Results for The Police

interviews

Andy Summers of The Police

This week Jim and Greg sit down with Andy Summers, former guitarist for 1980s supergroup The Police. Andy was in town promoting his latest tome, "One Train Later." It's a memoir — a good one according to Jim and Greg — about his years before and during the Police era. Andy is honest and frank in the book, and it comes across in the interview. Our hosts start things off by asking Andy about the origins of the band and The Police's distinctive sound. Andy was largely influenced by jazz growing up and firmly established himself as a professional musician well before he helped form The Police. He had a brief stint with the jazz fusion/progressive rock band Soft Machine and did session work during the 1970s for artists like Neil Sedaka and Joan Armatrading. His Police band mate, drummer Stewart Copeland also came from a musically trained background. Jim points the irony in having two highly trained musicians emerge out of the British punk scene — a scene that demanded unpolished musicians and hated solos. Andy considers The Police to have been fake punk band.

Although Jim did not get to catch The Police at their first US gig at CBGB's, he did see the band shortly after at New York's The Bottom Line. The young self-proclaimed“drum geek”strategically sat behind Stewart Copeland's drum kit. He discovered The Police's disdain for each other, noting the“nasty, nasty”words Stewart had written in magic marker on his drum skins cursing the other band members. Jim asked Andy what it was like to work in such acrimonious conditions, especially with the rising megastar Sting. Summers says nothing negative about his experience and feels the fights helped fuel the creativity of the band. Greg reiterates that although several people over the years mistake The Police as Sting's band, Andy and Stewart really shaped the sound. Andy concurs, detailing how songs like "Walking on the Moon" and "When the World is Running Down" involved all three members of the band.

As the interview nears a close, Jim asks the question that burns in the brain of many a Police fan: Will The Police reunite? Andy is up for reuniting and is in contact with the other two members (he had dinner with them this year) but he won‘t sit around waiting for the phone to ring. He’s busy with his own career, producing solo albums, and working as a photographer and bandleader. The closest the Police came to a reunion was in 2003 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. A reunion still sounds possible — let's hope this former Sting fan doesn't squelch such a possibility.

Go to episode 53

Herb Alpert

Whipped Cream & Other Delights Jim and Greg are delighted to be joined this week by legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass scored a string of instrumental hits in the '60s, from "The Lonely Bull" to "Casino Royale" to "A Taste of Honey." His 1965 album Whipped Cream & Other Delights became a staple of record collections all over, which was helped by its iconic, risqué cover. He even scored a surprise #1 hit as a vocalist with the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition "This Guy's In Love With You." But Alpert's remarkable career goes well beyond his own recordings. Along with his partner Jerry Moss, he cofounded the venerable label A&M Records, signing a diverse roster including the Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, The Police, and Janet Jackson. Through his philanthropic foundation, he's donated millions toward music education. And if that's not enough, he's also an exhibiting sculptor. At age 81, he's still going strong, with a brand new album called Human Nature. Herb Alpert discusses the genesis of his signature double-trumpet sound, being mentored by Sam Cooke, and his ethical approach to owning a label.

Go to episode 565

Bully

Our guest this week is the alternative grunge band out of Nashville, Bully. The group is fronted by Minnesota native Alicia Bognanno, with drummer Stewart Copeland (no, not the drummer of The Police,) bass player Reece Lazarus and guitarist Clayton Parker. In 2013, the band signed with Columbia on their Startime International label and in June of this year, released their debut full-length album, Feels Like.

Jim first saw Bully perform at SXSW this year in Austin and was blown away by their sonic power and emotional lyrics. A few weeks ago, Bully came into the studio and while unfortunately Greg couldn't be there, Jim had a great time talking to the members about their past professions, '90s nostalgia and their unique sound.

Go to episode 510
reviews
ColorsColors available on iTunes

Beck Colors

Beck won a surprise late career Album of the Year Grammy for his 2014 record Morning Phase. Now, he's back with his 13th album, Colors, co-produced by Adele and Kelly Clarkson collaborator Greg Kurstin. Although Beck constantly reinvented himself in the 1990s, Greg says that here, he's simply recycling his greatest pop moves of the past. Greg acknowledges that he still knows a great hook and continues to mix and match genres. Because it's so cheerful in comparison to the melancholy Morning Phase, Greg finds it difficult to dislike, but it still only merits a Try It. Jim, however, finds it a big improvement over the last record. While Beck isn‘t reinventing the wheel, he’s having fun with pastiches to The Police, Elliott Smith, and more. According to Jim, these songs are as good as any he's ever given us. He says Colors is a great party record and a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 621
lists

First Love Songs

Being such romantics, our hosts love to do Valentine's Day shows. However, sometimes the themes are less -than romantic-Unconventional Love or Love Stinks. But this year is all about the sweet, innocent and sometimes terrifying feelings of First Love. Here are their tracks:

Go to episode 324
news

Music News

First up in the news is the official announcement of The Police reunion, which will kick off at this month's Grammy Awards. Jim and Greg asked Police guitarist Andy Summers about a potential reunion when he was on the show last year, but he wouldn‘t give up any secrets. What isn’t a secret is the potential for big bucks — something our hosts suspect to be the prime reason for Sting, Summers and Stewart Copeland joining forces again. Also cashing in on a reunion is Van Halen. The band has announced it will perform at the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with a possible tour to follow. And, with pending reunions by Rage Against the Machine and Smashing Pumpkins, 2007 is poised to be the year of the reunion. Jim and Greg are still keeping their fingers crossed for reunions by The Smiths, Hüsker Dü and The Replacements.

Also making news is rocker Tom Waits. He sued car manufacturer Opel for using his vocal likeness in a recent Scandanavian ad campaign. Waits refused to lend his own voice to the commercial, so he believed Opel went out and found the next best thing. A judge agreed, and Opel was forced to pay an undisclosed settlement which Waits plans to give to charity. This isn't the first time the singer has had to tangle with an auto company. Last year he won a case against Volkswagen-Audi, which also impersonated his voice and changed his song without permission.

Next up Jim and Greg discuss YouTube's new plan to share revenue with some of its content providers. The website's co-founder Chad Hurley made the announcement at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and explained that revenues will only be shared with users who own the full copyright of their material. Guess this means that Lasse Gjertsen should be expecting a check sometime soon.

Go to episode 62

Music News

This summer concert season marks a number of make-ups and break-ups. First is the news that The Police will be wrapping up their successful reunion tour. The group had one of the top grossing tours of 2007, but will be ending their“journey”in the place it began: New York City. Also making news is the Gang of Four, which is now down to the Gang of Two. But on a happier note, New Jersey's The Feelies will be reuniting after 17 years for not one, but two shows this summer. Jim and Greg are also excited about the highly-anticipated reunion from groundbreaking British band My Bloody Valentine. The question is - will any of these reunions result in new music that matches these bands' former glory? Fans will have to wait and see.

Go to episode 128

Music News

iTunes announced that it will be offering cut-rate downloads on several albums in its catalog. The albums, which retail for $5.99 and $6.99, are part of a new series called“Next Big Thing.”The bargain bin includes albums from up-and-comers like LCD Soundsystem and Peter Bjorn and John. Jim and Greg are happy to see that the giant digital music retailer is waking up. Six bucks is a perfectly legitimate amount to pay for such good albums, and this is a move that's certain to please consumers, if not record labels.

Also in the news, pop star Avril Lavigne is being called out for a couple instances of plagiarism. First, power pop band The Rubinoos launched a legal case against Avril, claiming that her single "Girlfriend" was lifted from their 1979 song, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." Avril denies this, but the similarities are pretty striking. Then, gossip blogger Perez Hilton pointed out another suspicious similarity. The first 20 seconds of Avril's "I Don't Have to Try" sound nearly identical to electroclasher Peaches' track "I'm the Kinda." Jim and Greg think the evidence is stacking up against Avril, but are quick to point out that all rock music has been cribbed from one source or another.

Next Jim and Greg relay their experiences that at the recent Police reunion show in Chicago. Greg was pretty unimpressed, and says that the show was definitely not worth what people paid. Jim was less harsh, but agrees with Greg that the Police have always been better on album than live.

The Police concluded their tour at Giants Stadium as part of the Live Earth concert. Again, the band didn't wow our hosts, but it was Kanye West's performance that was the most strikingly bad. In fact, with the exception of a few performances, most of Live Earth was pretty underwhelming to Jim and Greg. And the world seemed to agree. Ratings were quite poor, especially compared to the success of previous attempts like Live 8. Jim is all for music influencing people to make change, but he didn't hear anything truly inspirational coming out of this crop of musicians. And Greg found the event to have a great lack of focus, though both hosts are all for Al Gore replacing Bono as music's new crusader.

Go to episode 85

Music News

With 2008 ahead of us, it's time to look back at who reigned in the year that was. According to recent figures, it was The Police. The recently reunited group had the top grossing tour of 2007 with $132 million. Also making the top 10: Genesis, Van Halen and Roger Waters. While people like Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera also had successful touring years, Jim and Greg were dismayed to see how dominant aging, nostalgia acts were. It doesn't bode well for the concert industry, especially when you see that overall sales were down almost 20%. Our hosts recommend concert promoters focus more on developing younger, more diverse acts if they want to improve the numbers for next year.

Next up Jim and Greg speak with Oscar-winning director Peter Bogdanovich, whose new film Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream, has been airing on the Sundance Channel and is now available on DVD. Greg notes that Bogdanovich is a director who likes to cover big subjects and big men, like Orson Welles and John Ford. And the filmmaker agrees that Tom Petty fits into that mold. He describes him as a truly“American”artist, and one that warrants a four-hour film.

Go to episode 110

Music News

The first news item this week is a sad one for Jim, Greg and all indie music fans in and outside of Chicago. Long-time label Touch and Go Records has announced that it is shrinking its business and cutting ties with more than 20 other indie labels. Label founder Corey Rusk made a statement explaining that Touch and Go can no longer afford to provide manufacturing and distribution services to such labels as Drag City, Flameshovel and Kill Rock Stars. This announcement is especially disheartening since it comes on the heels of the label's 25th anniversary.

Anyone who discounted Madonna after she turned 50 will be surprised to hear that she is as relevant as ever — at least commercially. According to Billboard, the pop star is the top-earning artist of 2008 with over $240 million. As Jim and Greg explain, this is not just good news for Madonna, but for her 360 promoters Live Nation. Distantly trailing the Material Girl are Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, The Police and Celine Dion — not a youngin' in the bunch.

Go to episode 169