Police on my Back (and in my Wallet)



I am unfortunately at that age where the rock band heroes of my 20’s are now in the sellout stage of their career. Nothing says “God am I old? than hearing the opening riff to Blister in the Sun in a Wendy’s hamburger ad.

Besides selling their songs to Madison Avenue to shill for cars and soap, the easiest way for a band to make money off its legacy is to go on a “reunion tour.? Although the nostalgia acts of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s have been doing this for years, the practice has now infected so called “alternative/punk? bands.

The Pixies really jumped-started this trend with their wildly popular tour of 2005-06. Now it’s hard to really blame the Pixies as they were criminally overlooked during the time that they were putting one amazing album out after another. Since they didn’t make a whole lot of money then, it’s only appropriate that they collect a premium from those not cool or old enough to get them the first time around.

The Police are the latest to suck lucre from the nostalgia teat. Now of course the Police were MTV stars in the early- to mid-80’s and their albums sold well and were critically acclaimed (Outlandos d’Amour still plays a prominent place on my I-Pod). Plus Sting has been a mega-star for years and Andy Summers and Stuart Copeland have had nice careers. But after a performance at the Grammys that didn’t even come close to meeting the anticipation, they have decided to go on tour.

Of course no big rock star tour these days can move forward without corporate sponsorship. The Police have teamed up with Best Buy and if you are a Reward Zone enrollee, you even get a day or two head start in buying tickets. Again a practice that is not new but has been usually limited to fan club members. Don’t worry, the Police have that angle too, once you pay $100 for the privilege of being a fun club member.

Now I’m fine with the whole corporate sponsor thing -- if the bands or teams I like can keep ticket prices down because they are also getting some $$$ from Bud Light, no big deal. The Police, however, are still charging a premium for their tickets, even with the Best Buy Sponsorship. For a mere $52 (plus service charges) you can get a nosebleed seat at the X to see the Police. Want to get on the floor? oh that will cost you $92 (plus service charges). Want to get close to see Sting’s finely toned abs? That will be $227 (plus service charges) please.

Thankfully I’ve moved on. I am sure The Police will clean up just fine without me and Sting can pay for a new fitness regime. However when Andy and Stewart begin that reggae rhythm and Sting starts singing Raaaaaaahhhhhxxxxxaaaaaannnne, you don’t have to put on that red light… do you think they’ll get the irony?


The Police were a great band. Stewart Copeland was a huge influence on drummers like myself with his small kit and snappy unpredictable rhythm and licks. I'd love to be able to finally see him play live, but I won't shell out that kinda dough for a two hour show from what I believe to be an only marginally legendary band. Too bad. Only the rise of free mp3 trading has forced these old dudes out of cush retirement anyway, in order to score the money that their back catalogs are no longer generating. I want to be sympathetic to their plight, but I ask myself why didn't they stick to it in the first place? The Stones have, Aerosmith has, Robert Plant, etc. instead of coming back after 20 years to extort their biggest fans? Are they even putting out a new record?

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This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on February 27, 2007 12:27 PM.

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