Drummer Stewart Copeland of rock icons The Police wasn’t particularly happy with the band’s performance in Vancouver as they began their first world tour in 23 years May 30th:
“This is unbelievably lame,” Copeland wrote [in his blog at his web site] of last Wednesday’s show at the GM Place arena. “We are the mighty Police and we are totally at sea.”
According to Copeland, the band played out of time on a tune or two, missed cues for ending songs, and generally just flummoxed their way through the performance:
“It usually takes about four or five shows in a tour before you get to the disaster gig. But we’re The Police so we are a little ahead of schedule,” he said.
What might be most interesting for fans who paid healthy sums for tickets to see their rock idols is Copeland’s attitude towards the poor performances:
“Screw it, it’s only music. What are you gonna do? But maybe it’s time to get out of Vancouver.”
Well, he’s got their money – what can he say? “Here, everybody take back ten bucks ’cause we made a couple of mistakes…”?
That is SOOOO not rock and roll, boys and girls…. The mantra in that business (I say this as a wily veteran) is “get your money or someone else will.”
So, how to take Copeland’s words?
One of the problems with any live performance is that things can go wrong – trust me – having done many live shows in my own musical career, I saw my share of “problem” shows. Often the audience barely notices the problems (if at all), but musicians notice, and they care.
Knowing the perfectionists the Police are, Copeland’s comments are meant, I’m sure, as sardonic humor at his and his band mates’ expense. No musician of Copeland’s professional stature feels anything but lousy if he gives what he considers less than his best performance. It’ll make future Police shows all the better – but he (and Sting and Andy) will still be haunted by the Vancouver problems….
Still it never hurts to hold their words up to them – as colleague Pat Vecchio notes, the words most often associated with “reunion tour” are “wretched excess.”
But this is rock and roll – so that’s to be expected.
(Thx to musician pal Michael Leffew for the tip.)