Scientists Agree: Police Reunion Confirms Gen X Mortality

This is me in 1980 (the tall one in the back):

And this is the look I was going for:

So I’ll cop to it, I was absolutely ga-ga for The Police.

At a time in my life when I was in emotional free-fall – and music meant everything to me -New Wave came along at just the right time. I believe my brother bought me Regatta de Blanc for Christmas 1979. Soon I bought some Tama Octabans and the garage band played sets that covered The Police almost exclusively:

So Lonely
Message In A Bottle
Regatta de Blanc
De Do Do Do
Driven to Tears

So devoted was I that I wrote “Fuck You” on my tom-toms just like Stewart. When my mom complained I chocked it up to artistic emulation.

So disgusted was I with the bloated Synchronicity, and the mess of a solo career that followed for Captain Tantric (how dare he brake up my favorite band!).

Music died for Gen Xers when David Byrne learned to mambo, when Joe Jackson discovered Cole Porter, the day Sting started playing free-form jazz. There was a brief respite with John Lydon’s PIL, but that quickly faded. The apotheosis came with last Sumner’s lute-fest.

Then – unpredictably – Sting woke up. I watched the Grammy performance with skepticism, but came away impressed. Not only did The Police sound great (read “raw”), to add insult to injury – with the exception of Andy Summers who is now 65 – they haven’t aged. As I contemplate the growing goo-sack developing around my midsection, Stewart Copeland looks better 25 years later.

Yes, I’d love to hear them play again, but I won’t fork over $250 to relive the magic. Here is my ticket stub from 1981 when they played the University of Montreal:

Ten bucks, general admission… and I bounced up to the front and had a ball. Sting in his jump suit, Copeland in Adidas shorts, Andy in his pin-striped jacket. You can’t get that back.

I saw them two years later with the Go-Gos and The English Beat (for free!… they played the McGill stadium and I was living in an apartment adjacent – I watched from the roof top.), but it was already all over.

So here’s to The Police; you make me feel old, but I’m glad you’ll be out there on tour this summer. Just don’t ask me to pogo again.


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