Thursday, February 15, 2007

Police humor from a 3 year-old


"So Lonely" is playing on the iPod and Lennon says, "This isn't The Police." "Yes," I reply, " this isThe Police." "No it's not," he insists, "it's the fireduhpahtmahnt." "What was that?" I ask. "This isn't The Police. It's the Fire Department!" He needed a rim shot. Pretty clever for three!

(If you're wondering, the policeman uniform was a birthday gift from one of Lennon's classmates. I wouldn't dress my boy up like a cop just because I happen to be a Police fan.)

Monday, February 12, 2007

I've finally seen The Police!

Thank you Giovanni for hooking me up with the rehearsal ticket, you are my new hero! And thank you Stewart, you’ve been my hero for 24 years now!

I was 12 when the Synchronicity tour came around and unsuccessful in convincing my mother that I needed to be there. Mom may have inadvertently created a monster; for the next 5 years The Police was practically all I talked about.

I was so excited in 1986 when I went to the first stop of the Amnesty International tour in San Francisco. The Police were heavily rumored to be appearing. My heart sank when Sting came out with his Blue Turtles band - and I liked them! I couldn’t believe my lousy luck when a few nights later The Police joined the tour. I was thrilled that the final stop was televised but that was extremely bittersweet, to say the least. At 15 the symbolism of The Police passing their instruments to the members of U2 was not lost on me.

So 21 years later, wow! I had completely given up on The Police ever reforming.

Until today I had seen all of the guys perform solo on numerous occasions but never together as The Police. I was stunned last week when I found out I had been selected to see them at The Whisky. I told my 3 year-old son Lennon, “Hey, I’m going to see The Police on Monday!” He said, “I want to go!” I replied, “Sorry buddy, I’ve only got one ticket.” “That’s ok,” he said, “I’ll ride on your shoulders!” Awesome kid! Friday my uncle called and I told him I was seeing The Police and Lennon was in the background shouting, “Me, too!”

Lennon stayed up a little to watch The Police with me on the Grammy telecast last night. “Ladies and gentleman, we are The Police and we’re back!” I never thought I’d hear those words out of Sting’s mouth. That got me pumped up and then of course our boys killed on the telecast. Just fantastic! Lennon was dancing around clapping his hands along with me. I was just giddy after seeing that and knowing I would be seeing them in the tiny Whisky A Go Go the next morning. A little too giddy as it turned out…

I had been doing well all weekend, not getting over-excited, but last night I barely got any sleep. I had told myself I was going to go to sleep early and get my rest, be fresh for the morning’s event. Well, that was out the window; I was just too excited. When I finally did begin to drift off, hours after my first attempt at getting to sleep I found myself worrying that I was going to wake up in an alternate reality, a more realistic reality in which no, of course you’re not going to see The Police at The Whisky and no, of course The Police aren’t reuniting for a massive tour! What, are you crazy?

Many of you have probably viewed the live web cast already so you know The Police opened with “Message In A Bottle” then on to “When The World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around”, did the announcement and Q & A, then on to “Can’t Stand Losing You” and closed with “Roxanne”. I haven’t watched the playback yet but seeing them together in such a tiny venue was all that I could have hoped it would be (well, other than a longer set!).

I was dead center in the middle of the tiny Whisky standing room area. Drummer Qwest Love with his giant afro was two people in front of me, but I had a clear view of all three of the guys and only occasionally had to bob my head to one side to see. The camaraderie was completely genuine and the playing was unbelievable. Stewart was a force of nature behind those drums, Sting was in great voice and Andy killed! (Stewart’s drumming is so exciting, it occurred to me Sting must have hated that in the old days – drawing attention away from him.) Andy’s solo on “When the World Is Running Down” was spectacular. It’s great to see that all these years later, they’ve finally relaxed their old rule about extended solos. I hope to see a lot of extended jams when they tour this summer, and I hope they switch up their set list from night to night. I am going to see them as many times as possible, I’ll see you there.