Tuesday, February 13, 2007

He Really Stung It Up

Like a lot of younger generation X-ers, I didn't get to experience The Police the right way. By the time I became aware of music, Sting was already sliding down the slippery slope of what I call his duh-dwee-di-dwee music. It's embarrassing to admit, but I only became aware of Sting because I had a tremendous, soul-killing crush on Valde Kudal. He was listening to Sting on his Walkman one day, and the very next day I went out and bought ...Nothing Like the Sun which was so different from the Whitney Houston and Mister Mister pop playing on the radio.

One day, Valde noticed that I was listening to Sting, and he said, "You know, if you like this stuff, you should check out The Police. That's his old band. And you might want to listen to some Steve Winwood too."

I still have not forgiven him for the Steve Winwood advice, but listening to Synchronicity for the first time was kind of like the dreams I have when I discover an extra room in my house. And in my dreams, I walk around the room and think to myself, "I can't believe it's been here this whole time, and I never knew!"

A lot of great bands had already come and gone by the time I became aware. I mean, how many of us have sat in our rooms with The Police blasting on our stereos and wondered what it was like to actually see this band live?

I saw The Police documentary where Sting and Stuart Copeland couldn't sit still for five minutes without whacking each other in the head and I felt like I missed being able to experience something.

So I was really excited when I heard that The Police were going to sing at the Grammys. The show started out with a bang, with Sting belting out, "ROXANNE!"

Unfortunately, a few stanzas later, he completely Stung it up. The song sounded more like a cheezy Sting song than the clarion call I remember from my youth. I guess it's better to remember someone at their best than to try to recreate an era that's in the past. Oh well, we Generation X-ers are used to that kind of disappointment.

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