Martin L. Gore of Depeche Mode will be 60 on July 23rd 2021. By this birthday event a new version of STRIPPED will be released worldwide in streaming stores. Check out COMMON RICHARD

Martin Lee Gore and Common Richard – Berlin 2010


Well, I had almost completely forgotten the guitar down in the basement storage. Maybe I should have. I just don’t know. I used to play the guitar when I was a little boy. I always felt I couldn’t play it well.
When I joined a band, I was called to play the bass guitar. There would always be someone playing the guitar better than me. When I tried to sing, somebody would stop me, as there was always a better singer nearby. I had to sing backing vocals. Well, don’t get me wrong, I was OK at that. When I wrote songs, hardly anyone would listen. You know what? I still feel that all those people were probably right.

The hard thing about the creative process is that ultimately you sometimes tend to not like what you do.
There are a few friends and fellows out there saying: “Keep going, don’t stop!” That’s what they say. Anyway, would the music be good enough for anyone to listen to? Sometimes late at night at home I lie on my bed and I look at the ceiling, like watching the stars in the night sky and slowly a smile grows on my face and I feel a lot of warmth coming from those friends and I love them for encouraging me. And this is actually what keeps me playing and singing.
The thrill is the interplay of shyness and emotional drive in the creative process. It is like an inner balance in your soul. I think all people are naturally a bit shy when it comes to artistic expression. The challenge is to overcome. If today I had to go on stage, I would probably look like Woody Allen in a wrestling contest. Like Peter Griffin dating a supermodel.

My guitar was in storage for almost 25 years. The boy who wanted to be a pop star became an entertainment lawyer. I decided to care about music and law, artists and copyright throughout Europe. I met the most wonderful people on this planet, some big names, but I simply forgot to strum the strings of my guitar.
The beauty of playing an instrument you learned during your childhood is that you don’t really unlearn it. It is a bit like riding a bike. Basically, you just have to refresh that knowledge.

One day, I picked up the guitar again.
It wasn’t necessarily that I felt burned out from my job as a lawyer or so. In fact, I love counselling others in legal matters and copyright law. My passion for bringing people together in business and wrangling for mutual consent drives me to go to the office every day. And I love the people that I work for and that I team up with.
But I felt this growing emptiness in my heart. When I touched the guitar again after so many years I had a bit of a fluttering heart and it was like seeing an old friend you had missed for decades. During every second of reactivation I knew that my playing was technically mediocre, and I still think that I am neither a good guitarist nor a good singer. I simply have a wish, an aspiration, to create a little piece of human expression.
Follow your emotions. Be thoughtful. Be sensitive. Be kind. Never stop. Never ignore.