“I said, ‘Let’s take a little drive’ and we drove down to Basildon”: Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan on the time he took his family to where he grew up

Dave Gahan in 2013
(Image credit: Jim Dyson/Redferns via Getty Images)

Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan has long been a resident of New York but the Basildon-raised singer isn’t above revisiting his roots now and then. Back in 2017, Gahan told this writer how during a family visit to the UK, he’d used the opportunity to take a trip back to his hometown and brought a few family members along for the ride.

"I took my son Jimmy and daughter Stella,” Gahan said. “We were doing something in London and they were with me and I said, ‘Let’s take a little drive’. We drove down to Basildon and to my house at 56 Bonnygate. I wanted them to see where I grew up.”

It was back in 2011, and the reason Gahan and his clan were in the UK was to attend a joint 50th birthday party for his bandmates, Martin Gore and the late Andrew “Fletch” Fletcher. Gahan recalled that, standing there and gazing at the house in which he’d grown up, it still felt the same but he did wonder how he and his family all managed to fit in. Jimmy, who has presumably grown up in some of the finest properties Manhattan has to offer, felt the same.

“Jimmy said,” ‘So all that bit was where you lived?’”, Gahan recounted, realising that his son was under the impression they resided in the entire terrace. “I was like, ‘No, that part there! That bit is another house, it’s not one house, they’re all joined together.’” After a quick look around the block and a scout across the road, they made their way back to London.

No-one spotted him, Gahan said, stating that they weren’t there long enough. The Enjoy The Silence singer has another chance for an excursion back to Essex next week when Depeche Mode play two sold-out dates at London’s O2 Arena. Come on Dave, it’s easy from there – two stops on the Jubilee Line to West Ham, then the C2C all the way to Basildon. We’ll see you at 56 Bonnygate.

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.