1990-09-1x Beats Per Minute, CFNY 102.1 FM, Toronto, Canada

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This article is about the second of two parts in the 1990 Beats Per Minute CFNY 102.1 FM radio interview with Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher. For part one, see 1990-09-0x Beats Per Minute, CFNY 102.1 FM, Toronto, Canada.

1990-09-1x Beats Per Minute, CFNY 102.1 FM was a September 1990 interview with Martin Gore that aired as the second of two parts in a two week special. The interview focused on the Wherehouse incident in which Depeche Mode were infamously forced to evacuate a record signing event due to unexpectedly high turnout.


An interview with Andrew Fletcher was broadcast the previous week. Both interviews are conducted by radio host Skot Turner and were recorded prior to the 21 June concert in Montreal.

  • Duration: 05:54 minutes



CFNY 102.1 FM female DJ: And now, part two of our special feature on Depeche Mode.

Skot Turner: Well, before we hear from Martin Gore, we're gonna take you back to March of this year. In Los Angeles, the Wherehouse record store, you may have heard about this. This is where an in-store promotion was set up where the band would sign copies of their new album. Well, it turned out to be the biggest in-store promotion in North American history and it almost caused a riot.

Female reporter: L.A. city councilman Zev Yuroslovsky is furious that K-ROQ, the radio station that promoted the band's appearance, let so many kids stand in line. The city wants between twenty and thirty-thousand dollars for police time, paramedics who were on the scene, and the cost of clean-up.

(on-site at the Wherehouse record store) Alan Wilder: We will only sign one thing per fan. It's unfair, you know, to sign a whole bunch of things, and that's, you know, cause then, other people don't get a chance. So that's it really, and just to keep moving them through, cause there's obviously going to be a big turnout, well hopefully, and we won't have time to do everybody —

Andrew Fletcher: And no body signings, either!

Female fans: It's Depeche Mode, they are the best! (inaudible) We've been sleeping — we slept the first night we were here, we slept outside the hotel in our car.

Female reporter: Would you believe that there are ten thousand teenagers here? You can hear the screaming all over the Beverly Center area. A line of teenagers fifteen blocks long! Like the swooning over Sinatra, the ecstasy over Elvis and the fainting over the Fab Four, Depeche Mode is definitely today's hot act!

Security guard: Incredible! We thought we were gonna die! We were outside when the limos pulled up, we got rushed. We played security guards, we held the throngs off, and we almost got killed.

Female reporter: The band is called Depeche Mode, the latest post-modern group to re-take the U.S. by storm. Tonight, thousands of fans jammed the streets surrounding the Wherehouse music store, which is across from the Beverly Center, trying to get autographs. The private security force couldn't handle them all and police had to be called. Twenty units arrived initially, but that wasn't enough! One person fainted after fans began to crowd in and she was taken to a local hospital. These fans were going to any lengths to get a peek at their favourite stars.

Andy Franks (?): We got, first of all, an important announcement, and this is primarily for the seventeen thousand plus people who are all waiting in line outside, and I know a lot of them have radios on, pass this on. We've just heard from the police department that we have to keep it mellow out there, otherwise the cops will close it down.

Fletcher: We thought it was gonna be about thirty people, heh heh. It turns out it's about seventeen to twenty thousand, so it's unbelievable!

Dave Gahan: Well apparently we've been told we've gotta stop now, and uh we have to go cause there's some trouble outside, and uh, I'm sorry, I apologise to everyone but the police are shutting us down.

Gahan: There's a lot of people who want to talk to us now, who — Depeche Mode have just — gonna have the same policies, it doesn't matter how big we get. We're gonna have the same attitude to what we do. You know, we care about what we do and we're not gonna change anything in the way we do things. The people that — have got us where we are so far, so we won't forget.

(in-studio at CFNY 102.1 FM) Martin Gore: (laughing) You know it's like, one of those news reports actually wasn't that exaggerated. There were about fifteen thousand people there, and it was dangerous, not for us but for them. I mean the, the Wherehouse record store has got a large glass front on it, and I think it was, you know, it could've been a really serious situation cause the crowd was starting to get restless when they realised they weren't going to get autographs. You know, some people at the back were pushing to try and get forward and the police decided that it was, you know, unsafe, and the — it'd be a lot better if we stopped and left.

Turner: You know what's strange to me is knowing your fan-base in California, this is one of your strongest areas in the world. Did not — (laughing) did somebody not see that coming? You know, did you do an in-store in one of your most popular areas?

Gore: I mean, we've done quite a few in-stores throughout our career, but we've never had that number of people turn up. I think the most we've ever had's about three or four thousand. You know it's just the sort of thing you don't expect a lot of people to come to, you know, just all they're doing is just getting autographs. It's not as if you're playing or, you know, doing anything exceptional, they're coming there to get a piece of paper signed or a record signed, so you know I don't think that, well we didn't think that that number of people would turn up for that sort of thing.

Turner: When you were pulling out, and you saw the crowd, did you look at each other — what was your reaction, did you say "Uh oh?" (laughing)

Gore: We had seen it before, or, we hadn't seen the whole thing, but we kept getting police reports, you know, that one point it was sort of like ten thousand and someone came in and said "No, it's fifteen thousand" now, you know, so we did expect it by the time we left, but, I mean you know it was still pretty amazing.

Turner: So actually you did still show up, and did you actually get around to doing any of —

Gore: We did about an hour and a quarter's worth of autographs before they deemed it unsafe.

Turner: You know with the fans and the way, as your audience grows, is there a place that you like to just get away, is there a place you like to go?

Gore: Well, England's not too bad. (laughing) We have been actually a lot more successful with this record in England than the previous ones. I mean, we've got our first top ten hit there for about six years with uh 'Enjoy The Silence', but even so, it's still really easy for us to go out to pubs, we don't get bothered in England.

Turner: Have you turned down — I'm sure you've been offered big sponsorship deals. Have you turned anybody down, or have you been offered some, lucrative —

Gore: We've never been offered anything that was, you know, even tempting. We do get offered some sponsorship things but really they're usually like really not even worth considering, you know. But we're not that particularly into sponsorship anyway, you know, we just think it's a bit tacky, so, even if we did get offered something really big I mean, chances are that we'd probably turn it down. We actually were, we did have a tour in England once sponsored by "Harp Lager" (laughing)

Turner: Well that's alright! (laughing)

Gore: We're all big beer drinkers, that was alright.

Turner: Have you had any unusual offers though in terms of sponsorship, though, if someone said, uh —

Gore: Condom foams.

Turner: Seriously?

Gore: Yeah, we had uh, we got offered a condom sponsorship in Germany. [laugh] But I mean, a package for the tour wasn't that lucrative! (both laugh)


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