around.”
In truth, his role often saw Flecther adopt a more managerial position within the band. Without their own permanent manager for much of the group’s career, Fletcher became the group’s de facto spokesperson in recent years and was always said to have relished his role in bringing the band together, often acting as the “tiebreaker” during tense situations.
Fletcher is survived by his two children Megan and Joe and his wife Gráinne.