Postby STEWART on 31 May 2007 08:11

“Whenever you’re ready Mr. Copeland” says Charlie, the production manager, as two crew members hold aside the giant gong, creating just enough space for me to slither onto my percussion stage, which is still down in its pit. I leap on board but my foot catches something and I sprawl into the arena in a jumble as the little stage starts to rise into view. Never mind. The audience is screaming with anticipation as I collect myself in the dark and start to warm, up the gong with a few gentle taps. But I’m overdoing it. It’s resonating and reaching it’s crescendo before the stage has fully reached its position. Sort of like a premature ejaculation. There’s nothing for it so I take a big swing for the big hit. Problem is, I’m just fractionally too far away and the beater misses the sweet spot and the big pompous opening to the show is a damp squib. Never mind.

I stride manfully to my drums. Andy has started the opening guitar riff to MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE and the crowd is going nuts. Problem is, I missed hearing him start. Is he on the first time around or the second? I look over at Sting and he’s not much help, his cue is me – and I’m lost. Never mind. “Crack!” on the snare and I’m in, so Sting starts singing. Problem is, he heard my crack as two in the bar, but it was actually four – so we are half a bar out of sync with each other. Andy is in Idaho.

Well we are professionals so we soon get sorted, but the groove is eluding us. We crash through MESSAGE and then go strait into SYNCHRONICITY. But there is just something wrong. We just can’t get on the good foot. We shamble through the song and hit the big ending. Last night Sting did a big leap for the cut-off hit, and he makes the same move tonight, but he gets the footwork just a little bit wrong and doesn’t quite achieve lift-off. The mighty Sting momentarily looks like a petulant pansy instead of the god of rock. Never Mind. Next song is going to be great…

But it isn’t. We get to the end of the first verse and I snap into the chorus groove – and Sting doesn’t. He’s still in the verse. We’ll have to listen to the tapes tomorrow to see who screwed up, but we are so off kilter that Sting counts us in to begin the song again. This is ubeLIEVably lame. We are the mighty Police and we are totally at sea.

And so it goes, for song after song. All I can think about is how Dietmar is going to string us up. In rehearsal this afternoon we changed the keys of EVERY LITTLE THING and DON’T STAND SO CLOSE so needless to say Andy and Sting are now on-stage in front of twenty thousand fans playing avant-garde twelve-tone hodgepodges of both tunes. Lost, lost, lost. I also changed my part for DON’T STAND and it’s actually working quite well but there is a dissonant noise coming from my two colleagues. In WALKING/FOOTSTEPS, I worked out a cool rhythm change for the rock-a-billy guitar solo, but now I make a complete hash of it – by playing it in the wrong part of the song. It’s not sounding so cool.

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. It’s only the second show (not counting the fan gig – 4,000 people doesn’t count as a gig in the Police scale of things).
When we meet up back-stage for the first time after the set and before the encores, we fall into each other’s arms laughing hysterically. Above our heads, the crowd is making so much noise that we can’t talk. We just shake our heads ruefully and head back up the stairs to the stage. Funny thing is, we are enjoying ourselves anyway. Screw it, it’s only music. What are you gonna do? But maybe it’s time to get out of Vancouver…
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Postby Dietmar on 31 May 2007 08:17

Stewart, I liked this gig best of all three. Despite the accidents I loved it. Or did I love it because of the accidents...?
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Stewart it's okay ...we dig you ...it will take awhile

Postby dontboxmein on 31 May 2007 08:29

I can relate I hate when I screw up on stage. I have done the same thing got lost in the count cause was out to lunch.

Listen Stew,

I really dig the new direction you guys are headed even if some fans disagree. I like the freshness and the new energy... you could have just played the hits "Whole In My Life" bah bah bah...lol...but no you are challenging us and for that we are ever greatful. Least I am truly.

25 years is along time to be away...the nerves will calm a bit you will get your feet and you guys will kick ass.

thanks for being in The Police ...if it wasn't for you ...I would never be the drummer I am today...at age 7, I was figuring out the Hi Hat...and I paly it alot like you... like another voice and drum...thanks for your talent.

and if sometimes i can't seem to talk you know this blackborad lacks a piece of chalk
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Postby conroy on 31 May 2007 09:41

You can have all the disaster gigs you want as long you guys are having fun taking the music in new directions and allowing us fans this amazing experience of living out a dream almost 25 years in the making. It's been an amazing ride so far connecting with fans at the Whisky even though I didn't make it in, and the Vancouver Fan Club show this year (getting to meet the legendary Dietmar was a big thrill for me!) and the tour has only just begun. It can only get better from here!
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Postby rapa on 31 May 2007 09:53

My goodness, what a sweet post! As for all the talk of the tour being done for money, we now know it's all for Dietmar. I think I have a tear in my eye.
I need a Stewart T-shirt (to be proudly worn in Barcelona) NOW! :P
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Postby phaty on 31 May 2007 10:06

[quote="STEWART"]Screw it, it’s only music.[/quote]

A M E N . . . !

The way I see it you use American leg of the Tour to practice and you'll be perfect by the time you hit Europe. Works for me!
Ah forget it - for those who want to see a perfect show there is always Celine Dion in Vegas.

Postby copelandos_damour on 31 May 2007 10:25

Don't worry Stewart, you're gonna rock all through the tour.
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Postby Hannaha on 31 May 2007 10:43

What's funny is that all the reviews of this show were rhapsodic!

And I love that your greatest fear in front of 40,000 people is Dietmar being disappointed with you... do you picture him just slowly shaking his head as he walks away in disgust?!
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Postby phaty on 31 May 2007 10:57

ROFL ... !

Re: Stewart it's okay ...we dig you ...it will take awhile

Postby sockii on 31 May 2007 11:02

[quote="dontboxmein"]I really dig the new direction you guys are headed even if some fans disagree. I like the freshness and the new energy... you could have just played the hits "Whole In My Life" bah bah bah...lol...but no you are challenging us and for that we are ever greatful. Least I am truly.[/quote]

Exactly what dontboxmein said! I love it that you guys are mixing it up and trying different things. Sometimes it's not going to come together perfectly but it's all about the journey of getting there--and the fact that the trip is happening in the first place. Thanks for taking us along with you, "disasters" and all.
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Postby crisalvini on 31 May 2007 11:05

Now, I deeply appreciated your review Stew. Things are never as we see them.... If you can manage a show like that one doing mistakes.... well, what can I say.... GO ON!!!!
As Sting always said, if you make a mistake keep your face straight and do it again and they will think it was NOT a mistake! :lol:
I appreciate you are so critic on yourselves and there is space for improvement.... you will be perfect in Europe! But please, just keep on making some little mistakes: I don't love too perfect shows!!!!! :wink:

Waiting for you in Turin, October 2nd.
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Never mind...

Postby eugenio on 31 May 2007 11:18

Everything could have gone wrong, but... you are the mighty Police for us!!!
Problem was... not to be there in Vancouver!!
No other band has got such a drummer, who cares for his fans to the point of making them smile / laugh this way!!

You are simply great, Stewart!

See u in Europe!

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Postby kappa02 on 31 May 2007 11:19

Signs The Police are gelling:

1) Sting starts wearing Stewart Copeland pajamas
2) Bonnaroo setlist includes Bomb's Away & It's Alright For You with extended version of Andy's guitar work at the end of each these songs
3) SC sheds his 'suburban dad' cover & reappears as Klark Kent for MTV's Unplugged
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Postby NoOneYouKnow on 31 May 2007 12:00

This is the "must have" concert download of the year. You could ask triple the regular price and still get it from me.
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Postby tonydrums on 31 May 2007 12:00

Thanks Stewart.

Remember, music is not mechanical, it supposed to live and breath (and sometimes gasp and wheeze!). Most bands get by because they got the backing track behind them or some razzle dazzle choreography to distract listeners from the mistakes. You three are playing, expanding, experimenting and gelling into a cohesive unit. Don't be afraid to try new things. The material is proven and so is the band. True fans will appreciate the effort.
You want something corny?
You got it
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