Music News

Happy Birthday, Martin Gore! Cheers to Better Health, No More Heartache

It's kind of crazy that Martin Gore turns 50 today -- Depeche Mode's first album, Speak & Spell, is 30. We wish Martin Gore health and happiness. Gore is an incredible guitarist, keyboardist, mixer, lyricist, and, when he sings lead in Depeche Mode, which is rare, what a high-pitched but smooth, angelic voice that comes out of that mouth.

Depeche Mode's whole catalog is good, but, in the seven-year stretch from 1986 to 1993, the band was extraordinary. It released beautiful album after beautiful album after beautiful album after beautiful album: Black Celebration, Music for the Masses, Violater, and Songs of Faith and Devotion, respectively. (Miracles.)

Let's start with health:

First off, bands should take breaks to remain healthy, but Depeche Mode

did not for the first half of the '90s. They did not break, and they

really did not remain healthy. The intense "Devotional Tour" lasted over a

year and a half, and in that time, they covered 96 shows pretty much

split down the middle between the U.S. and Europe. The band did drugs

then. Tons.

It's fascinating to see how Depeche Mode as a whole

reacted to wear and tear during the end of this tour. The tour only

stopped -- they hit the road again, now calling it the "Exotic

Tour/Summer Tour '94," which was an extension of the "Devotional Tour" --

because now every member was experiencing a personal plague. Keyboardist Andrew Fletcher was deemed mentally unstable. Frontman David

Gahan went off on his own and did heroin for a long time. And Gore

experienced seizures.

(Alan Wilder had to quit the band. No words on how this affects us.) So,

after sacrificing their health for all of us, we wish all of them --

especially Marty on his big day -- all the good health they can get.

Now, unto happiness:

We don't know if Gore's seeing anybody right now; We know he's divorced

and has three kids. (That sparkly-silver three-piece suit must be passed

on, and one of them better have his blond curls. Although Gore

shampoos with peroxide, maybe he was a natural blond as a young chap.)

For his satisfaction, we hope he's gotten over that 15-year-old girl he

wrote about oh so many years ago. (That would be over a quarter-of

a-century, almost half-of-his-life heartache!)

Sure, this is a presumption, but more than solid evidence (lyrics), we

can feel it in the songs -- Gahan might be singing it, but Marty wrote

it (he is the main lyricist).

The majority of Depeche Mode songs

are about lust. Please note that Gore was around 24 when the following

song came out, because it is somewhat odd hearing Gahan on lead vocals,

obsessing over a 15-year-old.

A condensed version of "A Question of Time" from the album Black


"I've got to get to you first/Before they do/Well

now you're only 15/And you look good/I'll take you under my

wing/Somebody should/I can see them now/Hanging around/With my little

one/Sometimes I don't blame them/For wanting you/You look good/And they

need something to do/I know my kind/What goes on in our minds/It's just a

question of time."

For full lyrics, click here.


released two years later, here is a beautifully haunting song that

wasn't going to get released -- until it did get released, as a single,

in France Europe because of a French record label. Here's part of the last stanza of "Little 15" from the album Music for

the Masses untouched:

"Little 15/Why does she have to defend/Her feelings

inside/Why pretend/She's not had a life/A life of near misses/Now all

that she wants/Is three little wishes/She wants to see with your

eyes/She wants to smile with your smile/She wants a nice surprise/Every

once in a while."

For full lyrics, go here.

May you get your heart's desire, Martin Gore.

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Mickie Centrone