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: 2016-12-04
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My favorite Singer S T I N G ()
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My favorite Singer S T I N G

 

Born 2 October 1951, in Wallsend, north-east England, Gordon Sumners

life started to change the evening a Phoenix Jazzmen bandmate caught

sight of his black and yellow hooped sweater and decided to re-christen

him Sting. Always a muso, Sting paid his early dues playing bass with

local outfits the Newcastle Big Band, The Phoenix Jazzmen, Earthrise and

Last Exit, the latter featuring his first efforts at songwriting. Last

Exit were big in the North East, but their jazz fusion was doomed to

fail when 1976s punk rock exploded onto the scene. Curved Air drummer,

Stewart Copeland, saw Last Exit and whilst the music did nothing for him

he recognised the potential and personality of the bass player. Within

months, Sting, first wife actress Frances Tomelty, and infant son, Joe,

were tempted into moving to London.

 

Seeing punk as flag of convenience, Copeland and Sting together with

Corsican Henri Padovani on guitar started rehearsing and looking for

gigs. Ever the businessman, Copeland took the name The Police figuring

it would be good publicity, and the three started gigging round venues

like The Roxy, Marquee and Nashville. Ejecting the inept Padovani for

the proven talents of Andy Summers the band also enrolled Stewarts

older brother, Miles, as manager, wowing him with a Sting song called

Roxanne. Days later, Copeland had them a record deal. The London press

hated the Police seeing through their punk camouflage, and their early

releases had no chart success. Instead The Police did the unthinkable -

they went to America. The early tours are the stuff of legend - flights

courtesy of Lakers Skytrain, humping their own equipment from gig to

gig, and playing to miniscule audiences at the likes of CBGBs and The

Rat Club. Their bottle paid off as they slowly built a loyal following,

the audiences being won over with the bands combination of new wave

toughness and laid back white-reggae.

 

They certainly made an odd trio with veteran guitarman Summers having a

history dating back to the mid-60s, the hyper-kinetic Copeland had been

a prog-rocker, and Sting with his love of jazz. The sound the trio made

was unique though, and Stings pin-up looks did them no harm at all.

Returning to the UK, where the now reissued Roxanne was charting, the

band played a sell-out tour of mid-size venues. The momentum had

started. Their debut album Outlandos dAmour (Oct 78) delivered three

hits with Roxanne, Cant Stand Losing You and So Lonely, leading to a

headlining slot at the 79 Reading Festival, but it was with Reggatta de

Blanc (Oct 79) that they stepped up a gear. The first single, Message In

A Bottle, streaked to number one and the albums success was

consolidated further when Walking On The Moon also hit the top slot. The

band was big, but about to get even bigger. 1980 saw them undertake a

mammoth world tour with stops on all continents - including the first

rock concerts in Bombay - and the band eventually returned, exhausted,

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