Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sting

The first time I met Sting was at Madison Square Garden.

He was a solo act then, having left the Police. It was backstage, before a concert later that evening, and I was interviewing him for CBS. He was kind of quiet until I asked him this, "Why did the blues have to go to England to be played by bands like the Stones and Led Zeppelin before it came back across the water and America bought it?"

Long question.

He explained that acts like Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf had struck chords in the hearts of the English. The blues had always struck that chord. And while he didn't really know "the whys", he was happy that they, the English, could help in turning a spotlight on such a deserving genre of music.

Eloquence, right there, and a friendship was formed.

You know the deal....Gordon Sumner was a school teacher called Sting because of his bumble bee jersey.  Played bass, was in a band called the Police and went on to sell millions of records and become famous as famous can be.

I remember when the Police first hit with a song called "Roxanne." "You don't have to turn on the red light..." I was a young music director on a radio station in Detroit and was having a time getting that song on my station.

My program director said, "It's about a prostitute!"

"But it's a great song!"

Well, you know how that turned out, and it began a string of hits. "Walking on the Moon," "Message in a Bottle,""Don't Stand So Close to Me," "Every Breath You Take," are just a few.

I bet most people have a favorite Police or Sting song.

I've been to his Central Park West apartment. Pretty cheeky, huh?

He had long been a solo act by then. It wasn't Sting's idea but his wife, Trudie Styler.
Trudie, who is a star herself, was producing a movie and the entire audience at the screening got to go to the after party. I was one of the lucky ones.

When I first got to New York, I thought every apartment was small. Boy, was I wrong. Some had staircases, some were as big or bigger than big houses. Sting's was grand and huge.

Two floors, baby.
Two big floors with two kitchens.

Very nice.

Sting and Trudie are very involved with the Rainforest Foundation. They hold a concert at Carnegie Hall and the core artists we saw were Sting, Elton John, and James Taylor. Oh but the guest stars! Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Billy Joel, Madonna, Diana Ross, and more.

The concert helps fund projects for indigenous people of the world's rainforests. And it's a bang up good time, as well.

It's been said that there is no one quite like Sting. That he has his own niche, his own arena.

That, my friends, is true.







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