I’m a huge fan of The Police, in fact huge doesn’t begin to describe my admiration for the band. The music of The Police saved me as a teen and has had a monumental impact on my life. For that reason, I’ve collected and devoured all three memoirs by the members of the band: Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Andy Summers.
I’ve now completed this Police trifecta of memoirs after just finishing Andy Summers’ book One Train Later. Yes, I know I’m late to this book party since One Train Later was published some time ago. But hey, better late than never! I enjoyed all three of these memoirs for different reasons. All three bring a new dimension to the authors, and each provides a different and fascinating viewpoint.
Broken Music is an intimate portrait of Sting’s formative years growing up in England and his musical path to eventual success. Interestingly, the book ends just as Sting takes off with the Police and doesn’t dish much on the band at all. It is a beautifully written recollection of Sting’s beginnings and what drove him to succeed as a musician.
Strange Things Happen is a hysterical ride through Stewart Copeland’s odd life and claim to fame. Just like his drumming, the pace of Copeland’s book is frenetic, loud, and in-your-face funny. He offers no apologies for the many tangents he explores, and his book shows how he embraces life and the strange opportunities that come his way.
One Train Later by Andy Summers tells the life story of the most experienced member of the band. Prior to his stint with The Police, Summers paid his dues in the musical trenches longer than the others before finding success. The book is a great testament to his love affair with the guitar and his perseverance in the music industry.
The bottom line is that these three musicians are my heroes; I worship the ground they walk upon as well as the page upon which they write. Broken Music, Strange Things Happen, and One Train Later will always hold a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf. I recommend these memoirs for anyone seeking to learn more about what shaped and drove the members of The Police from three vastly different perspectives. As with their music, all three musicians bring something different and exciting to turn the pages.
The Police were a band for far too short a time. The brightest stars always burn out all too quickly from the blinding intensity. Yet we can’t help but remember and cherish the greatness we witnessed, and here are three memoirs to help with that task.