Reunion surprise for Sting
LOS ANGELES — Sting says his decision to rejoin bandmates Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland in ’80s British New Wave band the Police for a 30th anniversary tour this year surprised him as much as everybody else.
“You know, if you’d asked me the day I made the decision, I would have said, ‘You’re out of your mind,’ ” the Police singer-bassist, 55, told about 200 assembled media and contest winners packed yesterday morning into the Whiskey A Go Go, the small, legendary Sunset Strip club.
“I woke up one morning, it was like three months ago, and this light bulb went off in my head — “I’m going to call Andy and Stewart and tell them that we should do a tour.” I thought, ‘Well, it’ll surprise them, it’ll surprise the world, and it’s surprising me too.’ ”
As Sun Media exclusively reported yesterday, the Police’s 30th anniversary reunion tour of mostly arenas and stadiums will launch in North America on May 28 in Vancouver and visit Toronto on July 22 and Montreal on July 25. Tickets in all three cities go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m.
Edmonton wasn’t among the tour stops announced yesterday, but the date Sun Media reported yesterday — June 2 — is pencilled in and is expected to be confirmed in a few weeks.
The most recent time the Police toured together was in 1984, but rumours of a pending reunion began circulating after they announced they would open the Grammy Awards telecast this past Sunday night.
Sting acknowledged yesterday that he has been the lone holdout over the years.
“What’s happening is very interesting, because it’s very healing,” Sting said. “It’s a part of my life that I’ve sort of run away from for 25 years. So to come back and be with the band and develop these relationships again, we’re wiser than we used to be. We still fight, argue about the music, but we have ways of navigating now that we didn’t have before. We’re wiser and a bit more mellow.”
Added Copeland, 54, “We’ve never hated each other. We shouted and screamed, as Sting says, about the music. We fought tooth-and-nail over the music, but as human beings we always liked each other.”
“Now we do yoga and eat granola,” added Summers, 64. “We love everybody.”
Copeland continued more seriously. “I just want to play my dreams and follow Sting’s lead and play the songs with Andy.”
“You’ve changed, Stewart,” Sting said.
“He hasn’t,” Summers lobbed back. “We refer to Sting as our dear leader … on a good day.”
Yesterday, the trio — which had rehearsed in Vancouver for the past couple of weeks — roughly made their way through four of their songs: Message In A Bottle, When World Is Running Down, I Can’t Stand Losing You and Roxanne. How rough? Sting had a teleprompter to one side, and Copeland kept yelling out chords.
Then they answered only about a half-dozen questions from the assembled media.
The band Fiction Plane — led by Sting’s son, Joe Sumner — will open for the Police in North America. A portion of the proceeds from the tour will go toward WaterAid.
Is a new Police album part of the reunion plan? The trio refused to seriously answer that question.
Sting did say the band will play Police songs that they’ve never before performed live, and production-wise, “it’s going to be three guys on stage, that’s all. Simple but spectacular.”
Tickets for the Toronto show — priced $225, $95 and $59.50 — go on sale Saturday at TicketMaster, the Air Canada Centre box office (no first-day sales), by phone at (416) 870-8000, or online at ticketmaster.ca or livenation.com. There is a limit of four tickets per person.
For ticket price and ordering information for the Montreal and Vancouver shows, go to livenation.com or thepolicetour.com.
1977: Stewart Copeland and Sting form the Police along with guitarist Henri Padovani, who soon is replaced by Andy Summers.
1978: Sign with A&M. Roxanne released. It fails to chart.
First album, Outlandos d’Amour, released.
So Lonely released as a single.
1979: Re-released Roxanne hits No. 12 on U.K. charts.
Second album, Reggatta de Blanc, released with single Message in a Bottle going to No. 1 in Britain.
1980: Third album, Zenyatta Mondatta, released. Band’s North American breakthrough.
Don’t Stand So Close to Me group’s second No. 1 single in the U.K.
1981: Ghost in the Machine, band’s fourth album, released. No. 1 in the U.K. and No. 2 in the U.S. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic biggest hit to date.
Named Best British Group at the first Brit Awards.
1983: Return with album Synchronicity, No. 1 in U.K. and U.S. A blockbuster on the strength of Every Breath You Take, one of the biggest American hits of all time.
King of Pain and Wrapped Around Your Finger become hits, sending Synchronicity to multi-platinum status.
During record-breaking world tour, personal and creative tensions escalate greatly.
Band goes on “sabbatical” to pursue outside interests.
Sting embarks on a hugely successful solo career.
1986: Band plays an Amnesty International concert and attempts to record new tracks for a greatest-hits album. Studio session, however, unravel.
1992: Greatest Hits album released in the U.K.
2003: Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, performing Roxanne, Message In a Bottle and Every Breath You Take live, as a group.
2007: Reunite for 30th anniversary to perform Roxanne at Grammy Awards. Announce North America tour.
Reunion surprise for Sting