Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hogie's Heroes: The Police

Well, once again returning after an absence! Unfortunately, my usual "Phoenix rising from the ashes on New Year's Day" bit was more a "Phoenix gets shoved back down into those ashes and mixed with toxic sludge to create an awful, tarry bird slurry." So if you hear any awful gooey noises, that's me still tasting the remaining unwanted lung goo. Thankfully the other guys who post on this blog have been more than making up for my absence and knocking it out of the park. So, ONWARD and BACKWARDS...

One of the dividing lines between Generation X and Millenials is whether someone can think of Sting as something other than an older, balding pretentious guy. Gather 'round young 'uns, and I'll tell you the tale of a time when Mr. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner wasn't even 30, had hair that everyone envied and fronted a band that recorded the New Wave's own version of "Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)". Submitted for your approval: "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da".

Back in the day, The Police were considered pretty hot stuff, both musically and as eye candy for the laaay-deez. (Maybe a bit less so in the latter department for guitarist Andy Summers, who was about a decade older than the rest of the band and slightly more Harpo-ish.) Their energetic mixing of reggae and punchy rock captured the zeitgeist of "New" pretty handily along with their spikey blonde locks. They were hip enough to appeal to college kids and catchy enough to appeal to the high school crowd. (AKA young Master Steve.)

"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" is a fun hooky song built around the celebration of a nonsense lyric, but I should be clear that Sting still can't quite avoid getting Sting-ish. No doo-wop band would ever record lyrics like "When their eloquence escapes me/Their logic ties me up/And rapes me." Heavy! Still, it was a fun spin on 45rpm, especially when I slowed it down to 33 1/3rpm where it turned into kind of a creepy dirge. (Sort of like The Police's own remake of "Don't Stand So Close To Me" on their greatest hits album.)

(Poor Stewart Copeland is stuck in this video pretending to film the thing. I guess pretending to athletically play the drums on a steep snowy hill is not a good idea.)

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