A S I was saying to Andy Summers of the Police just the other day: I don ’t
‘‘ suppose you could see your way to lending me a couple of hundred bucks just until you get here because what with Christmas and all and going on holiday and the interest rates and that bloody car and now it ’s my teeth as well I ’m just a wee bit stretched at the minute. It would only be a loan, you understand. Meet you backstage at the first gig and we can sort it out, no question.’’ OK, I ’m exaggerating a little but I did suggest to the British guitarist that he might be able to spare some change, following the announcement that the Police reunion tour grossed something like $ US212 million in 2007, making it the highest earner of the year, and that’ s before they even set foot in the southern hemisphere.
We don’ t get all of that,’’ Summers, a down‘‘ to- earth friendly character, was quick to point out. You mean Sting gets it?’’ I felt like
‘‘ saying, just to break the ice further, before acknowledging that yes, crikey, there must be a lot of expenses when a three- piece band goes out on the road to play its greatest hits in stadiums. Summers turned 65 on Monday but clearly his bus pass application can wait until he gets home from the Police global extravaganza later in the year. In fact Summers is far from idle, even when he’ s not applying his considerable guitar technique to the Police’s parade of hits. He has his own trio, which played in Australia a few years ago, and he published an extremely well- written
One Train Later: A Memoir autobiography, last year. A book of his photographs from his
I ll Be Watching You , is also life in the Police,
’ available. A selection of those photos will be exhibited in Sydney while he is here.
No doubt the on- the- road experience has changed somewhat since Sting, Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland were doing it tough on the club circuit in Britain almost 30 years ago. We have our own people now’’ is
‘‘ Summers’ s matter- of- fact explanation of life backstage at Police HQ. The tour begins in Brisbane on January 22.
Not all interviewees are as forthcoming and good- natured as Summers. Lou Reed, for
Spin Doctor example, is notoriously difficult. has had that dubious pleasure a couple of times, the last of which involved the New York bard pushing me to the floor in an effort to explain some of the intricacies and disciplines of tai chi, during which the words could break
‘‘ your legs’’ were mentioned in a mischievous tone. So it will be interesting to see what Mr Prickly has to say to hundreds of music industry freeloaders and deal- doers when he addresses them at this year’s South By Southwest music seminar in Austin, Texas. Reed has been announced as keynote speaker at the annual industry pow- wow in March.
spindoc@ theaustralian. com. au