The Police- Reggatta de Blanc- Sting, Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers

“Love can mend your life, but love can break your heart…”- “Message in a Bottle”, 1979 (Sting)

Outlandos d’Amour  has a certain grotesque, naïve charm about it,” Sting offers in this interview about the second album by The Police, “but Reggatta de Blanc is infinitely a better record.” Both the critics and the rock audience agreed, garnering two #1 hits in the UK with “Walking on the Moon” and “Message in a Bottle”, plus topping the album sales chart there with Reggatta de Blanc  as well. Sting is joined here In the Studio by Police-men drummer/ band founder Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers for  The Police’s second album release in 1979.

Much of the interview you now hear In the Studio on this  Reggatta de Blanc program comes from their return to ROCK 103 Memphis on January 25, 1980 ( It was the first time anyone had ever sent a limousine to pick me up for lunch). After lunch we recorded the second interview, & only Sting & Andy could fit into the tiny control room with me. That night they indeed did play a Memphis club, the High Roller on Madison Avenue, but by now after Reggatta de Blanc‘s release they had to play two complete shows back-to-back for two completely separate audiences. A CBS television network camera crew from New York City was there filming for some kids news show. As before, the band asked me to introduce them on stage for both shows. The cramped dressing room was immediately behind the equally tiny stage, & all three members plus me were huddled in this space right behind Stewart’s drum chair. I watched Stewart, wearing gym shorts & knee-high white athletic socks, put on thin driving gloves, then tape over the gloves with duct tape. When I inquired what the heck he was doing, Copeland shoved his left (snare) hand in my face & showed me these huge gashes all over the outside & knuckles of his hands.”When you play reggae,” the Police timekeeper explained,”you play the rim of the drum as often as the actual drum head. And your hands get sliced up pretty bad.”

After the second show, after the second packed crowd left, I found myself sitting at the bar with Sting & Stewart with the house lights up full & the waitresses, bus boys, & bartenders flipping the chairs up on the tables to close for the night. All thoughts of their initial disappointing debut show in Memphis, less than a year earlier, had evaporated. The lads were spent physically from the two Police shows, but even though not a lot was said between us, the overwhelming satisfaction of a very good night, & an even more promising future, was in their eyes as we nodded, then raised our glasses in a toast. – Redbeard