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Author Topic: 1997: Ultra  (Read 104031 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #30 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:11:40 »
1996-05-28 - Reuters (U.S.) - Dave Gahan Update

Tuesday May 28 5:38 PM EDT

UPDATE 1: Depeche Mode's David Gahan Arrested On Drug Charges

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - David Gahan, lead singer of the Britsh techno-rock band Depeche Mode, was arrested Tuesday after apparently overdosing on cocaine and heroin, a police spokesman said.

Gahan, a founding member of the chart-topping group, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment after collapsing at a Hollywood hotel, Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Gabe Ramirez said.

He said police found a "sizeable'' amount of what was believed to be a mixture of cocaine and heroin in the bathroom of the hotel room where Gahan was found.

After being released from the hospital, Gahan, 34, was booked for possession and being under the influence of controlled substances.

Bail was set at $10,000 with a court hearing scheduled for June 18. Gahan told local KCAL television that he had recently been attending a drug treatment program.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #31 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:13:44 »
1996-05-28 - The Guardian (UK) - Pop Singer Arrested

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

"Pop Singer Arrested"
[The Guardian, 29th May 1996. Words: Uncredited.]
    David Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode, was under arrest last night in California after taking a drug overdose. Bail was set at $10,000 (£6,600), a detective said at West Hollywood police station, where he is being held for investigation of cocaine possession and being under the influence of heroin.
    Police and paramedics were called to the Sunset Marquis hotel in Hollywood, popular with musicians, and found Gahan, aged 34, unconscious on the floor of a hotel room at 1:15 am. [1] The people with him, who summoned help, said he passed out 10 minutes after injecting a “speedball” – a mixture of cocaine and heroin. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and treated for an overdose, then taken to the police station and booked.

[1] - This detail clears up something that has often confused me from the way many articles report the incident. It's sometimes described as happening "on the night of 28th May" which could be taken as either "the night of 27th-28th" because it was after midnight, or "the night of the 28th-29th" and it was just very late at night. But if it caught the papers for the 29th despite LA being 8 hours behind the UK, it must have been the former. [continue]
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #32 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:14:57 »
1996-05-28 - Daily Mirror (UK) - Depeche Star Drugs Drama

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

"Depeche Star Drugs Drama"
[The Daily Mirror, 29th May 1996. Words: Uncredited.]
    The lead singer of British rock band Depeche Mode was found unconscious in his Hollywood bungalow yesterday after injecting a drugs overdose. [2]
    David Gahan, who last year tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists, was rushed to hospital after a mystery woman phoned paramedics.
    The 34-year-old star was later charged with drug offences. Last night he was languishing in a police cell, unable to immediately raise his £6,000 bail.

[2] - Whoops! The Guardian article is correct - Dave was at a hotel when this happened. The reporter may have got confused with the August 1995 suicide attempt, which was at Dave's house. [continue]

1996-05-29 - Addicted to Noise (US) - Depeche Mode Singer David Gahan ODs

Depeche Mode Singer David Gahan ODs

Depeche Mode: sm-Depeche Mode
Bad news for Gahan's band mates.

David Gahan, the 34-year-old lead singer for the mega-synth-pop combo Depeche Mode was arrested Tues. (May 28), after apparently overdosing on cocaine and heroin. Sheriff's deputies and paramedics responded to a call at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday, and found Gahan, passed out, lying on the floor of a room at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, Sgt. Guy Earl told the L.A. Times. Syringes and other drug paraphernalia as well as a mixture of what was believed to be cocaine and heroin, was found in the room. The singer was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment. Gahan was hospitalized in L. A. last August after a suicide attempt in which he used a razor blade to slash his wrists; he had reportedly been attending 12-step programs for the past few years. Gahan was booked for possession and being under the influence of controlled substances. Bail was set at $10,000 and a court hearing was set for June 18. Depeche Mode are probably best known for their hits "New Life," "Just Can't Get Enough," and "Personal Jesus." Depeche Mode's last album was 1993's Songs of Faith and Devotion.

1996-05-29 - LA Times (US) - Depeche Mode Singer Arrested After Overdose

Depeche Mode Singer Arrested After Overdose
Pop music: Incident involving David Gahan comes days after the death of Sublime's lead singer, Bradley Nowell, apparently of overdose. One executive says the industry must face up to drug problem.

WEST HOLLYWOOD — Depeche Mode lead singer David Gahan, who survived a suicide attempt last August, was arrested early Tuesday morning after overdosing on drugs, authorities said.

The arrest of Gahan, 34, for investigation of cocaine possession and being under the influence of heroin capped a traumatic weekend for the record industry.

Bradley Nowell, lead singer for the Long Beach-based punk-reggae trio Sublime, was found dead in his San Francisco motel room Saturday, apparently of a drug overdose. He was 28.

The weekend's events cast a pall once again over the industry, which only last month applauded the Stone Temple Pilots for canceling all their shows until lead singer Scott Weiland overcomes his addiction problems. Industry observers hoped that the group's action would trigger a move away from rock's laissez faire attitude toward drug abuse, which remains a significant problem among today's young bands.

Michael Greene, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and an outspoken figure in the campaign to raise industry consciousness about drug addiction, decried the "pitiful state" of the industry's efforts.

"You can view this as a big step back," Greene said of the weekend's events, "but it's pretty run of the mill. I can't say that anybody would be surprised by [what happened] because we haven't come close to turning the corner of raising the consciousness of people in our business to stop equating making music and creating songs with doing drugs.

"A lot of people still believe that those things are inexorably connected. But they're not."

A source says that Gahan, who was hospitalized briefly in Los Angeles last August after using a razor blade to slash 2-inch lacerations on each wrist, has been attending 12-step meetings during the past few years.

"He looked good and seemed to be working very hard at keeping himself together," the source said.

A spokesman for Depeche Mode said that the band, which has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide and was popular enough in Los Angeles to play shows at the Rose Bowl in 1988 and Dodger Stadium in 1990, was taking a three-month break after spending much of this year recording a new album in London and New York.

About 1:15 a.m. Tuesday, sheriff's deputies and paramedics responding to a call of a drug overdose found Gahan passed out on the floor of a hotel room at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, according to Sgt. Guy Earl of the West Hollywood station.

Authorities found syringes in the room and believe that Gahan injected heroin, Earl said.

The singer, whose group's best-known songs include "Just Can't Get Enough" and "Personal Jesus," was treated for a drug overdose at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center before being taken to the sheriff's station and booked.

He was released about noon Tuesday after posting a $10,000 bail with the promise to appear June 18 in Beverly Hills Municipal Court.


Meanwhile, family and friends of Nowell were mourning the singer, who was married May 18 to Troy Dendekker, the mother of his infant son, Jakob.

"He looked to expand his mind and seek escape in drugs," Nowell's father, Jim, said in a statement, "but [he] came too close to the edge with them and unintentionally took his own life."

Nowell's body was found Saturday about 11:30 a.m. after a night of partying, said the group's co-manager, Jason Westfall.

The San Francisco County coroner's office said the exact cause of death won't be known for four to six weeks when test results are available.

"He'd fought a war with [heroin] over the last four or five years," Westfall said. "He'd been clean for the last two months, and I want to emphasize that. You can think you have it licked and try to play with it again, but it may be the last time. People should know that."

1996-05-31 - MTV (US) - Week In Rock
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #33 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:21:50 »
1996-05-xx - BONG 28:

[Text taken from the now-defunct website Thanks to Maudy for having scanned this BONG issue for the DMTVA!]

[Words: Katherine Davis / Danny Zerbib.]
Summary: The first instalment of an in-depth band biography, this part covering up to the end of 1981. [2569 words]
This article first appeared in Bong 14 in 1991, but had some slight edits and amendments (mainly stylistic) when it appeared in Bong 28.
With many thanks to Doreen ("Cupido") in Germany for kindly scanning the pages of the original magazine.

    The year 1980 marked the beginning of the Reagan era, the threat of a national U.K. steel strike, the assassination of rock legend John Lennon, and the chart success of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. It was also a time when electronic wizardry first joined pop music, propelling the emergent Futurist scene and its obscure components into the consciousness of the listening public.

    Meanwhile, three unsuspecting British teens tinkered with their first synthesizers in their hometown of Basildon, Essex. In less than twelve months, these musical fledglings would soar beyond their local bar gigs to reach a spot on the popular British music programme, Top Of The Pops, and comfortably roost in the British Top 20 charts. 1980 was the year that synth-pop prototypes Depeche Mode were born.

    Vince Clarke was an unsatisfied young musician, drifting between his commitments as one half of a gospel duo and as a member of the band No Romance In China. Vince first met Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, a Deep Purple enthusiast, at a local Boys' Brigade meeting. The two grew closer and Fletch introduced Vince to a classmate Martin Gore, who had been performing at several local night-clubs as he played guitar for two bands, The French Look and Norman & The Worms.

    In May 1980, Vince, Fletch and Martin agreed to form a typical guitar-ridden trio, with the added accompaniment of a drum machine. Vince wrote and sang all their early material. The three lads considered some new band names, but Vince’s suggestion, Composition of Sound, was ultimately adopted. As Composition of Sound, Vince, Fletch and Martin played their first show together supporting The Bullies at the Southend bar, Scamps, in May 1980.

    The music industry had experienced the Punk eruption throughout the mid to late ’70s, and in these few years, rock’s new rogues excited the status quo with a fervour equal to that of Elvis’ provocative hips in the 1950s. Extremes in every manner characterised the period, from the “Punk” appearance, to the “Punk” technique, to the “Punk” philosophy. These unconventional rockers knocked down the barriers of conformity, and thus surged a flow of new bands driven by the conviction of making music for enjoyment and expression, rather than fortune or fame – a further challenge to the system. The Punk revolt led to a number of fresh music genres, including the New Wave / Romantic movement in which Depeche Mode was so often (mis)placed.

    Rock music, however, was truly revolutionized with the popularisation of the synthesizer. First invented in the late 1920s, the musical adaptation of the synthesizer wasn’t fully examined until the mid-60s. Dr. Robert Moog, an American electronics engineer, was the first to attach a keyboard to a synthesizer and, by 1971, a portable instrument christened the Mini-Moog was a commercial success among the leading rock bands of the day.

    Young musicians viewed techno-pop as the logical progression of music. They argued that music owed its past (and future) to technology, and only by embracing the new electronic movement would music move forward. The gospel of electro-pop offered a powerful response to the challenge set forth by the Punk movement, dismissing the notion that electronics was the inhuman antithesis of music. By the mid-70s, synth bands like Kraftwerk, Ultravox and Suicide had already popularised musical cybernation and laid the foundation for a whole generation of electronic whizzes.

    Sometime between their local gigs and party bookings, Composition of Sound disposed of their guitars for accommodating synthesizers. For these three young musicians, the synthesizer provided a convenient and inexpensive way to produce varied melodies and incredible music sequences. “To us, the synth was a punk instrument,” explained Martin. “Because it was still fairly new, its potential seemed limitless. It really gave us a chance to explore.” Throughout the summer of 1980, the band began to generate a synthesized sound and style all of their own. “I guess we were listening to stuff like OMD, Tubeway Army and Human League when we were getting our sound together,” the band would explain later. And as they slowly discarded their boyish outfits for a wacky wardrobe of patent leather and frilly collars, this new sound and image clearly reflected their enlightenment of the electronic revolution.

    Fletch and Martin had since passed their A-levels but had forgone a college education for the sake of the band. Vince had the role of songwriter, vocalist and unofficial front-man and, uncomfortable with his new responsibilities, he suggested that a fourth member should be recruited. The band agreed to wait for the right man to come along.

    The “right man” proved to be Dave Gahan, also from Basildon. Vince, Fletch and Martin first spotted their new vocalist in a local scout-hut jam session with another band. In a strong cover of the David Bowie number “Heroes”, Dave so charmed the members of Composition of Sound that he was immediately invited to join the band. [1] Later, Dave would argue, “They only asked me to join because Vince thought I looked good. Bastard!”

    Dave had endured a troublesome adolescence, replete with thievery and vandalism which earned him three appearances in juvenile court. He was a bad-boy rebel with a penchant for the music of The Damned, The Clash and Siouxsie and the Banshees. In the six months after leaving school, Dave had gone through about 20 separate jobs, including stacking shelves in a supermarket, toiling on a construction site and working as a packer at Yardley’s Factory. He was currently studying window and fashion design at Southend Technical College. Yet in his trousers hitched high above his waist, Dave appeared as the perfect figurehead for the band. And with his enthusiasm / eroticism in the early performances with the band, it was evident that this was one employment Dave intended to keep.

    For a band with a modernized image, an innovative sound, and a new member, a name change seemed only appropriate. During one afternoon rehearsal in Vince’s garage (“We just used to practice at Vince’s place on headphones – and Vince’s mum didn’t even like the tapping noise the synthesizer keys made.”), Dave took a liking to the title of the French fashion magazine, Depeche Mode, which he had been reading in college, and the band immediately assumed this new identity. So the legacy began… Depeche Mode’s first gig as a synth-pop quartet was held at Fletch and Martin’s old school in May, 1980.

    Thanks to the interest of DJ Rust Egan, Depeche Mode began headlining the Saturday night electronic showcase at the club Crocs (named for the live crocodile housed in a dance floor pool), in Rayleigh. Vince and Dave had been proudly hand-delivering the band’s demo tape to dozens of club owners and record companies, but Terry Murphy of Canning Town’s Bridgehouse was the only other promoter to recognise their ingenuity with a booking, apart from one Rastafarian who placed the unusual request for Depeche Mode to tour Nigeria with him, decked out in “Dr. Who” outfits. The band, needless to say, graciously but firmly declined.

    It was at one of their Crocs shows that they were approached by Stevo, of Some Bizzare, who persuaded them to record a track for his Some Bizzare compilation, due out in February 1981, and it was Daniel Miller who eventually produced “Photographic”, which appeared on this album.

    In 1978, Daniel Miller had produced his own single, an unprecedented minimalist pop song, “TVOD / Warm Leatherette”, under the pseudonym of The Normal. But in order to do so, the ex-disco DJ had first built a home studio around a TEAC four-track machine and had begun recording synthesized music on his own label, Mute. Under this new label, Miller pressed 500 copies of his new single before signing the distribution rights over to Rough Trade – an awesome accomplishment for such a small operation. Miller had obviously hit on something big, and with the following success of the illusory Silicon Teens and signing of such bands as Fad Gadget and Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Miller’s Mute began to corner the market on the hottest of alternative music trends.

[1] - It was in fact several people singing, not just Dave. When the band approached him and asked if it was him singing, he didn't quite tell the whole truth at first. A year later, they were still teasing him over it.
[2] - From this detail, quite apart from the flow of the article, it's clear that the author has got a lot of material from Depeche Mode by Dave Thomas (Bobcat Books), published in 1986. But granted, this was as far as I know the only band biography in existence in 1991.

Ironically, the next celebrated Mute act was to be Depeche Mode. In December 1980, after Miller witnessed a live performance of this fresh-faced melodic quartet, supporting Fad Gadget at the Bridgehouse, Depeche Mode had themselves a record deal. Although Dave was quick to point out, “We still haven’t signed any formal contract with Mute,” Muller was sincere with his 50/50 profit-sharing arrangement, and devoted his attention to the vision that Depeche Mode could someday be the “ultimate electronic pop band”. Miller’s new outlook was just what Depeche Mode needed to set the wheels in motion, and the events that were to come would only reassure them that there was a future for Depeche Mode.

    Shortly before Christmas, the roller coaster ride began. Depeche Mode were led back into the studio by Miller, in order to begin work on their first single, “Dreaming Of Me”. The single was released in February 1981, on a 7” format only. Although it only reached number 57, it was a good start, and according to Miller, who produced the single, it began a long-term crossover trend for Indie releases into mainstream radio. Critics compared the song to Ultravox for its “predictable and well-crafted” style, and to OMD for its “sweetly unassuming slice of electronic whimsy”. To the critics, it was fluffy, palatable cake, and they ate it up, uttering compliments about ingenuity and technique.

    The Some Bizzare album was eventually released in March, and although the anthology was considered “the watershed techno-pop album”, introducing such promising acts as Soft Cell, The The and Blancmange, Depeche Mode would later have mixed feelings about their involvement with the the stylised Futurist scene, already seeing their career as something more long term. [1]

    In the succeeding months, their time was taken up promoting their new single with nightly gigs. With catchy tunes like, “Price of Love” (an Everly Brothers cover), “Reason Man”, “Tomorrow’s Dance”, and “Television Set”, Depeche Mode was irresistible on the dancefloor, becoming an instant nightclub hit.

    With the press behind them, it wasn’t long before Depeche Mode’s popularity grew, and another single was released. Miller thought, rather cleverly, of taking orders in advance, and before “New Life” came out in June, it was already in the Top 75. An appearance on Top Of The Pops gained them a position in the Top 30, and three weeks later the song reached No.11 on the U.K. charts. Not bad for a fast-fashion. From this song the band earned enough money so that Martin and Fletch could quit their day jobs.

    In October, the coaster had reached the top of the hill. Success was only a step away, and by this time the band were working virtually non-stop, recording in the studios by day and hitting the club scene by night. Their third single, “Just Can’t Get Enough”, debuted, becoming an international dance hit, and climbing to No. 8 in the U.K. charts. Using a virtually new marketing technique, the band recorded its first video. They were exploding into the scene, and for Vince, it was too much.

    “It was the way the whole thing was going,” said an incensed Vince. “It lost its enthusiasm. It was turning into a production line and that was worrying me. The techniques were improving to an extent, the way we were playing, but even then I found there were things in the way, preventing us from experimenting. We were so busy, there was something going on every day and no time to play around.”

    Vince, though he never gave a reason, told the band his thoughts of leaving, but with the release of a new album so close he agreed to wait until after the tour. When “Speak and Spell” was released in October, their tour began, and over the course of three weeks, they played fourteen very successful nights throughout the U.K. winding up at the London Lyceum.

    The album was good and the press was elated, keeping close tabs on this growing teen phenomenon. From this glamour, suddenly Depeche Mode were wrongfully classified as New Romantics.

    “OK, we’re Futurists,” Dave would later surrender to Sounds magazine. “We’ve always been Futurists. For me, Futurists were an extension of punk rock. We never had anything to do with New Romantics. They all looked the same. But call us what you like. Ultra pop. Futurist. Disco. Anything, as long as it’s not New Romantic.”

    Rightly enough, Dave’s definition was the clearest to date. “Speak and Spell” was quite correctly an Ultra pop, Futurist, disco album, complete with consistent, predictable drums and layers of sinuous melody. They had taken the sounds of the day and twisted them – perhaps even unconsciously – into a unique brand of Futurist-pop-disco. Paul Colbert of Melody Maker said it was “so obviously bright, so clearly sparkling with new life, it’s a wonder they don’t burn permanent dancing shadows onto the walls”.

    On December 12, 1981, Vince Clarke – the main songwriter and drive behind the band – announced he really was leaving. “Breaking the news was terrible,” Vince recalls. “They were expecting it in some ways. I’d been going through a gloomy phase, but I had to go round to their houses and tell them. I knew they knew, but it was still horrible. It wasn’t amicable because there was a lot of bad feelings on both parts and it was about a year before it finally died down.”

    Suddenly the press wasn’t interested in “Speak And Spell” anymore. Whether or not the album would become a musical landmark now took a back seat to predictions of the band’s demise. From the mouths of the press, Depeche Mode had become a dirty word.

    The fans kept on though, refusing to accept the setback as an end. Some hopefuls, trying to allay fear, said Vince would still be writing and recording for the band. A lie. But in truth, he did offer one song he had written, “Only You”. The band turned it down, but whether they were too proud to take it or the song was too different for their tastes is something best left to question. [2]

    “I was frustrated,” Vince confessed. “It was a matter of getting the right balance between playing and experimenting. Looking back, at it, it’s nothing - it’s no real loss. It’s given them a chance to develop their ideas and let me do what I want. No one’s lost anything, but I suppose that’s hard to understand when it’s actually happening.”

    Though the future of Depeche Mode seemed questionable, one thing the press could agree on was that Vince would continue making music. He was a man with an entrepreneurial spirit, forever in search of the perfect pop song. His contribution to the band was educational as well as inspirational. Without him, they never would have come this far.

    They were just kids, admittedly naïve, and now, arguably without direction. But the loss of their main songwriter did not destroy them as the press prophesied, it merely challenged them. Fletch, Martin and Dave now had to prove to themselves that they could survive. Martin even had 20 or 30 songs already written, dating back to when he was 16. They would probably have to find another member for touring, but they could continue this themselves. The cards were on the table now, and Depeche Mode had learned to speak and spell…

[1] - Or as Vince sniffed at the time "We're not really a Bizzare band."
[2] - Whatever the reason, I doubt it was the second one, because Andy was later to comment that they refused "Only You" because they thought it sounded too much like one of their existing songs. However, as Martin also said: "he came along to a rehearsal with two new songs; he was teaching us how they went, and when he went out to the toilet we just looked at each other and said, 'We can't sing these; they're terrible!' " (quoted in Stripped by Jonathan Miller).

[Words: Mike Ross.]
Summary: Continuation of a serialized band biography, this part covering late 1981 to the end of 1982. [638 words]
This article first appeared in Bong 14 in 1991, but had some slight edits and amendments (mainly stylistic) when it appeared in Bong 28.
With many thanks to Doreen ("Cupido") in Germany for kindly scanning the pages of the original magazine.

    After the departure of Vince Clarke, Dave, Martin and Andy restructured the band by electing Martin as chief songwriter. Although Depeche Mode were confident they could continue making music, it was decided that a fourth member was necessary for touring. With this decision in mind, the band placed an anonymous ad in Melody Maker reading, “Name Band require synthesizer player, must be under 21”. After several auditions, Alan Charles Wilder, a classically trained musician from West London was chosen from ten finalists because of his musical background and personality. He later admitted he was actually 22, and when asked, he also admitted that he knew the “Name Band” mentioned in the ad was Depeche Mode.

    Always interested in music, Alan was quite busy prior to joining Depeche Mode. In 1978, he helped Daphne & The Tenderspots release their debut single “Disco Hell”. The following year he poured his creativity into Real to Real, for the album “Tightrope Walkers”, and in 1980, he worked with The Hitmen on their single “Bates Motel”. Alan also contributed to “If I Had You”, by the Korgis.

    Alan’s first performance with DM was at Crocs in London in January, 1982. Shortly after, the band flew to New York City to play two shows at The Ritz. Upon returning from America, the following three months were spent touring the UK and Europe. This tour had no official name, but is frequently referred to as the “See You” Tour.

    Towards the end of February, Depeche Mode played a secret gig at the Bridgehouse as a special thank you to Terry Murphy. He was the only one to give them a booking in the early days of their career. The place was packed wall to wall with little space to breathe but the four encores made the event worth while. According to Paul Colbert of Melody Maker, “…it was packed up to the rotary towels in the toilets. Heaving bodies, flashing feet, and that was just the bar staff.” After the show, Terry tried to pay the band nearly £1,000, but they refused to take it. Instead, they donated the money to the renovation of the pub.

    “See You”, written by Martin when he was eighteen, was released on January 29th, 1982, peaking at No. 6 on the UK charts. On March 26th, the second single, “The Meaning of Love”, was released, reaching No. 12. “Leave In Silence” followed on August 16th, and reached No. 18. It was also the first DM single bearing the catalogue name “BONG”. Considering Alan was working without royalties, he must have loved the success of these singles. It wasn’t until the recording of “Get The Balance Right” that he joined the band full-time, finally receiving more than just a salary.

    Unlike “Speak And Spell”, “A Broken Frame” was criticized in many reviews for being too moody and depressing. Steve Sutherland of Melody Maker observed, “The lyrics have matured from wide-eyed fun to wide-eyed frustration.” To Steve’s surprise, the “wide-eyed frustration” only made Depeche Mode more popular than before. Steve also found it necessary to criticize Depeche Mode’s new musical direction by remarking, “A Broken Frame sounds sadly naked, rudely deprived of the formula’s novelty.” Admittedly, they were a wobbly table without the fourth leg of Vince, but they still deserved credit for retaining their stability. [1]

    Immediately following the release of the album, the band went on tour. The Broken Frame Tour ran from October to December, reaching across the UK and Europe. It was during this tour that Fletch, Dave, and Martin slowly integrated Alan into the permanent frame work of the band. Shortly after the tour, the newly unified Depeche Mode went back into the studio to hammer out a new single. This single would go on to give the band an entirely new sound, image and direction.

[1] - The snideyness in some of these comments is a bit unnecessary. True, no-one wants to hear negative remarks about a band they like, but while many fans today have a soft spot for A Broken Frame, most would probably agree with Sutherland's opinions (even the band, in later years, did do). The author ought to be told that reviewers are there to be honest, not dish out sympathy.

[Words: Mike Ross.]
Summary: Another instalment of a serialised Depeche Mode history, this section covering 1983. [1067 words]
This article first appeared in Bong 15 in 1991 as "All Of These Insurmountable Tasks", but had some slight edits and amendments (mainly stylistic) when it appeared in Bong 28.
With many thanks to Doreen ("Cupido") in Germany for kindly scanning the pages of the original magazine.
    At the start of 1983, with the onset of a growing environmental concern and an increasingly tense cold war between the US and USSR, “Get The Balance Right” seemed, in some people’s interpretation, the ideal song for the time, voicing the need to equalize the scales of power. The song was released in January, and charted at No.13 in the UK, but despite the song’s popularity the band felt rushed with it. It had been five months since any new material was released, too long for the fresh, young Depeche Mode. There was a sense of urgency not to fade from the public eye. The overall effect tendered a final product that fell short of the band’s expectations. “I hate it and I wrote it,” Martin explained. “This was the only time we had to turn out a single whether we wanted to or not.” [1]

    With “Get The Balance Right” moving bodies on the dance floors the World over, the band commenced on a Spring tour of North America and the Far East. It was the most extensive tour outside of Europe to date, and the fans flocked to shows to express their gratitude. While in Hong Kong, the band experienced their growing popularity first hand. Before arriving at the airport they sent a scout ahead to make sure the coast was clear. After getting the “everything’s cool” signal they moved out, but lying in waiting were 500 screaming fans, the band were subsequently shaken up quite a bit. It was the first time anything of this magnitude had happened and it clearly exhibited Depeche Mode’s ever-increasing popularity.

    After a few months’ rest to counteract the effects of touring, the band went at it again. “Everything Counts” made a debut on July 11th, 1983, finding a ready market of grabbing hands to buy it up. The song had its heyday on the UK Charts, getting as high as No. 6. It reflected the growing egocentric and competitive nature of capitalism. An impressed Mark Cooper wrote, “This is their strongest melody in a long while and a compelling picture of business Britain.”

    "Construction Time Again", released in August, was a representation of the band’s lasting influence. With the virtually unlimited uses found in newly available boards like the Synclavier and Emulator 1, the album had a more potent and refined sound. Many objects had been sampled for the album.

    Depeche Mode’s third studio album was also the first full-length endeavour to include the expertise of Alan Wilder. Alan not only added his musical talents to “Construction Time Again” but also took his first stab at song writing for Depeche Mode. Album tracks “The Landscape Is Changing” and “Two Minute Warning” and “Fools”, the B-side of the “Love, In Itself” single, were the product of Alan’s ever-increasing contribution to Depeche Mode. The songs gave a new dimension to the band’s growing catalogue of music.

    “I like the fresh naivety of the sampling and the grainy sample sounds of the Emulator 1” reflects Alan. Sampling was slowly being accepted by the music industry as a legitimate way to make music. The growing popularity of electronic bands such as Yazoo, New Order and Howard Jones clearly showed that the music had a ready audience and it wasn’t just a passing fad. DM were leading the way in this explosive form of expression.

    “I think we all like the idea. When we actually made an album we did go on a sound hunting expedition,” Andy commented to Melody Maker. “We went down Brick Lane and just hit everything and then recorded it and took it back to the studio and put it into a keyboard. That’s how we made the track “Pipeline”. We were smashing corrugated iron and old cars. The vocals were recorded in a railway arch in Shoreditch…” The sampling was done mostly in the East End of London because of the area’s close proximity to the recording studio. The Garden Studios provided the perfect atmosphere for the initial recording, but it only offered a 24-track mixing board. So for the final mixing the band relocated. “We had used so many channels on the recording that we couldn’t possibly have mixed the record at the studio we recorded it,” explained Dave. “Plus, we wanted to sample a different atmosphere. If you work in just one place it can get quite boring.”

    Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany, with its 56 channel mixing board (the only one like it in the World at the time) seemed an ideal location for the album’s final mixing. With so much sampling on the record, the studios in Germany offered the band a cornucopia of choices in deciding how the final product would sound. Berlin and its surrounding countryside also provided the perfect location for the first video shoot, and as Dave would later explain, the “Everything Counts” video was the first in which they were truly happy.

    The next single, “Love, In Itself”, while straying slightly from the direct approach to political and environmental concerns, retained these qualities while adding an emotional fringe. The song made a record store appearance on September 19th, 1983, and although destined to become a chart buster, it climbed no higher than No. 21.

    But even with the nominal success of “Love, In Itself”, the band found a ready following of devoted fans popping up all over Europe. The album made a powerful impression on the public, especially in the UK where it sold enough copies to go Gold. “It was the first step in the right direction,” explains Martin. “I agree with Martin, and also there were a lot of fresh ideas” adds Alan.

    With the songs of Construction Time Again still fresh in the minds of fans the band started an album tour of the UK. They wrapped it up in early October with three nights at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. Then, with little more than enough time to catch a breath, the band commenced with a tour of the globe. This leg catered to the growing number of fans in Europe, North America and the Far East, thirsting for a live performance, and the messages of the album sparked a fascination in fans the World over.

    “We’re not trying to change anything,” explained Martin. “I don’t think our music’s going to change anything at all, we’re just trying to make people think a little bit.”

[1] - It's one of life's ironies that the 12" version of Get The Balance Right would be hailed as a dance classic by House pioneers a few years down the line.

[Words: Danny Zerbib.]
Summary: The fourth installment of a serialised Depeche Mode history, covering 1984. [1243 words]
This article is a considerably edited and re-written version of the original, which appeared in Bong 15 in 1991.
With many thanks to Doreen ("Cupido") in Germany for kindly scanning the pages of the original magazine.

    It wasn’t long after “Construction Time Again” that Depeche Mode were at it again. Martin, working alone in his rented Berlin flat, immersed himself in writing love songs for the next album. This did not come as a surprise to the other members, though. “Martin’s in love again, see?” Fletch informed Melody Maker in an attempt to explain why the new songs did not wear the same political and environmental guise as the last album. He had taken a particular liking to the new material. “The point is too see something important and to write about it honestly, even if it’s only important to yourself. Some people tend to think that love songs shouldn’t be treated seriously, that it’s only if you’re writing about social problems that a song becomes serious.”

    As if to contradict that point, “People Are People” was released in March, 1984, as the next single. Although it was arguable the weakest track on their forthcoming album, the song barrelled its way to No.4 on the British charts with little hesitation. In spite of (because of?) the song’s political and social implications, “People Are People” also succeeded in holding the No.1 spot in Germany for three weeks and punctured a hole into the U.S. Top 40, peaking at No. 13. Incorporating the use of the Synclavier, a machine which enabled the band to sample many different sounds and combine them together, this song contained samples of everything from acoustic bass drums to an airline hostess going through a pre take-off drill, and Peter Martin from Smash Hits was clever enough to suggest “It tends to induce movement in bodies that normally wouldn’t be seen dead on a dance floor.”

    The success of “People Are People” was followed by a concert on June 2nd, where they shared the bill with Elton John, to a crowd of 50,000 in Ludwigshafen. The single, “Master and Servant” was released in August, and climbed to No. 9 in the U.K. bringing with it nothing but trouble. “It’s a song about domination and exploitation and we use the sexual angle to get that across,” Martin explained, at the same time trying to defend the song against accusations of indecency and obscenity. Interestingly enough, the sound of a snapping bull whip at the song’s intro was nothing more than Daniel Miller hissing and spitting into a mic. The band had to settle for this archaic alternative when attempts to sample a real whip [were] deemed hopeless.

    “Some Great Reward” hit stores immediately afterwards, and the band found themselves genuinely satisfied with the end results. “We spent days doing just one or two sounds or rhythms this time – we went over the top really and it cost us a few bob, but it’s paid off because this is the first album we’re all really proud of. Not that we don’t like the others, it’s just that this one is so much better in terms of sound quality.”

    Dave commented to Melody Maker: “I’m very pleased with the vocal sound on this one – it’s a lot to do with having confidence and a lot to do with being comfortable with the engineer (Gareth Jones – DM’s engineer since “Everything Counts”, who also co-produced Some Great Reward with the band and Daniel Miller). Also, I took a couple of lessons with Tona deBrett, scales and things, and I didn’t see much application to singing pop songs, I wanted to learn more about breathing control.”

    Their next single, “Blasphemous Rumours”, a controversial and thought-provoking track, received mixed reviews and more attention than it deserved. After promoting the song by singing it on Top Of The Pops, the band received dozens of complaint letters, and were told they could never perform that song on T.O.T.P. again. “Religion seems to be a very touchy subject,” Martin commented. “You can sing about sex and nearly get away with it, but religion seems to stir people more. It wasn’t really intended to have that sort of effect. Because of the apparent controversy surrounding “Blasphemous Rumours”, (Melody Maker described the song as “a prime candidate for some official censor”), the band released it as a double A-side together with “Somebody”, a love ballad featuring Martin on vocals and Alan playing accompanying piano. Perhaps it was the empathy the single evoked, or the growing awareness of Ethiopia’s famine problem that spurred the song up the charts, but whatever the case, “Blasphemous Rumours” crept up to No. 16.

    “Some Great Reward” was a smooth and calibrated album. As a “together” album, it was clearly their best work to date, but Andy imparted, “We’ve still got a long way to go before people will be proud to have Depeche Mode albums in their collection.” Maybe so, but probably not as far as one may think: the album clinched a No. 5 spot on the British charts. Journalist Penny Kiley commented, “The packaging of the LP, “Some Great Reward”, is an opposition of work and romance, real life and illusion. On stage, the package extends that opposition with the same quasi-industrial background and, out in front, pop stars.”

    Riding on the success of their new album, Depeche Mode embarked on a three month tour of the UK and Europe, the Some Great Reward Tour, filming a sold-out show in Hamburg for a future video, and finishing just before Christmas 1984.

    In March 1985, they embarked on a five week stint in America, finally carving out a place for themselves in the U.S. Charts. They became so popular in fact, that Sire Records released a compilation LP titled, “People Are People”, which featured various past singles and B-sides, re-introducing Depeche Mode to North America.

    This was followed, in July, by a month of touring in Europe, but this time including some large festivals, with bands like U2 and the newly reformed Clash, as well as their own shows in Budapest and Warsaw, Depeche Mode’s first time in the “East”. In fact, it was on his 24th birthday, July 23rd, that Martin stood, with the rest of the band, on the stage of the Volan Open Air Football Stadium in Budapest, Hungary and listened as thousands of fans sang “Happy Birthday” to him. It was also on this final leg that Depeche Mode played their largest venue to date. Accompanying The Stranglers, The Cure, The Clash, Nina Hagen, Talk Talk, and the headlining Culture Club, DM played to 80,000 people in Athens, Greece. [1]

    It was during this period that these “out in front pop stars” strayed from their “teeny wimp” image, dubbed by the media, and had taken to wearing leather and bondage gear. The critics began calling it Depeche Mode’s kinky phase, and referred to it as the “Southend Boys Bondage Look”. This didn’t bother the band though, their new image was as much a part of their history as the music they made. Besides, Depeche Mode does mean fast fashion…

    Melody Maker summed up this album by saying, “It used to be okay to slag off this bunch because of their lack of soul, their supposed synthetic appeal, their reluctance to really pack a punch. “Some Great Reward” just trashes such bad old talk into the ground and demands that you now sit up and take notice of what is happening here, right under your nose.” The band added later on, “We hope that everybody will see it as our best yet, but journalists can be unpredictable. Then again, so can we…”

[1] - Let's just make clear that this was 80,000 people over two nights. This end section of the article has been largely re-written; the fact was clearer originally.

[From Bong 28, May 1996. Words: Brian Do.]
Summary: An instalment of the continuing band biography, started in Bong 14. This part covers 1987 to the release of "101" in early 1989.
This article is a somewhat edited and amended version of that appearing in Bong 20 in 1994.
With many thanks to Doreen ("Cupido") in Germany for kindly scanning the pages of the original magazine.

    Having taken a few months’ break from their Black Celebration Tour, which ended in August 1986, Depeche Mode returned to the recording studios late that year to begin work on their next album titled “Music For The Masses”. Recording began at Studio Guillaume Tell, Paris and finished up at Konk, London, “Strangelove” was the result of extensive work with David Bascombe producing and engineering at Puk Studios, Denmark.

    “Strangelove”, released to the public ear on April 13, 1987, went to No. 16, confirming that Depeche Mode were once again asserting their role as one of the giants of Modern Rock. The first single became an immediate favourite, yet it was only a taste of what was to come. The track hinted at the celebration of masochism, a theme that is all too familiar for songwriter, Martin Gore. With the vocals of David Gahan, it portrayed a marvellous marriage of voice and material.

    Several months later on September 28, saw the highly anticipated release of “Music For The Masses”, which immediately went platinum World-wide and continued to mount in sales as Depeche Mode made preparations to launch another World tour that would be even more extensive than the previous. The album took the band to new heights with its meaningful lyrics and pounding rhythms. Never before had the group’s material been so consistent and focused. It spoke of pain and salvation, love and despair; the familiar theme of Martin’s lyrics, yet even further defined. Sometimes there would seem to be a hazy line between whether the group questioned faith or inspired it. “I’m a firm believer and a warm receiver / And I’ve made my decision / This is religion / There’s no doubt / I’m one of the devout”. The album reached No. 10 on the U.K. charts and definitely appealed to the masses as sales climbed past the 3 million mark.

    The second single, “Never Let Me Down Again” greeted music stores late that summer (August 24) and reached a modest No. 22. David Hiltbrand of Rolling Stone commented, “This is the band’s most lifelike effort to date, and a compelling dance number”. Compelling it was as Martin described, “We’re flying high / We’re watching the World pass us by / Never want to come down / Never want to put my feet back down on the ground”.

    Beginning their world tour in Madrid, Spain, the group travelled the globe selling out stadiums and concert halls wherever they stopped. The Music For The Masses Tour brought the foursome together on stage to deliver their passion and soul. Every stage introduction began with “Pimpf”, a classically orchestrated instrumental track from the album.

    While the tour was underway, the next single “Behind The Wheel” was released on December 28, 1987 and was added to the list of top 20 hits. The track was undeniably alluring as it became a dance favourite when combined with their remake of Robert Troup Jr.’s classic “Route 66”. The three singles from “Music For The Masses” then went on to appear in every major top 100 radio countdown list of 1988. Quite a remarkable achievement considering they had some of their older tracks already on the lists! The band had proven once again that they could craft music of throbbing power and deliver it with powerful emotions.

    As Depeche Mode returned for their last stop at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Stadium on June 18, 1988, the historical event was recorded and filmed for the later to be released movie and live album, bearing the name “Depeche Mode 101”, appropriately titled for the 101st show performed on the tour.

    On May 16, 1988, just a month before the tour ended, Mute Records released yet another track from the “Music For The Masses” album, but only in certain European countries, and not in the UK.. “Little 15” became a popular piece among the band’s ballads. Martin’s powerful lyrics pierce the soul with heartfelt emotion: “You could drive her away / To a happier place / To a happier day / That exists in your mind / And in your smile / She could escape there / Just for a while, Little 15”.

    A live single of the encore favourite “Everything Counts” kept fans happy even after the tour was over as it was released the following year on February 13, and contained some live tracks from the Pasadena Rose Bowl performance as well as new remixes of “Everything Counts” and “Strangelove”.

    Just when everyone thought that they had heard and seen everything, the double compilation album “101” was released on March 13 which showcased the group’s entire performance at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Stadium. This would be the first time that a complete live concert of the group would be commercially available through their record company. The 20-track compilation featured two hours of Depeche Mode at their finest. Another highlight coming after the tour was the opening of the film “101”, which opened at theatres all over the World in March 1989. The film, directed by rockumentarist D. A. Pennebaker, featured eight teenage fans, who, after winning a radio contest, followed Depeche Mode on a tour bus during the band’s North American tour. The contest, held by the Long Island, N.Y. radio station WDRE, was devised by Pennebaker and the band as an idea to explore the elements of pop culture and as a means for less concentration on performance footage of the group. The fans trailed the group on tour across the United States, all the way up to the waiting audience of nearly 80,000 greeting the band at the start of their last show in Pasadena, California. [1]

    There would be no material released by the band for quite some time following “101”, but Alan and Martin were busy working on side projects of their own. Alan finished a solo project under the name of Recoil and released his “Hydrology and 1+2” tracks at the end of 1988. Meanwhile, Martin began work on his solo e.p. that was eventually released in 1989 titled, “Counterfeit”.

    The Music For The Masses era definitely broke open wider doors for Depeche Mode and further established them as leading pioneers of Modern Rock. The album, the singles, the tour – all of which led way to their appeal of the masses. Depeche Mode spoke – the world listened.

[1] - This figure gets inflated all the time, and this is the most heinous example I've come across yet. Big though the concert was, it wasn't quite that big, the actual attendance figure (as given in the video itself) being around 67,000.
2017-06-30: Photobucket has disabled external image hosting, all scans will have to be re-uploaded on another site.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #34 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:22:32 »
[Continuation of the post above.]

[Words: Brian Do.]
Summary: A continuation of the serialised Depeche Mode biography, this instalment covering the Violator era. [1241 words]
The original version of this article appeared in Bong 21 in 1994: this version has been slightly amended, and the closing paragraphs entirely rewritten.
With many thanks to Doreen ("Cupido") in Germany for kindly scanning the pages of the original magazine.

    “Let me take you on a trip / Around the World and back / And you won’t have to move / You just sit still...” That’s exactly what Depeche Mode did as they took the World on a very pleasant trip and showed them the “World in their eyes”. It was August of 1989 when an English paper ran an ad that simply stated, “Your own Personal Jesus” and gave a telephone number. Callers were treated to the sound of the new single from Depeche Mode, a band that for the last decade has continually grown in stature with legions of fans which now number in the millions throughout the world. “Personal Jesus” was an ingenious piece of work which went on to become one of the best selling 12-inch discs in American history, selling over a million copies and easily becoming the best-selling single in the Warner Brothers catalogue. It certainly looks as if Depeche Mode have found a little personal ‘Jesus’ of their own. The trip continues as the World eagerly awaited the next album.

    Following the release of “Music For The Masses”, Depeche Mode had little time to rest. The tour had ended in June of 1988 and it was but a few months after that when the band found themselves back in the recording studios, mixing the “101” album. Martin Gore released his solo e.p. “Counterfeit”, and began concentrating on new material for the next Depeche Mode album. For their new LP, the band enlisted the help of a new producer, Mark “Flood” Ellis and legendary mixer, Francois Kevorkian. Work began in Milan, Italy at the Logic Studios, then shifted to Axis in New York, London’s Church and Master Rock Studios, and ended at Puk Studios in Denmark. What resulted was the emergence of a new LP marvellously titled “Violator”, which was immediately embraced by the music industry and to this date has sold well over 6 and0 ½ million copies throughout the World.

    On March 20, 1990, Depeche Mode appeared for a promotional autograph signing at the music store The Wherehouse in West Los Angeles and what transpired was beyond anyone’s imagination. Over 10,000 fans overran the music store to catch a glimpse of the modern rock giants and were simply too much for the security staff to handle. Fearing a riot, the band was promptly dispatched back to their hotel by order of the L.A. Police Dept. which sent in over 130 officers to disperse the crowd. “It was pretty scary,” Dave Gahan recalls. “It was an out of control situation.” [1]

    On every TV station was the headline caption – English rock band Depeche Mode stopped the traffic at Beverley and La Cienega today. Although the band was forced to depart early, the fans were treated to a special cassette release of “Something To Do” (metal mix), which was given free to its L.A. area supporters via a KROQ radio giveaway.

    The signing was intended to launch the new LP “Violator”, and launch it did. The album arrived exactly a decade after the band signed with Mute Records, and quickly rocketed to platinum in several European countries including their homeland of England just months after its release in March. In France, Canada, and the U.S., “Violator” went double-platinum. What was perceived to be a landmark year for the band turned out to be near world domination.

    “Violator” was a monster hit and climbed to No. 2 in Britain and No. 7 in the United States. The U.S. stood in shock as the momentum of the new LP boosted “Personal Jesus” back into the charts six months after its initial release, peaking at No. 1 on many U.S. alternative radio stations. MTV had long since adopted the song’s stunning video, directed by Anton Corbijn, and featured excerpts from his second compilation of Depeche Mode videos; “Strange Too – Another Violation”.

    The second single from the new LP, “Enjoy The Silence”, was another million seller, and was released on February 5, 1990. The track has remained one of the band’s strongest to date and went on to win the coveted British Single of the Year Award of 1990 voted by listeners of BBC Radio 1. The track’s alluring chorus is evidence that the piece hit home with the fans. “All I ever wanted / All I ever needed is here in my arms / Words are very unnecessary / They can only do harm.”

    The third single from “Violator”, “Policy Of Truth”, reunited Martin Gore with his religious tones as seen in the track’s lyrics. “You’ll see your problems multiplied / If you continually decide / To faithfully pursue / The policy of truth…” Although the single didn’t do as well in sales as the first two singles, it has become a strong underground number with clubbers.

    The final single “World In My Eyes” was released on September 17, 1990 and sailed high into the music charts landing at No. 17. “I’ll take you to the highest mountain / To the depths of the deepest sea / We won’t need a map believe me / Now let my body do the moving / And let my hands do the soothing / Let me show you the world in my eyes.” The B-sides of the single - “Happiest Girl” and “Sea Of Sin” - again proved popular in the clubs.

    There was nothing that prepared the world for what was to come – Depeche Mode’s new tour in support of “Violator”. This was to be Depeche Mode’s longest and most successful tour yet. World Violation, as it was called, would take the band on a year long trip over five continents and reach over 1,200,000 people. Tickets were sold in record times as box offices opened. In New York, 42,000 tickets were sold within four hours. Dallas’ 24,000 seat Starplex Amphitheatre sold out immediately as did the World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Chicago. In Los Angeles, where the now-traditional tour closer was to take place, 48,000 tickets for the last tour performance at Dodgers Stadium were sold within one hour of going on sale, two months in advance of the show. Within 72 hours, a second night was added and that sold out even faster.

    World Violation saw Depeche Mode’s first ever visit to Australia, although, sadly, the show in Melbourne had to be cancelled, after Dave badly strained his vocal chords during the show in Sydney. In ten years, this was the first time a show had ever been cancelled for health reasons. The tour continued in Japan, before the final European stretch, which culminated in three shows at Wembley Arena, and three at Birmingham’s NEC.

    The success of Violator, and the tour, was undoubtedly a huge step up in what had been the band’s steady rise in popularity, and not only won over a vast number of new fans, but also earned them the respect of the entire industry.

    The band had decided that they should take a year off following the Violator project, and no-one could say they hadn’t earned it.

    However, in December 1991, the soundtrack album of the Wim Wenders’ film “Until The End Of The World” was released, featuring a beautiful ballad titled “Death’s Door” by Depeche Mode. This was the only recording the band produced in that year. The song was also featured on a special flexi-disc, which was available from the official Fan Club, as a give-away at the time.

[1] - For more on the incident, read the article that appeared in Bong 9, or the transcript of the souvenir cassette given away by K-ROQ.

[Words: Brian Do.]
Summary: A continuation of the serialised Depeche Mode biography, this being the first of a two-parter covering the Songs of Faith and Devotion era. [876 words]
This is a considerably rewritten and somewhat condensed version of the article "Depeche Mode For 'Devotees'" that appeared in Bong 22 in 1994.
With many thanks to Doreen ("Cupido") in Germany for kindly scanning the pages of the original magazine.

    “I feel you / Your sun it shines / I feel you / Within my mind / You take me there / You take me where / The kingdom comes / You take me to / And lead me through Babylon / This is the morning of our love / It’s just the dawning of our love.”

    New driving voice, new powerful lyrics, new harmonious chords and rhythms – that’s what the World witnessed when Depeche Mode’s single “I Feel You” arrived on February 15, 1993 and went straight into the upper reaches of the music charts, in over a dozen countries World-wide, and reaching No. 1 in six countries including Italy, Spain and Austria. The music video was even nominated by MTV’s annual Music Awards for the Alternative Video Of The Year. Was this the same Depeche Mode that had brought us the six and a half million selling LP “Violator”, the 1990 British single of the year, “Enjoy The Silence”, and the best selling single (“Personal Jesus”) in the history of the Warner Bros. Catalogue?

    Depeche Mode were back and in their best form yet. Adding “I Feel You” to their list of hit singles. It was an impressive start that would launch their newest studio LP “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” after its release on March 22, 1993 straight to the top of the music industry. The new album debuted at No. 1 on both the American and British charts and went on to dominate album charts everywhere. It was a remarkable achievement for an album to achieve such a distinguished double.

But first, let’s take a step back to 1992 during the recording of “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” to see how the band had come up with this new album. Dave Gahan, who, since “Violator”, had developed an even more stronger and more powerful voice, was now sporting long shoulder length hair, new tattoos, and a goatee. He had experienced some dramatic personal changes since the last album, and some of these changes were apparent in the new recording sessions. Having gone through a divorce and remarriage, David hinted at the idea that he had gone through a spiritual rebirth. He states: “I was going through a lot of things at the time. You know, with my divorce and all, and leaving my son Jack behind. Then I went off to another country and got married. All these things tend to have an effect on you.”

    Martin Gore, the chief lyricist who could even write songs in his sleep, was back with a wide assortment of new themes. When asked why he came up with the particular lyrics and sounds for “Songs Of Faith And Devotion”, he replied: “Right now there’s a lot of dance techno music out there, I think everyone expected us to come up with a hard dance album, but there’s so much of it out there right now that the songs are really getting lost. All these things tend to have an effect on you.” [1]

    As a songwriter, Martin Gore was back with a wide assortment of new themes. When asked why he came up with the particular lyrics and sounds for “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” he replied, “Right now there’s a lot of dance techno music out there. I think everyone expected us to come up with a hard dance album, but there’s so much of it out there right now that the songs are really getting lost. I think I subconsciously tried to rebel against that.”

    Although “Violator” had been such an overwhelming success, there was a need to try out a different approach for the new album. A new environment was needed that would differ from the recording studios used previously, and which would serve as a work place for the new LP. Such an environment was set up at a privately rented villa in Madrid, Spain. It seemed an ideal choice, and Depeche Mode were reunited in February 1992 to begin work on “Songs Of Faith And Devotion”. However, the band admits that the first few weeks were a bit of a disaster and there was a certain amount of conflict. [2] “It’s just that after 10 or so albums, your standards go up and you try harder to get things right,” Martin explains. A lot of the turmoil centred around Dave and he confesses: “It was hard for them to even want to be in the same room with me sometimes. There were a lot of arguments.”

    Despite this, the band soon settled into the new project, and there is no question that a lot of good work was achieved in Spain. Dave explains the atmisphere of the villa, and how it helped his singing during the recording sessions. Speaking about the recording of his vocals for “Condemnation”, he said “There was something about the echoey tiles that made the feel just right. I came out of the studio and into the control room and everyone – Flood and everyone just looked at me and it felt really good. Something was just really right about it. I think we captured something special there.” It was clear that Dave, in singing this gospel-like number, felt that he had given one of his best performances yet.

[1] - This quote, like many in the article, is paraphrased from the Songs Of Faith And Devotion EPK video / interview. This particular quote has been changed from how it appeared in Bong 24 originally.
[2] - This paragraph has been extensively rewritten and the degree of discord in the studio toned down considerably. It's hard to say which version of events is the more reliable - my gut feeling is that when there are two versions of a story, the truth is always somewhere in the middle.

[Words: Brian Do.]
Summary: The final instalment of the serialised band history begun in Bong 14, covering the releases and tour spawned by Songs Of Faith And Devotion. [875 words]
The article is a considerably amended and edited version of the article "Rushing For Depeche Mode", which appeared in Bong 23 in 1994.
With many thanks to Doreen ("Cupido") in Germany for kindly scanning the pages of the original magazine.

    With the global release of “Songs Of Faith And Devotion”, Dave’s best vocal performances could be heard all over the World. Songs like “Walking In My Shoes” and “Rush” immediately became the favourites among their fans, and with tracks like “Judas” and “One Caress” sung by Martin, the band continued to prove that they could craft music of any style. Once again, they had proved that they could reach new heights with each successive album. As “Violator” had been a dramatic change from “Music For The Masses”, so was “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” from “Violator”. This was especially evident in the way in which they used more guitar, and even in the use of an orchestra on “One Caress”. Depeche Mode had never used outside musicians on any previous recordings.

    Just prior to the release of “Songs Of Faith And Devotion”, on March 12, 1993, the band appeared at a listening party at the club “Ministry Of Sound” in London, to launch the new album, meet fans and to take part in an interview that was broadcast World-wide by satellite. [1]

    Within a week of its release, “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” had reached number one in several countries including the UK, USA, Italy, Germany and France, and was in the top ten in many more.

    With that momentum, the band set out on its boldest World tour yet. An extensive 14 month tour was planned which would take them across the globe twice, playing to a total number of over 2 million devotees.

    The first half of the tour was simply called the Devotional Tour, and played to audiences throughout Europe and North America. The next leg, called The Exotic Tour, began in early 1994, and took the band to far off places like South Africa, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Manila and South America. Returning to the United States in May, the final leg was just called USA ’94.

    The second single from the album, “Walking In My Shoes” was released on April 26 1993, less than a month before the tour commenced. “I’m not looking for a clearer conscience / Peace of mind after what I’ve been through / And before we talk of any repentance / Try walking in my shoes / Try walking in my shoes /  You’ll stumble in my footsteps / Keep the same appointments I kept / If you try walking in my shoes”.

    The tour started on May 19th 1993 in Lille, France and continued throughout Europe, culminating in a sold-out show at The Crystal Palace Sports Arena, to 35,000 fans, before heading for North America, in September, where the band played over  50 performances in less than 3 months. The grand finale to this leg was a sold out five night stint at the Los Angeles Forum.

    “Condemnation”, released on 13th September, was the third single from the album and included a version of the haunting ballad “Death’s Door”. The CD also featured remixes of “Rush”, which had become a real favourite in their concert performances and the single made it to No. 9 in the UK Chart.

    A live video, directed by Anton Corbijn, was shot during shows in Lievin, Barcelona and Budapest. This video captures Depeche Mode at their finest during the Devotional Tour, and was released in December 1993 as the band finished the North American leg in Mexico City, before returning to England for shows in Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and London.

It would only be a few weeks before the band would be off again. This time to South Africa playing seven  nights in Johannesburg, two in Cape Town and two in Durban, then on to Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Manila, Hawaii and South America.

    During this time, Fletch had decided that he needed to take some time out from the tour, to be at home with his family, when his second child was born. It was decided that Daryl Bamonte was the best man to stand in for him, so after the extensive rehearsals in Hawaii, Daryl played keyboards for the remainder of the tour.

    Much of the new excitement from the tour stemmed from the expanded roles of Martin on guitar and Alan  on the drums. This gave new direction to some of their old classics such as “A Question Of Time”, which was the encore track on the USA ’94 shows. The Devotional Tour also spawned the release of a live version of “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” which consisted of the same tracks as the studio album, in the same order, recorded during the first leg of the Tour.

    “In Your Room”, the fourth single, was released on 10th January 1994, and the SOFAD era ended with the final concert performances on July 8 in Indianapolis, USA. After 14 months of extensive touring, the band were ready for a break.

    So we reach the end of another chapter in a remarkable story, and eagerly await something new from this unique band.

    At the end of May 1995, Alan Wilder announced his departure from Depeche Mode, which came as a great shock to everyone. However the remaining band members decided not to seek a replacement, and are currently recording material for a new album, working with promoter Tim Simenon. [2]

[1] - A fan club newsletter regarding this event can be found here.
[2] - This closing paragraph was, obviously, not in the original article and is placed some way apart from the rest of the article, almost as a footnote, in the magazine. It's possible that, given that at this time the band were in a desperate situation with the release date of Ultra put back indefinitely, it was felt necessary to end on an upbeat note and minimise the impact that the departure of Alan could be seen to have. If this is the case, then the mention of Alan's leaving is insultingly short given his contribution to Depeche Mode. On the other hand, it's perfectly likely that no-one noticed the need for an update until very soon before the magazine was due to go for printing, and it was only possible to add a brief amendment.

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #35 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:23:26 »
1996-05-xx - Orkus (Germany) - History Teil 2

[Thanks to Barclay for scanning this for this forum!]

1996-06-01 - Melody Maker (UK) - DEPECHE DRUG HELL

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[Thanks to Marblehead Johnson for scanning this.]

[Melody Maker, 1st June 1996. Words: Uncredited. Pictures: Uncredited.]
Summary:  Don't let the sulphurous title put you off. This news item, even without considering the speed at which it must have been put together, is a very sensible and informative piece that explores all the aspects of Dave's overdose without ever slipping into wild speculation. [437 words]
Many thanks to Michael Rose for kindly supplying a scan of this article.

    Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan faces multiple drugs charges after he overdosed on a lethal mixture of heroin and cocaine – commonly known as a speedball – in a Los Angeles hotel last Tuesday (May 28).
    Police found Gahan unconscious in the bathroom of his room at West Hollywood’s Sunset Marquis hotel after his girlfriend called the authorities for help.
    Gahan was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment and released, at which point he was arrested by Hollywood Sheriff’s deputies and charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanour charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance.
    The police found a syringe and half an ounce of cocaine in Gahan’s room. Bail was set at $10,000 and Gahan was released by 12.30 that night. [1] He will appear in court for arraignment on June 18.
    The troubled singer – who was treated for an apparent suicide attempt in Los Angeles last September – was on a break from recording a new album with Depeche Mode. The group, who had been working in New York with producer Tim Simenon of Bomb The Bass, had just started a two-month break while group member Martin Gore went back to England to continue writing material.
    In an eerie coincidence, Gahan was treated by paramedics from the same crew – West Hollywood’s Fire Station Seven – that responded to River Phoenix’s fatal overdose at West Hollywood’s Viper Club three years ago.
    It was a speedball that killed legendary comedial John Belushi in 1982 during a party at the Chateau Marmont, just down the road from Gahan’s hotel.
    Depeche Mode’s US spokesman Michael Pagnotta would not comment on the incident.
    “We’re not releasing any statement,” he said. “There isn’t anything I can add to the wire reports at this point.”
    Gahan had reportedly been seeking treatment and attending rehabilitation centres and meetings since 1994. There are rumours that the overdose was his third suicide attempt since last September, but there is no evidence as yet to support that theory. [2]
    Depeche Mode had begun work on the new album at the end of last year and had been recording in New York and Los Angeles. The group planned to continue work in London after the break, for a planned spring 1997 release. At least seven new tracks have been written and recorded so far. [3]
    The songs have been described as “among the best songs Martin (Gore) has ever written” and that Tim Simenon’s influence “is definitely present in the music”.
    There is no official word on how Gahan’s arrest and drug problems will affect the finishing of the record or its release date.
[1] - They mean the following night - IE broadly speaking Dave's treatment took him through into the following morning, he was discharged from hospital later in the day, and spent the evening in custody. Dave's overdose occurred at 1.15am. All of which makes the speed at which this article was put together even more impressive. [continue]
[2] - I would call this an exaggeration. I have never heard anything to suggest that Dave's overdose was anything other than a foolish accident caused by Dave taking his "normal" dose of heroin / cocaine despite being partially detoxed. The previous suicide attempt already alluded to was in August 1995 (see this news item) where Dave deliberately slashed his wrists. Dave has said repeatedly it was more about crying for help than actually ending his life, but it was nonetheless deliberately done. When the third incident is supposed to have occurred, I don't know. [continue]
[3] - I would call that an exaggeration too. In an interview in February 1997 Dave, talking about the track Sister Of Night, mentions an eight-week recording session in the spring of 1996 and says "this is all I did". [continue]

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #36 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:26:44 »
1996-06-04 - Depeche Mode Fanclub - statement

Depeche Mode Fan Club statement - June 4th, 1996
The Depeche Mode Fan Club made this statement by answering a post in the Depeche Mode chat room on the Mute Records BBS:
Q: This may not be an apprpriate time to ask this question, but I'm probably not the only person wondering this. Will recent events surrounding Dave mean that the new album may never see the light of day/have a delaying effect on it's release?

A: Recording has been going very well, and there is no reason to think that what happened to Dave will have any effect on it's release.

Q: How have Martin and Andy taken the news of Dave problem and have they decided to stand by him in his obvious time of need?

A: Martin and Andy are obviously upset, but of course they'll stand by him. Dave knows he has to overcome this problem, and we all support any steps which will help him.

1996-06-08 - NME (UK) - GOING... GOING... GAHAN...

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[Thanks to Marblehead Johnson for scanning this.]

[NME, 8th June 1996. Words: Uncredited. Pictures: All Action.]
" Following the latest incident, Gahan’s record company, Mute, who have had the band under contract since 1981, have been tight-lipped about the singer. However, sources close to him do admit that he has problems. "
Summary:   Two news items - the first a brief "inside front-pager" and the second a longer article - amongst the first to break the news of Dave’s overdose. Being so soon after the fact, this piece stays to the known facts and is free of the lip-smacking over gory details found in some of the 1997 pieces. The piece is sober, cautious and tactful yet, frighteningly, moves into what must have been intended at the time as a Depeche Mode career obituary. [1148 words]
With many thanks to Michael Rose for kindly supplying a scan of the shorter item.

[Larger Article]
    Dave Gahan narrowly escaped death for the second time in less than a year last week.
    Responding to an emergency 911 call at 1.15am on May 28, from an unnamed woman saying that she was Gahan’s roommate, deputies of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department and paramedics knocked down the door of Gahan’s room at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.
    They found the 34-year-old Depeche Mode singer unconscious in the bathroom. They also found a “sizeable amount” of what they believed to be a mixture of heroin and cocaine, as well as drug paraphernalia. Gahan was rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Centre for emergency treatment where staff confirmed that he had been treated for a drugs overdose.
    He was kept under police guard while in hospital and as soon as he was discharged, at 8.30am, he was arrested and taken to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station where he was booked for possession of controlled substances, a felony offence, as well as charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance, a misdemeanour. He was released at 12.30pm on $10,000 bail.
    This is the second time in under a year that Gahan has been rushed to Cedars Sinai for emergency treatment. In August 1995, he was admitted to the hospital with “lacerations to the wrists consistent with being slashed with a razor blade”, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Statements from Depeche Mode’s management and record company followed denying that Gahan had made a suicide attempt. Spokespeople for Gahan said that he had “accidentally cut his wrists during a party at his home”. The Sheriff’s Department would not confirm whether it was Gahan who had dialled the 911 emergency number.
    Shortly before the accident, Depeche Mode co-founder Andy Fletcher had left the band and Gahan had split with his second wife, Theresa. [1]
    Following the latest incident, Gahan’s record company, Mute, who have had the band under contract since 1981, have been tight-lipped about the singer. However, sources close to him do admit that he has problems. One American friend said that he doesn’t believe that the latest incident was a suicide attempt. He claimed Gahan had been undergoing treatment for drug dependency for at least two years, since the band came off their Devotional Tour in 1994.
    Another source said that he had just come out of a 12-step drug rehabilitation programme, shortly before his overdose. If that is true it would suggest that the overdose was more likely to have been the result of an accident than a suicide attempt. Also, the presence of another person in the room with Gahan, the woman who called 911, would make a suicide attempt seem less likely.
    The hospital would not confirm whether or not Gahan had been injecting the heroin / cocaine cocktail. In medical circles this combination is known as Brompton’s Cocktail and is sometimes administered to terminally-ill patients, particularly those suffering pain from cancer. Known colloquially as a ‘speedball’, the combination is favoured by many junkies because of the euphoria that the two drugs bring: the cocaine gives the user an immediate rush of energy, awareness and clarity while the heroin smoothes out the ‘comedown’ effects from the cocaine, which gives only a short-duration high. Many users inject larger quantities of ‘speedballs’ than they would of heroin, which can lead to overdoses. Also, if a user had just been through rehab and was drug free, their level of tolerance to the drug would have been diminished and would have made the user vulnerable as soon as they injected quantities they were used to while a regular user. Other famous ‘speedball’ victims include the comedian John Belushi.
    When NME’s Gavin Martin interviewed Depeche Mode in September 1993, during the Devotional Tour, he found Gahan very obviously ill, his arms bruised and scratched. Martin was later told that this was as a result of the singer being bitten and scratched by fans. [2] In interviews, Gahan denied that he had a drug dependency problem, although he once admitted that he drank too much. [3]
    Formed in Basildon, Essex, in the early-‘80s, Depeche Mode were originally lumped alongside the electro / futurist scene presided over by DJ Stevo. The band made their recording debut on his Some Bizzare compilation alongside Soft Cell and Blancmange. Depeche Mode scored their first hit with ‘New Life’, a pristine electronic pop track written by Vince Clarke, who left to form Yazoo and later Erasure.
    The band established themselves primarily as a pop act in the UK, though in the US and Europe were taken more seriously. By ’87, the time of film-maker D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary 101, they were a massive stadium act, certainly as big as U2 and garnering the same critical acclaim Stateside as the likes of New Order. They also built up a fanatical, almost religious following in Europe. The music became darker, moving away from the optimistic ‘new town’ pop of their early-‘80s debut album, ‘Speak And Spell’, through to the grandiose, almost humourless ‘Songs Of Faith And Devotion’ in 1993.
    Depeche Mode had been working together on new material. Martin Gore had written new songs and they were due to go back into the studio in August. At present no-one seems to know how these plans will be affected. The album is tentatively on the release schedules for the first quarter of 1997.
    Whatever Gahan’s personal and drug-related problems, he now has to contend with a potentially more serious legal issue. Possession of heroin can carry a jail sentence although the amount found in the hotel room is still unknown and it is not known if the drugs belonged to Gahan. It is unlikely that a prison sentence will be handed out to someone of Gahan’s standing, though a condition of any probation will be that he attends a rehabilitation programme approved by the Los Angeles courts.
[Short news item]
    Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan is free on $10,000 bail after being arrested on Tuesday, May 28 following a drug overdose.
    Gahan was booked for possession of drugs and being under the influence of controlled substances. A court hearing has been scheduled for June 18.
    Paramedics and sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from an unidentified woman made at 1.15am early on Tuesday. They were forced to break into Gahan’s room in the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles. The singer had passed out and there were drugs and drug paraphernalia in the room. Gahan had overdosed on a “speedball”, a cocktail of heroin and cocaine injected intravenously. He had recently been in a 12-step drug rehabilitation programme and had returned to the US after a visit to the UK. Friends in Britain reported that the singer was drug-free.
    Gahan was taken to Cedars Sinai hospital where he recovered. He was then charged and released on bail.
    Depeche Mode were in the US working on new material with Tim Simenon of Bomb The Bass.
[1] - No, it was Alan Wilder who left the band in the summer of 1995, although Andy had dropped prematurely out of the touring of 1994 due to nervous breakdown. This is a mistake probably replicated from the NME's original news item (here) on Dave's suicide attempt. [continue]
[2] - It was an extended feature in two parts, both of which are excellent if decidedly sobering reading. They are respectively here and here. [continue]
[3] - The admission comes in Details, April 1993. [continue]
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #37 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:27:11 »
1996-06-09 - Sunday Times (UK) - Despair Mode

[Thanks to ScannedPress of for scanning this!]

Depeche Mode, the 1980s British band, still sells millions of records, yet singer Dave Gahan slit his wrists and recently nearly died of a drug overdose. What went wrong?

Depeche Mode in the 1980s

'Even after all the success, they were still just lads from Basildon who had put together a band in the back room. But when Dave moved out to LA, the rock-star thing caught up with him.'

Just Can't Get Enough: Dave Gahan, left after his drug overdose. The AA pamphlets, above, were found in his car.
Dave Gahan, hip-thrusting lead singer if the British rock band Depeche Mode, narrowly avoided becoming the latest stop on Hollywood's notorious Graveline Tours 10 days ago. The company whisks sightseers, in converted hearses, on ghoulish excursions around town, with the aim of showing them exactly where the stars died.
Gahan had been found unconscious, in the early hours of the morning, on the floor of his room at the trendy Sunset Marquis hotel just off Sunset Boulevard. The hotel lies midway between the Graveline tour stop where River Phoenix died of a drug overdose on the pavement outside the Viper Room club, and the bungalow at the Chateau Marmont hotel where John Belushi OD'd, fatally, before him.
According to police, Gahan had injected himself with a speedball - a heart-jolting, intravenous concoction of heroin and cocaine - and passed out. The police said they had found syringes and a "sizable" amount of cocaine in the bathroom.
After being released from hospital, Gahan, 34, was charged with posession and being under the influence of controlled substances. He was released on $10,000 bail and in due to appear in court on June 18th. As he walked out of the jail, an apparently contrite Gahan aplogised on television to his fans and to his mum.
Graveline Tours has had its eye on Gahan ever since Depeche Mode became of of the biggest rock'n'roll successes in the world. And one of the most unlikely. Akthough only one member of the band, Alan Wilder, has ever claimed to be a competent musician, Depeche Mode has managed to outsell and outlast a ll the bands that emerged from the New Romantic era of the early 1980s.
Where now are Soft Cell, Heaven 17, Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, Spandau Ballet, Frankie Goes to Hollyword and Culture Club? As Duran Duran were desperately planning a comeback in 1990, international sales of Depeche Mode's Violator album topped 6m.
It was the ultimate revenge of the "wimps with synths", the "knob twiddlers", "America's favourite Euroweenies", as Depeche were tagged by the vicious British press. They would never let the band forget their origins as a bunch of unpreposessing Basildon lads who wore frilly shirts and cheap makeup, and gleefully discussed their favourite colours in Smash Hits, the magazine for prepubescent girls.
Despite their attempt to transubstantiate into heavy-duty, leather-clad rockers, Depeche's musical offerings of synthesized religion, safe bondage, and low-brow teenage angst - hits such as See You and Just Can't Get Enough - never won over the critics. "JD Salinger in lederhosen," one reviewer called songwriter Martin Gore's quest for deeper meaning.
Friends say that Gahan's headlong dive into drup-induced oblivion came from the desperate desire to be taken seriously, to erase for ever the embarassing teenybopper label. The former window dresser, whose father left when he was five, and whose mother spent much of her time on her Salvation Army work, was determined to re-emerge as a contender to rock gods such as Bono and Kurt Cobain.
Gahan left Britain for Los Angeles after the band's 1990 Violator tour. At the same time, he echoed his father's departure by leaving his first wife, Joanne, with whom he has an eight-year-old son, and hooking up with Teresa Conroy, who had been the band's American publicist, eventually marrying her and moving into a grand house in the Hollywood Hills, where "he was surrounded by sycophants and leeches", according to one friend. It was an unhappy and nearly fatal move.
"I just went off to LA and did all those classic guru-meeting, refinding my spirit things - or finding my spirituality - and the classic debauched things as well," Gahan told Q magazine last year.
   "As hippie as it sounds, I had to find out what Dave Gahan wanted to do," he said. And what did Gahan discover about himself on his spiritual quest?
"It doesn't matter if it's in a bottle of vodka or if you're banging a needle into your arm," posited the newly reflective Gahan, "at the end of the day, you're going to the same place - which is oblivion - and it's going to kill you."
"The others were back in England and Dave just took himself out of the loop," says a close friend of the band. "There was nobody around to tell him he was being a fool, as there would have been in England. He lost his hold on reality."
Gahan credited Teresa Conroy for initiating his transformation, introducing him to the new generation of alternative rock bands such as Alice in Chains and Jane's Addiction that were beginning to drive Depeche Mode and their ilk of the playlists of the hip radio stations. "He became embarassed that Depeche Mode weren't a guitar band like all the new Seattle bands," says one band insider.
"The great thing about Depeche Mode was that they were never caught up in the whole rock-star thing," says another associate. "Even after all the success, they were still just a bunch of lads from Basildon who had put together a band in the back room. But when Dave moved out to LA, the whole rock-star thing caught up with him."
By now he was rootless, cast adrift from his first wife and son and without - bar Conroy - any secure anchor in LA. Conscious, too, that while he was the band's front man, it was Gore who was the brains behing the band, Gahan was seeking an identity. He was sporting a goatee, he had taken up body-piercing and he was almost completely covered in tattoos. He was babbling incomprehensible new age California-speak that he had begun to parrot from a "spiritual advisor" he had aquired and whom he insisted the band took on their next tour.
The other group members were horrified when Gahan turned up in Madrid for the recording sessions for the last, much less succesful album, Songs of Faith and Devotion. Gahan demanded that they throw away their trademark synthesizers and pick up guitars and drums, which none of them could really play. The sessions collapsed in disarray. "I think the rest of the band were pretty scared of me," Gahan told Rolling Stone. "I was pretty powerful."
"I think Dave's easily influenced and I don't think living in Los Angeles has had a good effect on him," says Wilder, diplomatically.
During the last tour, despite the daily presence of Dave's psychotherapist and spiritual advisor, the problems between the band worsened dramatically. Only one thing seemed to hold them together - mony, "It felt as if it was over," says one person who toured with them, "the energy, the buzz, was gone."
One band member, Andy Fletcher, left the tour before it even finished, ostensibly to be with his wife when she gave birth, but really, claim insiders, because he had allegedly suffered a breakdown, brought on, they suggest, by his increasing guilt and embarrassment about the fact he'd never really had any significant musical role.
By midway through last year, Gahan's second marriage was falling apart, and in Augst the depressed singer was briefly admitted to hospitale after what appeared to be a suicide attempt. "I drank a bottle of wine and swallowed a handful of Valium," said Gahan at the time. "That combination is really stupid. I walked into the bathroom and saw a razor blade and slashed it across my wrists real hard. It was a spur of the moment thing. I cut real deep, so I couldn't deel my fingers any more."
Now Gore and Fletcher are worried that, even though Gahan's latest drug debacle has not killed him off, it may mean the death of the band. There are doubts that the new album will ever be finished.
"Since January, the record company has been telling us that they've recorded four or five songs and that the album was going to be out in June of July," says Richard Blade, who, as a DJ on LA's KROQ, was  instrumental in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Depeche Mode's west coast success, "but now they've pushed the release date back to February 1997 and I doubt that tey're even going to make that."
"The band is on very shaky ground," Blade adds. "The next album is make-or-break."
Gahan's court appearance may be make-or-break, too. A drug conviction could stop him recording or touring in America. Even the resilient Depeche Mode would not survive that, and even if he overcomes his problems with drugs, Dave Gahan may find that he has only succeeded in reinventing himself into a gilded obscurity. He is a long way from home. Graveline Tours won't care where he dies.

Christopher Goodwin,  The Sunday Times
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #38 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:28:21 »
1996-06-22 - MTV - News (Dave Gahan in court)

Appears on the DMTVA Ultra DVD. Not hosted online.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #39 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:28:39 »
1996-06-27 - NME (UK) - News Brief

"DEPECHE MODE singer DAVE GAHAN's court hearing concerned his alleged drug offences was postponed when the Los Angeles District Attorney office demanded a more in-depth police probe into the case.  The hearing relates to an incident late last month when Gahan was arrested and charged with possesion of a controlled substance as he recovered from an overdose of heroin and cocaine. He was released on $10,000 bail and was due to appear
at Los Angeles County Court on June 18."

"But a spokeswoman for the DA's office told NME the case file had been returned to the LA Sheriff's Department "pending further investigation." The spokeswoman said the delay was "not an uncommon occurence."  The hearing has been re-scheduled for July 9.  Meanwhile, a source close to Gahan says he is recovering in LA and is willingly attending a drug treatment
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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #40 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:30:16 »
1996-06-xx - MTV - News (Gahan denies charges)

This video appeared on the first DMTVA 97 Ultra DVD; Dentez made a nice compilation out of the many TV reports about Dave's "situation" from that time. Someone ripped the clip (with Spanish subtitles) from the DMTVA DVD and put it on YouTube, so you can watch this clip here:

1996-06-xx - Access Magazine (US) - Will They Never Learn?

Will They Never Learn?

Dave Gahan, lead singer of seminal British electropop act Depeche Mode, was arrested by West Hollywood police May 29 after overdosing on what was described as a toxic combination of cocaine and heroin. Gahan made headlines last year after a failed suicide attempt landing him in hospital. Heroin abuse in the music industry is seems to be running rampant, having contributed indirectly to the recent deaths of Kurt Cobain, Jerry Garcia, and Blind Melon vocalist Shannon Hoon. Heroin overdoses also killed Hole's Kristen Pfaff and Skinny Puppy's Dwayne Goettel while tone Temple Pilots recently cancelled a series of promotional gigs due to singer Scott Weiland's inability to rehearse due to his ongoing drug habit.
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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #41 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:30:32 »
1996-06-xx - MTV - News (Gahan in court)

This video appeared on the first DMTVA 97 Ultra DVD; Dentez made a nice compilation out of the many TV reports about Dave's "situation" from that time. Someone ripped the clip (with Spanish subtitles) from the DMTVA DVD and put it on YouTube, so you can watch this clip here:

1996-06-xx - Rolling Stone (US) - Drugs claim Sublime's singer; Depeche Mode's Gahan OD's

[Photo found on eBay.]

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #42 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:30:58 »
1996-07-06 - Nuevo Vale (Spain) - Están Grabando

Están Grabando
Depeche Mode

Los componentes de Depeche Mode están trabajando en Nueva York en lo que será su nuevo álbum. Si todo va como esperan y nada los interrumpe, los Depeche Mode podrían sacar su disco en la primavera de 1997. Los Depeche Mode cuentan con la colaboración de los más grandes músicos y los más renombrados productores de todo el estado norteamericano.

1996-07-08 - Reuters - Depeche Mode Singer To Face Drug Charges

08 Jul 96: Depeche Mode Singer To Face Drug Charges:
Monday July 8 6:52 PM EDT
--LOS ANGELES (Reuter) - Drug charges were filed Monday against David Gahan, lead singer of the British techno-rock group Depeche Mode, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said.
--It said Gahan, who was arrested May 28 at a Hollywood hotel after apparently suffering an overdose, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. He had been free on $10,000 bail after being released from the hospital.
--Deputy District Attorney David Longo said the 34-year-old singer would be formally charged with one count each of possession of cocaine and being under the influence of cocaine.
--Depeche Mode, founded in 1980, had two Top 10 singles in Britain in 1982 -- "New Life'' and "Just Can't Get Enough'' as well as a Top 10 Album "Speak and Spell''. The single "People are People'' reached No. 13 in the U.S. Top 100 in 1985.
--Other albums since then have made the American Top 100, including "Black Celebration'', "Music for the Masses'' and ''Violator'' from which the single "Enjoy the Silence'' reached the Top 10 in 1990.
-- Reuters/Variety
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #43 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:33:57 »
1996-07-08 - Reuters - Depeche Mode Singer To Face Drug Charges

Reuters news (from Yahoo) - July 8th, 1996
Depeche Mode Singer To Face Drug Charges
LOS ANGELES (Reuter) - Drug charges were filed Monday against David Gahan, lead singer of the British techno-rock group Depeche Mode, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said.

It said Gahan, who was arrested May 28 at a Hollywood hotel after apparently suffering an overdose, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. He had been free on $10,000 bail after being released from the hospital.

Deputy District Attorney David Longo said the 34-year-old singer would be formally charged with one count each of possession of cocaine and being under the influence of cocaine.

Depeche Mode, founded in 1980, had two Top 10 singles in Britain in 1982 -- "New Life'' and "Just Can't Get Enough'' as well as a Top 10 Album "Speak and Spell''. The single "People are People'' reached No. 13 in the U.S. Top 100 in 1985.

Other albums since then have made the American Top 100, including "Black Celebration'', "Music for the Masses'' and ''Violator'' from which the single "Enjoy the Silence'' reached the Top 10 in 1990.

2017-06-30: Photobucket has disabled external image hosting, all scans will have to be re-uploaded on another site.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #44 on: 06 May 2012 - 01:34:50 »
1996-07-09  - The Vindicator (US) - Fast Life caught up with singer

[Aqcuired through Google's newspaper archive.]

1996-07-09 - Reuters - Depeche Mode's David Gahan Pleads Not Guilty To Drug Charge

•   09 Jul 96: Depeche Mode's David Gahan Pleads Not Guilty To Drug Charge:
Tuesday July 9 4:28 PM EDT
  LOS ANGELES (Reuter) - David Gahan, lead singer of the British rock band Depeche Mode, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of possessing cocaine and being under the influence of the drug.
  Gahan, a founding member of the techno group, was arrested in May after collapsing in a Hollywood hotel from an apparent drug overdose. He was treated at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
  Gahan, 34, who is free on $10,000 bail, entered his not guilty pleas to the two charges in Beverly Hills Municipal Court. He was ordered to return to court on July 30 to determine when a preliminary hearing will be held.
  At the time of his arrest, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Steven Weisgarber said officers found a large quantity of what appeared to be cocaine in Gahan's hotel room.
  Gahan told reporters shortly after his arrest that he was battling drug addiction and was getting professional help. He was hospitalized in Los Angeles last August after slashing his wrist with a razor blade.
  Depeche Mode, founded in 1980, had two Top 10 singles in Britain in 1982 - "New Life'' and "Just Can't Get Enough'' as well as a Top 10 Album "Speak and Spell''. The single "People are People'' reached No. 13 in the U.S. Top 100 in 1985. - Other albums since then have made the American Top 100, including "Black Celebration'', "Music for the Masses'' and ''Violator'' from which the single, "Enjoy the Silence,'' reached the Top 10 in 1990.
- Reuters/Variety [source]

2017-06-30: Photobucket has disabled external image hosting, all scans will have to be re-uploaded on another site.