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Famous Like Me > Actor > G > David Gahan

Profile of David Gahan on Famous Like Me

Name: David Gahan  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 9th May 1962
Place of Birth: Epping, England, UK
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Dave Gahan, circa 2003.

David Gahan (born May 9, 1962 in Chigwell, Essex, England) is the baritone lead singer for English Electro stalwarts, Depeche Mode.

Life Before Depeche Mode

Born into a working class family to Sylvia and Len, David was 3 when his parents divorced and his mother moved the family -- David, his two brothers Peter and Philip, and sister Sue -- to Basildon, Essex. Sylvia remarried not long after, and David was raised under the impression that his mother's second husband (John Gahan; from whom Dave takes his second name) was in fact his real father. Unfortunately, John died when David was seven. However, when Gahan was 10, he "came home on one day and found this bloke [his biological father] at home". Of the incident, he has said: "I'll never forget that day. When I came home from school, there was this stranger in my Mum's house. My Mother introduced him to me as my real Dad. I remember I said, crying, that was impossible because my Father was dead. How was I supposed to know that man lived with us until I was 3? From that day on, Len often visited the house, until one year later he disappeared again. Forever this time. Since then he gave no sign of life. By growing older, I thought about him more and more. The only thing my Mother would say, was that he moved out to Jersey to open a hotel".

Gahan compensated for the loss of his father by becoming something of a "real wide boy with a chip on my shoulder, a real yob". His crimes as a youth included stealing cars, vandalism, and spray-painting graffiti on walls, and as a result he had visited juvenile court three times before he was 14.

Within six months of leaving high school in July 1978, Gahan found and lost something in the order of twenty jobs, from selling soft drinks to working on a construction site. David also applied for a job as an apprentice fitter with North Thames Gas. He was told by his probation officer to be honest with the interviewer, and as a result, he admitted his criminal record but claimed he was a "reformed character". Of course, he did not get the job.

Eventually, he earned a place at Southend Art College, which he enjoyed immensely. After three years, he gained the British Display Society Award, which allowed him to get jobs doing a displays in shop windows, and shopping centres.


Dave Gahan (far right) in 1981, as part of Depeche Mode's original lineup.

Circa 1980, Vince Clarke was, at one point, a member of two bands; French Look, with Robert Marlowe, and Composition Of Sound with future Depeche Mode member Andy Fletcher. Martin Gore drifted between the two bands, until eventually both groups fell out (and French Look fell apart; consequently Martin later joined Composition Of Sound), as they both wanted Gore to be part of their band and -- in an attempt to please everyone -- he had been unwilling to choose one over the other.

Later that same year, at a jam session for local talent, Vince Clarke (Yazoo, Erasure) was impressed with Gahan's vocal rendition of David Bowie's "Heroes" and invited him to join his band, Composition of Sound. Gahan agreed, and shortly thereafter the band was renamed to Depeche Mode (a name suggested by Gahan after he had come across a fashion magazine by the name of Dépêche-mode) which translates roughly to "Fashion Dispatch". The group released their debut record, Speak and Spell, in 1981 on Mute Records.

Since then, the band have continued to explore new musical directions, and their sound has evolved immensely since their inception. They have released eleven studio albums, three greatest hits compilations (The Singles 81>85, The Singles 86>98, Catching Up With Depeche Mode), a remix album (Remixes 81 - 04) and are now considered elder statesmen of their craft, who inspired an electronic movement.

For more information, see Depeche Mode.

Personal troubles

Dave Gahan on the cover of NME, after recently recovering from his drug addiction.

In August 1995, Gahan allegedly "attempted suicide" with a razor blade -- Dave later stated that this was more of a "cry for help", rather than a suicide attempt . He was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Beverly Hills, California and released shortly after. On May 28, 1996, Gahan overdosed on a heroin and cocaine 'speedball' in a Los Angeles hotel room. Gahan was revived by paramedics and again taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was arrested upon his release two days later, and ordered by the court to complete a 9 month rehabilitation. The drug charges against Gahan were eventually dropped in September 1997, and Gahan has now been clean for 9 years. Amanda De Cadenet is one of the people he credits with helping him make that climactic step towards sobriety.


In 2003 he released his first solo album, Paper Monsters (which he co-wrote with guitarist and friend Knox Chandler), followed by a world tour (including a performance at 2003's Glastonbury Festival), singing both his new solo tracks and Depeche Mode fan favourites.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article David Gahan