15 August 2006
'How To Become A Rock Star'
Edge has penned a glowing foreword to 'One Train Later', the forthcoming memoirs of guitarist Andy Summers, best known for his years in The Police.
The book, published in early October, is winning warm advance notices, taking Summers' story from his first guitar through early success in the UK into encounters with musical legends like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. But The Police might never have happened if Summers' session work in the US had not dried up and he decided to return to the UK. That's when he bumped into Stewart Copeland on a train - the rest, as they say, is rock'n'roll history.
Edge recalls first meeting Andy when U2 supported The Police at an outdoor show in Gateshead in 1982 - and then when U2 travelled with The Police on the Conspiracy of Hope Tour for Amnesty International in 1986. 'I certainly will never forget the moment when Andy handed me his guitar in front of the 65,000 capacity crowd at the end of the Police's final set, for U2 to play out the last song of the event. There was more than a little symbolism in that handing over of instruments.'
One Train Later is in stores on October 3rd. More here
And here's Edge's foreword in full.
'How to become a rock star? Plug in and wait for inspiration. That seems to have been the secret to Andy Summers success in the music business, or so it would seem based on his autobiography.
In the age of "pop idol", when the order of the day is to commodify yourself to success, this book will hopefully be a welcome counterbalance. Full of anecdotes of near misses and false starts, the book's overarching theme is of a man blown by some supernatural wind along a road not of his choosing but of his calling: music, for better or worse, his mistress, his seducer, his lifeline.
And with every blind alley, every setback, there comes the increasing sense that the journey is the most important thing.
Starting, as the story does, with his first experiments with skiffle, taking us through his involvement in the U.K. blues explosion, and on into the high Sixties of the Beatles and the Stones, no other apprenticeship could possibly have prepared Andy for the world-dominating success of the Police, just one of the bands that can claim him as a member, but the one that will surely be remembered by history.
It was during his time with the Police that I first met Andy. As a member of U2, then a junior band about to open for them at their 1982 Gateshead stadium gig, I was somewhat intimidated by the sight of the three blond icons as they came bounding into the lobby of the hotel where we had all gathered to await transport to the stadium. There was between Andy and his bandmates, Sting and Stewart Copeland, this unmistakable sense of chemistry. They were not just a great band, they were a real band.
We had in fact opened for the Police once before, across the Irish Sea in our homeland at the first ever outdoor concert at Slane Castle, but in 1981 such was the gulf between us that we never actually met.
Time passed, and in 1986 by some twist of fate U2 ended up playing at an Amnesty International "Conspiracy of Hope" concert at New Jersey's Giants Stadium with the Police after they had decided to call it a day. It was a major occasion for many different reasons. I certainly will never forget the moment when Andy handed me his guitar in front of the 65,000 capacity crowd at the end of the Police's final set, for U2 to play out the last song of the event. There was more than a little symbolism in that handing over of instruments.
That Andy absorbed the success of the Police, as he did all the other ups and downs he experienced along the road, without losing a sense of himself, his passion for, and his belief in, the sacred and life changing qualities of music is a testimony to he purity of his motivation as a musician, songwriter and artist. May we be lucky enough to see his likes again.'