Dave was only five when his family broke up and his father was never heard from again. The young Dave Gahan compensated for the loss of his father by becoming something of a "real wide boy with a chip on my shoulder, a real yob." His crimes as a youth include stealing cars, vandalism, and spray-painting graffiti on walls, and as a result he had visited juvenile court three times before he was 14. Within six months of leaving high school in July 1978, Gahan found and lost something in the order of twenty jobs, from selling soft drinks to working on a construction site. In 1981, at a jam session for local talent, Vince Clarke was impressed with Gahan's vocal rendition of David Bowie's "Heroes" and invited him to join his band, "Composition of Sound". In 1991, Gahan separated from his first wife and long-time love, Joanne, leaving their only son Jack to live with his mother. Gahan relocated to Los Angeles and married Depeche Mode's former US press liaison Theresa Conway in 1993. In August 1995, Gahan was alleged to have "attempted suicide" with a razor blade. He was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Beverly Hills, California and released shortly after. On May 28, 1996, Gahan overdosed on heroin and cocaine in a Los Angeles hotel room. Gahan was revived by paramedics and taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was arrested upon his release two days later, and ordered by the court to complete a 9 month rehabilitation. The drug charges against Gahan were eventually dropped in September 1997. In 2003 he released his first solo album, Paper Monsters, followed by a world tour.
Gahan is the lead singer on Soulsavers' fourth studio album "The Light the Dead See". The album was released in May 2012. Gahan sings and plays harmonica on "Low Guns", the first single from the 2014 album "The Morning After" by English band SixToes. The single was released on November 18, 2013. The SixToes remix of "Jezebel" was released on the special edition of Sounds of the Universe in 2009. Members of SixToes also collaborated with Soulsavers, on the album "The Light the Dead See".