Note from mekkalekkah: This post is written by my lovely friend H., who I have asked to be a contributor to this blog whenever she gets the urge. As you might have noticed, I’m in a bit of a slump and haven’t been posting. I just finished reading this post and was laughing out loud FOR REALS. I look forward to seeing more posts from her! You can read her blog at The Thousand Book Project.
I love Depeche Mode. I think they’re genius. Sexy, profane, intelligent, and what can I say, I’m a sucker for synthesizers. And such snappy dressers!
Well – not quite. Hence this post. What I think is interesting about Depeche Mode is that for a good portion of the 80s, their image didn’t really match up with the music. Duran Duran matched, they wrote glamorous dancey songs and their image was very glamorous and jetsetting. The Smiths made sad, mopey music, and they all wore ladies blouses and sad cardigans. Jesus and Mary Chain made noise, and they looked like they didn’t give a fuck. These groups matched, they looked like they made the music they made, but not Depeche Mode. Before about 1986, when they released Black Celebration and they all started wearing black leather, it was a little confusing. Are you students? Goths? Goth students? Literature students? Hobos with synths? (Side note, Hobos With Synths is my new band.) In any case it makes for some hilarious retrospective viewing. Join me, won’t you?
First we have Dave Gahan circa 1981. Nothing says new wave like high waisted tweed trousers, a white satin-lined coffin, a gold crucifix and a WACKY!!! expression. Funnily enough, this magazine came with a free record of a DM song called, ahem, I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead. Literalism!
this is like the chola girls I see on the bus, who jheri curl their hair but iron their bangs completely flat. All he needs are some doorknocker Baby Phat earrings and he’ll be set
David Byrne obviously stole his giant suit from Martin Gore.
why are they at a building site? And why is Dave wearing sandals at a construction site? someone call OSHA!
this looks like a club photo from a yearbook. AV Club, probably?
a laser portrait from Sears, sadly sans lasers
another yearbook photo, one of the awkwardly posed “candids” you find when they do a “day in the life” section as filler. Also I love Dave Gahan’s chubby baby face.
more bad mall bangs – plus leather nuthuggers, and Martin in shorts, which no English boy should ever do. (And bedroom slippers, apparently?) And Vince Clarke looks like a biker?
Alan, Dave, and Martin are werkin that camera, especially Dave, with his Zoolander face. Fletch looks like he has no idea what’s going on.
More nuthuggers. Martin and Dave are trying to be sexy and seductive, but Martin’s wearing what I’m pretty sure is a glittery sweater. Also, that suede vest? Honey, no.
This was part of a photo shoot for The Face in 1982. Because I know when I hear Depeche Mode the first thing I think of is COZY GRANDPA SWEATERS. Matching grandpa sweaters, no less, with high waisted pants. Martin looks so sad. Don’t worry, Marty, there’s plenty of leather in your future.
that half shirt! One of my friends described this as “Senior Portrait Day at New Wave Academy.” SO RIGHT ;_____;
I don’t know what’s worse – the blonde hair dye obviously purchased in bulk (did they have Sam’s Club in the 80s?) or the artfully casually slipped nip.
Martin Gore is no stranger to makeup but here it just looks like he passed out drunk and everyone else drew it on his face for him. Honey, you’re better than this!
Dave Gahan: The Duckie Years
this is my favorite picture out of all of them. It’s so good I want to print it out and hang it up in every room of my house. The baby face. The casual “Hello ladies” pose. The popped collar. The bananas (why?!). I want to weep for joy that someone in 1981 thought this was a good idea.
“look guys, we agreed we could wear whatever we wanted.” although let’s face it, this is normal for Martin. And here it looks like they’ve found their stride. Let’s play master & servant!
I hope you enjoyed our little slideshow. I know I had fun putting it together. Many thanks to mekkalekkah for allowing me to run rampant all over her blog!