1986-03-19 - just 17 (uk) - from lads to dads
[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net
FROM LADS TO DADS
[Just Seventeen, 19th March 1986. Words: Jenny Tucker. Pictures: John Stoddart.]
" Andy is riled. “That’s a ridiculous attitude. You’ve got to have certain values, Dave, and you need to draw a line somewhere. Personally, I think the huge amount Martin has just spent on his new sofa is completely stupid.” "
Summary: A teen mag sits down with Dave and Andy for a nice chat, and the result is a squabble between the two on… anything and everything really. Read this for a snapshot of the two’s famed ability to draw sparks from each other. There’s virtually nothing here in the way of music-related details, but this is a pleasure to read and the kind of article this site was made for. [883 words]
Basildon born and bred Jenny Tucker talks to Basildon born and bred Dave Gahan (singer) and Andy Fletcher (keyboards) from Depeche Mode about music, guitar riffs and… no, no, babies, marriage and sofas – actually.
OK, OK, so I once put curry powder (extra hot) in my brother’s cup of tea, but generally I’m not the sort of person who causes trouble. Yet here I am in the Depeche Mode office, perched on a very uncomfortable wooden chair, and there’s an argument going on. It’s between Dave Gahan and Andy Fletcher, and all because I asked them about babies. Harmless enough, you may think, but they disagree strongly on the subject.
Dave puts his opinions across. “Yes, I’ve got plans to have kids. I want to try everything. Plus I’m in a good position to look after them properly, but that doesn’t mean I’ll send them to private school. I want them to live and learn as I have.”
So is that why he took the plunge last year and married Jo, his long-standing girlfriend?
“I don’t know why we got married,” he shrugs, “it was just something we both fancied doing. Jo’s the only person I feel completely at ease with and when you feel you can do anything in front of someone and it’s totally natural, then that’s the person you should stay with.”
Andy stretches his long body across the sofa and shakes his head. Even though he’s lived with his girlfriend for the past three years he doesn’t feel the need for “that piece of paper”. Sorry, but Dave doesn’t agree with that.
“When I go away,” he says, “which is quite often, Jo needs to sort things out for me, and it helps if she can say ‘I’m Mrs Gahan’ rather than ‘I’m his girlfriend’.
“Or I’m his live-in lover,” chips in Andy. We all giggle. Luckily.
Feeling that it’s safe to go on, I ask Andy about the possibility of any future Fletchers.
“I’m 24 now,” he tells me, “and I often get the urge – to have children that is – but my girlfriend’s just started her career and I wouldn’t want to interrupt it.”
Dave shifts himself forward. He’s got something to say about this. “Some people are so dedicated to their job, nothing else matters but I think that’s very tunneled vision. For example, our engineer has just had a vasectomy and he’s only young. I find that really stupid.”
Ah, but what about if you were a woman, Dave? It wouldn’t be so easy to opt for a family and still carry on working.
“That’s true,” agrees Andy.
“Yeah, yeah,” nods Dave as he fidgets on the other end of the sofa, “but why not take your baby into the office? What’s wrong with that?”
Visions of ploppy nappies piling up on my desk flash through my mind and I suspect the rest of the staff wouldn’t be so keen on a wailing baby around the place.
Andy looks heavenward, and tells Dave not to be so silly. He’s had enough of this conversation and I get the feeling we should be talking about music, the charts and other such interesting facts. But Dave still wants to talk babies, and goes on to state that if having a baby did mean giving up his career then he would, as he feels a child would add something to his life that would make many other things seem menial.
But surely success isn’t menial. In five years since doing gigs to a 200-strong crowd at Crocs in Rayleigh, Essex, Depeche Mode are still churning out the hits. They’ve survived Vince Clarke’s departure and have produced more ‘socially aware’ ditties through their current main song-writer, Martin Gore. He’s written all the lyrics for their new album, Black Celebration, and it’s their best one yet – so they say.
Andy and Dave both agree that Depeche Mode have changed a lot: their music’s improved, they’ve definitely become more business-like (they’ve got their own office) and they’ve grown up as people. And, dare I suggest it, they’ve made a fair bit of dosh.
Safely, Andy agrees that they’re “financially stable”. Even so, compared to most folk from their home town, Basildon, they would seem very wealthy. But he reckons that they’re a long way from being classed as millionaires. Yet I’ve heard that Dave drives a white Porsche and spends a fortune on clothes.
“Yeah, I do,” he admits, “but I think that if you’ve got money it’s wrong to feel guilty about spending it. I’ve always spent what money I’ve had whether it be a fiver or five hundred.”
Andy is riled. “That’s a ridiculous attitude. You’ve got to have certain values, Dave, and you need to draw a line somewhere. Personally, I think the huge amount Martin has just spent on his new sofa is completely stupid.”
“But Fletch,” retaliates Dave, “you’ve got to enjoy life.”
“I know, but you only live once and it’s silly to have money sitting in the bank.”
“Yeah Dave, but for you everything’s got it’s price.”
“I often don’t look at prices.”
Oh dear, they both seem to have forgotten that I’m here. I suppose I should just let them get on with it. I’ll quietly slip away. Bye boys.