Rescued from VHS: The Police as a four-piece 37 years ago
Today's artifact comes from a punk festival in 1977 where Sting and the Police played as a four-piece, with additional guitarist Henry Padovani.
On this day in 1978, Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers began recording their debut album as The Police. They borrowed the money (roughly $1,500) to make "Outlandos d'Amour" from Copeland's brother Miles, who also managed the band.
Today's artifact comes from a punk festival in 1977 where The Police played as a four-piece, with additional guitarist Henry Padovani. This artifact is notable because Padovani became kind of a Pete Best (if you don't know who that is, he was a guy who was kicked out of a legendary band), and also because The Police weren't really a punk band as much as they were pretending to be punk so they could get popular.
But the thing is, they recorded the album in a pretty punk fashion: over six months, whenever another band canceled their studio time. Miles Copeland reportedly convinced the A&M label to release "Roxanne" as a single, but it flopped, which is odd when you consider how ingrained in the popular consciousness that song is now. The band's manager got A&M to give his brother's band another shot with "Can't Stand Losing You," which succeeded and led to the band receiving a full contract from A&M for an album they had already completed. The Police continued to release music on the A&M label throughout the rest of their career.