1991-05-10 KROQ, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Richard Blade of KROQ radio in Los Angeles, gave a special treat to Californian DM fans by broadcasting a live birthday interview with Dave Gahan on May 9th 1991 (listen here), which lasted about ten minutes. The following morning, Kevin and Bean, KROQ's morning DJs, phoned Dave's mother Sylvia to wish her a happy Mother's Day, which falls in May in the USA. Although she is a bit shy, she speaks a bit about Dave as a child, mentioning that as a teenager he became a punk rocker and began listening to the Sex Pistols. She also admitted that she too is a Depeche Mode fan and has been since the very start. Dave recorded a closing message for her saying, "Thanks for letting KROQ ring you up, and don't be too angry."

A transcript has been made below for your convenience. A few disclaimers: not only is it hard to guess at times whether it's Kevin or Bean that's doing the talking, there is also an unknown male assistant in the studio, as well as a female one. The tape also stops for a few seconds right when Sylvia starts to speak.


This recording was contributed by Sebastian Stallmann, sourced from an unknown generation cassette tape.

Duration: 07:23


Bean: Yeah, mom came through.

Kevin: Four in the afternoon [in the UK]?

Female assistant: Almost.

Kevin: Is that all? Eight hours [time zone difference], is it?

Bean: Let's call Dave Gahan's mom. We just played Depeche Mode a minute ago and we're gonna call Dave's mom.

Kevin: I still can't believe we're doing this.

Bean: 44 is the [dial] code for England?

Kevin: Still can't believe we're doing this.

Bean: We had 'Carol Brady' Floris Henderson on a few minutes ago. Coming up: Steven Spielberg's mom, and Frank Stallone's mom. Now, Dave Gahan's mom's name is, what, Sylvia?

Female assistant: Sylvia.

Bean: Sylvia. So do I call her Sylvia, or Mrs. Gahan?

Kevin: Mrs. Gahan, 'the Big G'?

Bean: I'm kind of, uh, I don't know why, I'm a little nervous here.

Kevin: Click.

Bean: I heard a click.

Male assistant: Alright.

Bean: Trying to get it play by play. Excuse me, a big call overseas. 'Big Mother's Day Show' rolls on: I feel like we have a show today.

Kevin: You need to go to the other room and get your mom in this contest.

Bean: Go call your mom. Yes, stand up and walk out of the studio right now. Hang on. Hello is this Sylvia? Hi, this is Kevin & Bean, we're calling from KROQ in Los Angeles. Hi, can we put you on the radio?

Kevin: Alright, hang on one second. She sounds a little nervous, but she sounds incredibly nice.

Bean: Oh, she'll be fine. She'll be fine.

Kevin: Good afternoon Sylvia, how are ya?

Sylvia: I'm fine, thank you.

Bean: Oh, what a thrill this is. Well, as my good friend Kevin said, it's Kevin & Bean from KROQ radio, we're -

[tape stops]

Kevin: - call, on behalf of everybody in Los Angeles. First of all, we wish you a Happy Mother's Day this weekend.

Sylvia: Well, thank you.

Bean: Now, on the show this morning, we're having everyone's mom, and we decided, since Depeche Mode is such a big band here at KROQ, that we needed to get Dave Gahan's mother. Now, it's like four in the afternoon there, or something?

Sylvia: Eh, yes, it's ten to four, yeah.

Bean: Ten to four in the afternoon.

Kevin: Hey, do you guys celebrate Mother's Day in England?

Sylvia: Yes, but we already had it in March.

Bean: Oh, is that right?

Kevin: Oh, they have a different day, huh? Hmm.

Sylvia: Yes.

Kevin: How old a young man is Dave? Because yesterday was his birthday, but I never found out which one it was.

Sylvia: He went 29.

Kevin: 29 yesterday. Hey, he is getting pretty old.

Sylvia: Yes.

Bean: [laughs]

Sylvia: [laughs]

Kevin: He has been playing music for how long, mom?

Sylvia: About ten, twelve years?

Kevin: Ten to twelve years now. Now, do you remember when he first started getting interested in it?

Sylvia: Yes, when he was at college.

Kevin: Wow, I didn't know that.

Sylvia: He was at art college. And then he met some different people, he met friends and he knew people, and he began being interested in music.

Bean: And then he came home and then he said, "Mom, I'm gonna be a musician." And you said what?

Sylvia: "Well, it's very different from art."

Kevin: Is that what he was planning on going into originally, it was art?

Sylvia: Design, yes, design and window dressing, things like that.

Bean: I'm telling you, you send them away from home, and they start running with a bad crowd, mom.

Kevin: [laughs]

Bean: That's what happens, and the next thing you know, they're playing that damn rock music and they're staying up late at night with women! I'm telling you, that's what happens! So, they have a band, and did you like - was the band Depeche Mode, was that the first band that he started?

Sylvia: Yes.

Bean: Okay, now did you like their music when they first started out?

Sylvia: Yes. Most of it.

Bean: Now seriously: Did you like it or were you just proud of him since your kid was in the band?

Sylvia: No, no, I liked most of it. Obviously, some of it I didn't like.

Kevin: And then, what was it like for you when he got a record contract and he started putting out records, started to appear in all the pop magazines and everything? That must have been so odd for you, right? I can't even imagine what that would be like.

Sylvia: Well, we had lots of callers, and we had to change our telephone number, and things like that. The phone never stopped ringing.

Bean: Yeah, I bet. And did people come over to the house all the time, trying to get close to him?

Sylvia: Yes, they still do, yeah.

Kevin: And do you talk to the fans when they come by?

Sylvia: Yes. Yeah, sometimes they take photographs of the house where David grew up.

Kevin: Wow.

Bean: Do you still live in the same house, mom?

Sylvia: That's right, yeah.

Kevin: Wow. And then Depeche Mode got to be bigger and bigger, and now they're internationally known, you just got to be so proud.

Sylvia: Oh, I am. We all are.

Bean: Tell us anything, an embarrassing or a funny story as a kid, do you have any of those? When Dave was a lil' child? Was he a good boy?

Sylvia: Yes. Yes, he was quite, quite well-behaved, until he was a teenager, and then he became interested in the Sex Pistols and bands like that, and he became a punk rocker.

Bean: Now mom, you got to love the Sex Pistols.

Kevin: [laughs]

Sylvia: [laughs] I hated them.

Bean: The Sex Pistols would have to be your favourite group, are we right?

Sylvia: No, no. Worst group.

Bean: I heard that every mom in England hated the Sex Pistols, and that's why every kid in England loved the Sex Pistols!

Sylvia: Yes, that's quite right.

Bean: Now, what was the last time you went to one of your son's shows, mom?

Sylvia: Just before Christmas, about November, at Wembley.

Bean: Oh, you saw him at Wembley, wow, that must be something. You must get a real charge out of seeing those lads up on stage, it's just...

Sylvia: Oh yeah.

Bean: Now did Dave ever tell you about the big riot here in Los Angeles, when they came into a record store?

Sylvia: Yes, he said it was very frightening.

Bean: It really was. Kevin and I were down there that day, and they had thousands and thousands and thousands of people that were camped out, and at the time - I mean, it still hasn't been matched, but - the news here and all the papers couldn't believe this many people were turning out to see a pop group. I mean, they're so huge in Los Angeles that Dave can't walk down the street. Does he ever talk to you about that?

Sylvia: Oh yes. But it was like that here to start off with. Of course they got used to it in Basildon.

Bean: Hmm-mm.

Kevin: Does he wear disguises?

Sylvia: In Basildon, where he comes from, they got used to it here. I don't know about London so much, but...

Kevin: Yeah. Does he dress up like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame or something, so that he can go out shopping for Christmas?

Sylvia: No, no, not here, not anymore.

Bean: Well, I'll tell you, we are certainly - I know you're proud of him because you're the mom, but - we're proud of him because he and the boys put out so much great music over the years, they've always been great to us here at the world-famous KROQ. This was one of the - if not THE very first - very first radio stations in America that played their music, and they've always remembered that. And in closing, mom, we have a message from your son that we taped yesterday on one of our other programmes here, and we would like to play it for you now, if that's okay.

Sylvia: Yes, that's fine.

Bean: Okay.

Dave: "Hi mom, thanks for letting KROQ ring you up, and don't be too angry. And I just wanna say Happy Mother's Day, and I'll see you next week. I love you, bye."

Bean: So there you go, there's a message from your son, mom.

Sylvia: Alright, thank you.

Bean: He's wishing you a Happy Mother's Day and we do too. Thanks so much for talking to us! Have a great year, out there.

Sylvia: Bye, thank you very much.

Bean: Okay, bye bye now!

Sylvia: Bye!

Bean: See you later. Sylvia, everybody!


Kevin: Pretty nice. Pretty nice.

Bean: Just imagine, a couple of yahoo DJs from California call ya, wanna put you on the radio, and you do it, I mean, that's great. That's fabulous.

Kevin: Yeah.

Bean: Alright, it's 7:55. Thanks to Dave Gahan for giving us permission for that, and for Richard Blade for setting it up. That was a lot of fun.