It should come as a surprise to no one that my obsession with Nick Rhodes led to an obsession with Martin Gore. They are both blonde, elfin, girlish, and play keyboards. There were a few differences, though.
Nick Rhodes wore makeup like a woman does – to make himself look “pretty”. I would use photos of Nick to guide me on eyeliner application. (Especially during his Cleopatra period during Arcadia.) Nick preferred pastel pink lips, and a smoky eye.
Martin Gore was a different story. He wore ruby red lipstick, smeared eyeliner, and bondage gear. I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time, but it’s obvious now. He even had a shirt that said, “SUBMISSIVE” on it. Martin Gore was kind of scary and dangerous to me back in the 80’s. I knew he liked girls, because he would always talk about his German girlfriend Christina when he was interviewed in Star Hits. The question was, what did he like to do WITH those girls? Knowing his girlfriend was German, I am pretty sure golden showers were probably involved. EEK!
My Depeche Mode fandom reached its peak during the Music for the Masses tour, aka the 101 tour. DM came to Phoenix twice that year. The first time I saw them, I didn’t have a very good seat. I vowed to be right up front next time. The band came back around in June of 1988. I think we were the show they played right before the legendary Rose Bowl show.
My friend and I slept in the parking lot in front of the Diamond’s Box Office in a very bad neighborhood. I’m surprised nothing happened to us. We chose this box office because we knew hardly anyone would buy a ticket there, so we’d be first in line. No one else camped there, so we were the only people in line. Luckily, our bet paid off and we had front row center tickets! I remember that I cried after we paid for these tickets.
I started planning what to wear to the show. I wanted to stand out and be noticed. I knew that most DM fans wore black (and the boys wore skirts, which I loved). I decided to do the opposite, and bought a skintight white mini-dress. At the time, I was 5 ft 8 in and weighed 100 pounds, so I probably looked like a bag of bones, but I thought I looked super hot.
It has been many years since I was at that show, but there are so many defining moments that I will never forget. I remember Martin and Alan bashing away at sheets of steel and lead pipes. I remember Dave Gahan twirling around with the mike stand in his white outfit (Dave grabbed his crotch and shook his junk at my friend Leslie that night, scarring her for life) . I remember Martin Gore playing A GUITAR during the encore (Pleasure, Little Treasure). It blew everyone’s fucking MIND that he played a guitar.
But the moment that stands out the most for me is when Martin sang The Things You Said. I remember he was shirtless, wandering the stage in his bondage gear and softly singing about how someone did him wrong. I knew all the words, and sang along, my eyes following him wherever he went. Towards the end of the song, he stood at the edge of the stage, right in front of me and my friends, and looked me right in the eye while he sang a few lines.
I grabbed my friend Sophia’s arm and held on tight so I wouldn’t fall over. When he moved away, Sophia and I jumped up and down in excitement, and she was screaming “He sang to you!” over and over. I could have died right there and been the happiest corpse in the morgue.
DM is releasing a new album and touring next year. Hopefully, I’ll get a good seat. Even after all this time, I love me some Martin Gore. I loved his floofy hair, his rat tails, and his wonky teeth. I wish he hadn’t gotten his teeth fixed. Who am I kidding? He’s perfect no matter what.
Oh, Martin….*happy sigh*