Friday, August 04, 2006

Everyone Stares:
The Police Inside Out

My father loves drums. In 1980 he bought an album with three lads on the orange cover because he heard a weird song on the radio that had some great drum work. Now mind you, my father has no musical taste whatsoever. I swear to God, up until a couple of months ago, he didn't know who Creedence Clearwater Revival were. But give him credit, he introduced me at the ever impressionable age of ten to the music of The Police. The song? Well, that would be "De Doo Doo, De Da Da Da" from "Zenyatta Mondatta." It was with that memory in mind that I took in a screening last night of drummer, now director, Stewart Copeland's new documentary on his legendary band called
"Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out."
Thanks to YouTube, here are some highlights.

As a fan of The Police, you should try to catch this movie. Culled from Copeland's personal super-8mm archives during the years of 1978-1984, "Everyone Stares" contains rare behind the scenes footage of the band from it's inception to it's eventual demise seen literally through the eyes of one of it's members. Copeland was in attendance last night, and spoke before (and after) the screening. He said that the film was originally made to be a home movie, not to be released theatrically, but it blossomed into this. He also emphasized that it should be watched as if you were actually in the band. Most of the footage, both onstage and off was shot in the first person by Copeland himself (making his view of things your own) and by default made guitarist Andy Summers and bassist Sting his stars. Memorable scenes include the first time the band encounters hysteria after a UK concert (which was quite unsettling considering it's first person angle), the first meeting with A&M Records executives in New York City, their first press conference in Los Angeles, recording sessions in Holland and Montserrat, backstage and on at the European festivals promoting "Reggatta De Blanc" and "Zenyatta Mondatta," which literally take you behind Copeland's drum kit as he wails through one classic song after another. Also included are the quiet moments that through time, became increasingly rare, as well as joking around backstage, in hotels and in TV studios. The music is the real star of this movie, but if anyone else were to get to get top billing, it would be Summers. In a scene where he "trashes" a mini-mart while on the road, Summers not only steals a bag of chips, he steals the show.

But what about the music you ask? It's all there, and then some. There are over 60 rare performances featured in various versions, some created just for this movie. Copeland currently works as a film composer and used his skills incorporating familiar tracks into the score. He said that with computers being the way that they are these days that he was able to take elements of different versions of songs and make new ones, "mashups" if you will. "The Police music that I used to score the film was hacked from the old master tapes, although I lobotomized them and de-arranged them so they were barely recognizable. I took bars from stage jams and joined them to the studio recordings. I took vocals from over here, and put them over there. I was able to get stacked Sting vocals from the studio recordings and put them over wild live performances - sometimes even over the wrong songs. It's still The Police, it's just my version of it."

But don't get your hopes up of a soundtrack release to this movie, according to Copeland it's not likely since cost to the rights to use music by The Police are astronomical. Copeland said he had to pay somewhere in the realm of $80, 000 of his own money to use his own music, and that was with the labels doing him a favor. To get your Police fix though, the film will be released on DVD September 25th. Till then, dust off your copy of the greatest hits, and don't stand so close to me. Oh, and thanks Dad. I'm just sayin'

For your consideration:

Next To You (Live) - The Police Mp3

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Be nice to Dad!