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Would Vince Clarke join Depeche Mode at the Rock Hall? He told us ‘no.’

Photo Credit: Andy Sturmey
 
 

After it was announced that Depeche Mode would be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2020, speculation started up immediately over the synth-pop band’s ceremonial lineup. The core trio of Martin Gore, David Gahan, and Andy Fletcher are a given, remaining as the group’s principal members since 1995.

But it remains to be seen if the threesome will be joined by founding member Vince Clarke, who left the group in 1981, a year after their formation and shortly after the release of debut album Speak & Spell, moving on to form Erasure four years later; or Alan Wilder, who replaced Clarke in 1982 and remained with the band for the next 13 years.

A graphic from the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, released this week, lists all five members under a “Performers” banner, adding fuel to the speculation fire and causing on-stage reunion imaginations to run wild.

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Of course, it could just be a summary of the band’s personnel history, and not indicative of who might be on stage to accept the induction and/or performing live as Depeche Mode.

Word is still out on Wilder being a part of festivities, but Clarke emphatically told Vanyaland in 2018 before Erasure’s tour stop in Boston that he would not be joining Depeche Mode in Cleveland, even as a spectator, should they get the call.

Of course, now that the call has come in, a person is entitled to a change of mind, but here’s what Clarke told us two summers ago when interviewed by senior writer Michael Christopher:

Michael Christopher: At some point down the line, if and when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decides to induct Depeche Mode, do you go to the ceremony?

Vince Clarke: No.

Michael Christopher: Really?

Vince Clarke: No. Depeche Mode, they’ve had an amazing career and they’ve worked incredibly hard to get where they are at the moment. They deserve all of the credit. All I did was started the band — you know what I’m saying? I wouldn’t go. Apart from that, I don’t have a nice suit [laughs].

Michael Christopher: So there are no regrets?

Vince Clarke: I don’t regret anything in music. I feel incredibly happy and blessed to have met Andy, and we have a really, really special relationship. If I hadn’t left Depeche Mode, then I wouldn’t have met Andy [Bell of Erasure], and that would’ve been a tragedy.

Check out the full interview below.

The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place May 2 at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, and will be broadcast live by HBO and on SiriusXM’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio. Performers and guest appearances will be announced in the coming weeks, and tickets to the ceremony go on sale February 27 via Ticketmaster.