Mute, as in Daniel, first met Fletch at the infamous Bridge House show in November 1980 when Depeche Mode supported Fad Gadget.
It was the start of a long relationship – one of business, creativity and friendship.
Fletch was always the one questioning the success of the band and asking how it could be better. He wasn’t pessimistic, he just wouldn’t let the band and Mute rest on their laurels, and his persistence in always striving for more was a big part of Depeche Mode’s success.
It means such a lot experiencing defining moments with someone, going through it from a young age, from the very beginning, to an unexpected end. The joy and wonder of those first Top of the Pops appearances, the determination through adversity, touring through Europe, touring through the world, keeping everyone’s feet on the ground, loving the process of being part of Depeche Mode. Fletch relished it all, and we relished being there with him. When he wanted to start a label – his beloved Toast Hawaii, named after his beloved Toast Hawaii [that’s a ham, cheese and pineapple toasted sandwich] – we did it together. He loved the process of being a record label, but he loved being in Depeche Mode more than anything.
As a label, we unexpectedly spent more time with Fletch during the pandemic than we had in many years, and Fletch was always interested in what else was going on at Mute. He was thrilled to meet new members of staff and catch up with the old guard, giving advice and asking about new music. When rules around socialising relaxed, the Mute office would meet up in the garden of his pub in North London and he always came over to see how everyone was, to catch up with old friends and make new ones, because Fletch loved making friends. When venues started up again, he began coming to more Mute shows – we had such fun watching New Order together and when he came to see his old mate Vince at the O2 Erasure show, that was quite a night. And, of course, there were the Chelsea games – the highs and lows of following your favourite team, experiencing the game and the country as it all opened up again with our old friend.
Over the last month the outpouring of love for Fletch has been extremely touching and it has been wonderful to hear just how much he touched people’s lives.
Our thoughts continue to be with his loving wife Gráinne, his devoted children Joe and Megan, with Martin and Dave, and the entire Depeche Mode and Mute family.
42 years of business, creativity and friendship – they were packed and they were good times.
We will, miss Fletch, but he will always be with us, with all of us. He left a very special legacy from what he did and who he was.
If you wish to make a donation to Teenage Cancer Trust in Andy’s memory, please go here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andyfletchfletcher