NPR logo

Depeche Mode Founder Reflects On '101' Album

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103001420/103001406" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Depeche Mode Founder Reflects On '101' Album

Music

Depeche Mode Founder Reflects On '101' Album

Depeche Mode Founder Reflects On '101' Album

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103001420/103001406" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

"101" was what the band Depeche Mode called its landmark live album 20 years ago. Host Rebecca Roberts talks with band member Andy Fletcher about memorable moments from that show at the Rose Bowl — just a few miles from Highway 101 in Los Angeles.

REBECCA ROBERTS, host:

But the number 101's appeal extends beyond the rabid fan base for prime numbers. It's also a holy number for '80s electronic music geeks.

Two decades ago, the band Depeche Mode released a live album called, you guessed it, "101." In the relentless pursuit of 101 journalism, we tracked down one of the band's founding members, Andy Fletcher, and I asked him where the album title came from.

Mr. ANDREW FLETCHER (Keyboardist, Depeche Mode): It was actually our 101st gig of that tour, and it was the last gig of that tour, and it was quite a special event. It was at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and it was sort of a bit of a milestone concert, really, for alternative music in America at that time.

ROBERTS: What do you remember from that show?

Mr. FLETCHER: Well, what I remember, it was a very big risk when we announced we were thinking about doing this gig, and a lot of people were thinking we were mad and crazy, that we never would fill it. And in the end, we did fill it.

ROBERTS: And now, you're setting out on an all-stadium tour this year?

Mr. FLETCHER: Well, it's in Europe. We're doing - in the summer, we're doing stadiums, yes. We got used to that a bit more now. But I don't think anything could replace the magic around that particular concert.

ROBERTS: What was it like being onstage at the Rose Bowl for that 101 show?

Mr. FLETCHER: I think the most amazing moment was - we have a song called "Blasphemous Rumours," which talks about God and having a sick sense of humor, and actually - obviously in Los Angeles, it doesn't really rain that much, and when we actually played that song that night, just for that song, it actually rained and stopped after the song. It was pretty peculiar.

ROBERTS: Sort of proving right that God has a sick sense of humor?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. FLETCHER: Yeah. He certainly got us worried for a second.

ROBERTS: Do you see a difference in crowds now than you did then?

Mr. FLETCHER: You know, we are a lot older now. Our fans are generally a lot older. So I think we've all calmed down a bit.

(Soundbite of laughter)

ROBERTS: Andy Fletcher plays keyboards and all kinds of other stuff for Depeche Mode.

(Soundbite of song, "Blasphemous Rumours")

ROBERTS: The band's new album, "Sounds of the Universe," arrives April 21.

Thanks so much for joining us.

Mr. FLETCHER: Thank you very much.

(Soundbite of song, "Blasphemous Rumours")

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.