On Tuesday night, Andy Summers was at Amoeba to sign a DVD, as it was the release day of the new documentary ‘Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police’. I know, The Police sounds so 80’s and I have never been a fan of the 80’s or the Police, but I still could not miss to see Andy close and personal… not too personal because I didn’t buy the DVD and didn’t to talk to him, but he shook a lot of hands and talked to many fans.
‘Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police’ is based on his memoir, ‘One Train Later’ and follows his journey from his early days, when he played with The Animals in the 60’s, to his first encounter with drummer Stewart Copeland and bassist Sting. The Police became big, really big, I remember hearing their songs everywhere at the time, and I guess I could die happy if I never get to hear again ‘Roxanne’ and ‘Every Breath You take’, but I have nothing against Andy, he seemed like a great guy.
The documentary shows rare archival footage, as well as ‘insights from the guitarist’s side of the stage’, from past to present as the members reunited for a global tour in 2007… Andy is also a photographer and he captured the adventure over the years. So do we get to hear some juicy stuff? Of course there are always stories of jealousy, rivalry and personal ambition when we are talking about a band.
‘This attention to our singer does cause friction,’ declares Andy in the movie when Sting became at the center of all media. ‘He’s not a team player, doesn’t share credits, and makes comments in the press to that effect,’ also says Summers in the film.
Not a team player? For example, Sting refused to play an instrumental brought by Summers and even hid the tapes in the gardens! By 1981 Andy Summers realized that ‘the fragile democracy has become a dictatorship, and Sting’s agenda, although veiled, is obvious. He does not want to be in a band.’
‘Look, he was a very good-looking guy with a great voice, and he’d strip off onstage. We were dripping with No. 1 records . . . It’s a classic story — the lead singer starts to get more attention because he’s the guy actually singing, and of course there’s that ego that goes with it, and control issues,’ recently explained Andy to the NY Post. But he also recognized that ‘You have to have someone with an ego like Sting’s, or mine, or Stewart’s, to make [this sort of success] happen’
The film is not exclusively about the band, it also covers other topics, personal ones like Andy’s marriage, divorce and re-marriage with his wife Kate, and professional ones like the fact that he made the short list to join the Rolling Stones when Mick Taylor left the band. He is that good.
Watch the trailer below, unless you don’t want to listen to Roxanne again?
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