Police Go To Fenway; Liz Smith Lets a Fly Get Away

The Police Are Back

As an habitual reader of The New York Post, I can seldom provide the evidence to cast doubt on a gossip item. Today, Liz Smith gives it to me. Liz Smith reports today on the Police reunion tour. (I won’t comment on her other New England-related item.) Catching my eye was the assertion that Sting helped torpedo last week’s Grammy improvisational performance of “Roxanne”. She wrote as follows:

” “But Copeland and Summers apparently didn’t realize what they had signed on for. “Andy and Stew thought they would just do the old rock version of ‘Roxanne,’ ” our insider said, “but when they showed up for sound check, Sting had created this weird, jazz-blues version of the song, and they kind of freaked out.” Sting insisted that his version was better and sang the unexpected rendition of the 1978 hit at the Grammys – to almost everyone’s dismay. “It was hideous,” said one music executive. “Lets hope the whole rest of the song sets for the tour aren’t like that.” ”

I’m sure Smith, as experienced a reporter as there is, wrote down her sources blind quotes correctly. But I’m just as sure her source — probably a neophyte publicist — didn’t know what he was talking about, and I have evidence to back that up.

On 6 p.m. Sunday, VH 1 Classic broadcast a 1979 showing of BBC’s “Rock Goes to College” featuring the Police at Hatfield Polytechnic. Besides the spectacle of Sting singing “Hatfield Polytechnic” during “I Can’t Stand Losing You”, the concert showcased the band prior to their first American tour. Contrary to the assertion of Smith’s source, the Grammy performance of Roxanne could have been no surprise for Stewart or Andy. I counted at least three songs where the bandmembers allowed tight songs to grow with improv and extra-vocalizations — “I Can’t Stand Losing You”, “So Lonely” and “Roxanne”. In fact, the performance of Roxanne was remarkably similar to the Grammy show.

The Police will perform at Fenway on July 28 and 29. You can buy tickets here.

One Response to “Police Go To Fenway; Liz Smith Lets a Fly Get Away”

  1. Jim Gitell Says:

    I have been on a semi-binge of aged band concerts and I just went to the Police in Phoenix the other night. I noted that a few songs, although Roxanne was not one of them, were jazzed up for the concert and I actually kind of enjoyed them. Actually that was the most refreshing, remarkable part of a concert that I found to be fairly predictable. Yes it was the Police and yes, it has been 25 years or so since they have toured so that was cool. However they really they didn’t blow me away, especially for the price that I paid. This was the highest price that I have ever paid for the concert and I have to say that it was fairly forgettable.

    Now if you really want to see a show that will have you on your feet and that you will never forget, go see a Bob Seger concert if he ever tours again. I saw Seger in Phoenix this year and he absolutely BLEW ME AWAY! This guy is about 62 years old and he played 23 songs, which I think is the most songs that I can ever remember any band ever playing in concert. It cost me about 25% of what The Police cost, and I will never forget it. Bob, if you’re reading, you still got the Fire Inside….Rock on…

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