There was a fitting tribute to Andrew Fletcher of Depeche Mode during Monday night’s Los Angeles Dodgers game. It likely happened then because it was the team’s first home game since “Fletch,” one of the band’s founding members and keyboardist, passed away last Thursday.
According to the AP,
A person close to the band said Fletcher died Thursday from natural causes at his home in the United Kingdom. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Fletcher is survived by his wife of nearly 30 years Gráinne Mullan, and their children Megan and Joe.
He was just 60 years old.
Here was the band’s announcement of Fletch’s passing, via their official Twitter account:
— Depeche Mode (@depechemode) May 26, 2022
Depeche Mode, founded in 1980 with the line-up of Fletch, Martin L. Gore, Dave Gahan, and Vince Clarke (the latter, replaced by Alan Wilder), is perhaps the most influential British synthesizer band of the 1980s, spawning hundreds of sound-alike groups and the devotion of millions of fans around the world. (Fletch is on the far left in the image below.)
42 years ago today, Depeche Mode played their very first gig, at St Nicholas School, Basildon. The rest is history. #RIPFletch
— Stars and Cars (@Superstar_Cars) May 31, 2022
And one of those fans is apparently Dieter Ruehle, the organist for both the Dodgers and the LA Kings. On Monday, he played “Never Let Me Down Again,” a worldwide hit from Depeche Mode’s “Music for the Masses” (1987). Watch:
— Dieter Ruehle (@DieterRuehle) May 31, 2022
The special tribute is extra meaningful because the iconic band played two sold-out dates at Dodgers Stadium in August 1990, during their World Violation tour in support of the “Violator” LP (1990). On a personal note, that was the first and only time I saw Depeche Mode live (though it was at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Amphitheater, not LA’s storied stadium).
Your mileage may vary (pun intended), but below is my favorite song from “Music for the Masses.” Now, this is “Behind the Wheel,” but it’s a mix of the band’s song with the classic tune, “Route 66” — along with some very cool samples. Enjoy.