It's been a while since I was like an excited child on Christmas Day but on 25 December 2013 I was back to being my nine year old excited self again when I unwrapped the fantastic Monument a book all about Depeche Mode by superfans Sascha Lange and Dennis Burmeister. Here's a picture I took approximately 4 seconds after unwrapping it
So what is Monument? It started off following a discussion between Mute's German boss Anne Haffmanns and Dennis. Dennis is well known as huge Depeche collector who collection comprises rare promos, posters, seemingly all the vinyl on earth and even Depeche's first demo tape. This is a man who probably has more Depeche Mode items than Depeche do themselves. Anne suggested that Denis write and book and he got together with Sascha to produce this wonderful tome.
The book covers all the various Depeche periods album by album and contains some fantastic pictures of rare records, tapes, posters and so on in the main from Dennis' collection. There are also exclusive snaps from Alan Wilder and Daryl Bamonte's private collections. It's quite fascinating and it is hard not to head to ebay or Discogs and use the book as a catalogue from which to shop for some very expensive items indeed. In addition to the collector fetishism there are a couple of really interesting additions which make the book a must have. Firstly there is an exclusive interview with Daniel Miller covering the early days of Mute up to the modern day which contains a good few Depeche tales. An interview with Mr Miller is always worth a read and this is no exception. Secondly there is a wonderful piece of Depeche's impact in East Berlin which really gives you a feel for the social and cultural impact they had behind the iron curtain. There are pictures from the Music For The Masses tour show in East Berlin and you can feel the passion of the crowd simply looking at them.
Overall this book is a real treat and a must have for Depeche fans. As a fan who has something of a reputation for collecting Depeche Mode and even for annoying people with pictures of that collection I can safely say that in comparison to Dennis and Sascha I have a long, long, long way to go. Dennis - if you ever feel like giving it all away just let me know.....
Monument Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/DepecheModeMonument