Andy is in Idaho

Oh man, did anyone happen to catch the rant Stewart Copeland cut loose with on his website the other day?
"We crash through MESSAGE and then go straight into SYNCHRONICITY. But there is just something wrong. We just can’t get on the good foot. We shamble through the song and hit the big ending. Last night Sting did a big leap for the cut-off hit, and he makes the same move tonight, but he gets the footwork just a little bit wrong and doesn’t quite achieve lift-off. The mighty Sting momentarily looks like a petulant pansy instead of the god of rock."
Hands down, no question -- best thing I've read on the web all week.

Not that I'm taking joy in the Police sucking on stage. Granted, if I'd paid $80 for nosebleed seats only to hear Sting of all people flub the cue on Message in a Bottle I'd probably be seven shades of cheesed and want my money back -- but there's just something about actually hearing it from Stewart Copeland himself that makes me all kinds of happy inside.

Maybe it's because hearing it from him is a reminder that The Police are human, and regardless of their success and experience can still fall prey to the same pratfalls that the rest of us losers are vulnerable to (although I will say that if there was one song that Gristina and I never screwed up, it was Message).

But even this is forgivable -- little screwups are actually pretty common early on big road tours, especially when the groups entrance is some sort of elaborate choreographed affair.

But above everything else I think the reason I loved this rant has to do with the fact that I've been a huge fan of this group for a really long time, and if there is one thing that I know about the Police, it's that despite all their success --
Stewart Copeland still has no patience whatsoever when it comes to putting up with Sting's shit.
They might have made made incredible music together, but they hated each other the whole time -- and somehow knowing that even if they do rake in squillions of dollars traveling the world on this whole trumped up "reunion tour" thing that fact will never really change.

This is important to me because I happen to believe that it was this hatred that created the edge that helped make their music so memorable. It even provides a logical explanation as to why they broke up so many years before they really should have. But more than that -- it was a blueprint that I think helped the band I was in for years when I was younger stay together for as long as it did. Not only in the sense that a three-piece group could work together to create a huge sound, but that each individual member could still have room to flourish and experiment without sacrificing the song as a whole.
It also helped us deal with the fact that our drummer was kind of an asshole too, but like Copeland -- was simply too talented to discard just because of that one particular character flaw.
The Police were a diamond with a crack in it. Three personalities too strong to work together that found a way regardless for the sake of the music. A fact I think that plays out in the fact that even though each member of the band had certain levels of individual success after the breakup, none of them ever matched the singular appeal and lasting influence that The Police had over the years.

I mean sure, Sting arguably eclipsed the level of popularity of his former group -- but the direction he went in after the band broke up was so completely different that it was clear he was attempting to show that in his mind he had "outgrown" the concept the band was built around. And don't get me wrong -- the first couple of albums he put out on his own were incredible (the dozen or so since -- ...not so much), but in a lot of ways the non-musical persona that emerged as Sting grew into a larger than life superstar could at times be so pretentious and annoying that over the years it became increasingly more and more difficult to take him seriously as a person.

In fact one of my fondest memories of high school were the times when Gristina and I would get so bored in Mr. Piscatelli's American Government class that we'd perform endless variations of one of our favorite improvised skits: "Bono Calls Sting on the Phone":
Bono: Good afternoon, my name is Bono -- I'm calling to let you know that I'm more important than you.
Sting: I appreciate the thought, but I'm afraid I have to disagree. After all, I'm Sting.
Bono: Perhaps, but the fact remains that as Bono - I'm more important than everyone else.
Sting: Please. I'm an spokesperson for Amnesty International.
Bono: I am too. In fact, the last press conference I did you were sitting next to me.
Sting: Actually you were sitting next to me.
Bono: Yes, but I was there first.
Sting: I dedicated an entire album to the death of my father. Nothing is more pretentious than that.
Bono: ..Unless it's an entire album of songs about the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sting: When I have sex with my wife, it lasts 8 hours.
Bono: My wife's actually not important enough to have sex with me.
Sting: ..I hate you.
Bono: I know. I'm writing a song about it.
These exchanges could go on for hours until the school day was over.
It made us laugh, anyway.
But above everything else, there's just something about Stewart Copeland's rant that seems to ring so very true about the nature of friendship with unique and special people. I can kid all I want about the arguments and fights that have happened between him and Sting over the years -- but as anyone who's ever had a tight, tight friendship can easily tell you, those seas aren't always calm.

There are few things in this world that are
as epic as a real fight between best friends.
On the surface it probably doesn't make sense. I mean, Stewart Copeland is an internationally reknowned drummer. He's won countless awards and prestige for his work scoring movies and creating soundtracks for television shows. He's involved in music projects all over the world, and has proven his worth both financially and artistically time and time again.
But he's not Sting.
And while he may never come out and admit so much in words -- it's hard not to imagine that this single fact eats at Stewart Copeland a lot more than it probably should.

Friendships should be pure and simple things, just like any relationship. But sometimes they just aren't. Sometimes as much as you adore the people in your life, it's almost impossible not to get sick of them. To be jealous of the things that seem to come to them without effort, especially if those same things require constant struggle in yourself. Whether it's looks, talent, appeal to the opposite sex, money, stability, or whatever -- there's nothing more eventual, natural, and yet unfortunate than slipping into bouts of jealousy or envy with the people closest to your heart.

But it happens. Getting through it, putting yourself back into perspective, and growing from the experience is an important thing. Sometimes you have to be petty in order to rise above it. True friendships survive these things.

But that doesn't mean you aren't gonna rip the guy if he insists on jumping off the drum riser like a pansy, especially if he can't find the frikking downbeat in a song he's been playing for 30 years.

All of which makes me think that with all the reuinion tours going on -- maybe it's time I called up the boys to see how they feel about putting the band back together.
Whaddya say -- Shortcut to Grandma's House on three?
No scrunching.
[Listening to:    Led Zeppelin"Houses Of The Holy" ]


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