This show stands out for two particular reasons: it was one of the very few times in my life that I was able to secure front row reserved seats to a major concert; and it was one of the very few times I had my film confiscated [and exposed to light, on the spot]. After the first roll was lost to security, I had to be much more careful with my photographing the band, which is why there are not so many images to share.
The few frames I had taken of Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers [on the opening slot] were lost, along with the only clear shots I had managed to capture of Stewart Copeland, without the drum kit in the way of my sight-lines. Originally, it had been announced that opening the show would be The English Beat, but their record had just started climbing the charts, so they exited the tour and started headlining elsewhere – much to my dismay…… I would luck into seeing that band on their last major U.S. date before they broke up, about a year later, in California. I must admit that I was never much into Ms. Jett, or The Runaways, for that matter, aside from a handful of songs. They received a polite, but lukewarm, reception on this evening, but not for lack of trying. The band did not come across as a “stadium act”, and were probably much better to see in the smaller halls …. aside from the fact that this pairing with the headliners seemed a bit odd, musically – to me, anyway.
This particular tour, for “Ghost in the Machine”, was not particularly a standout, in my mind. I had given up the chance to see them perform on their first tour of the States http://thepoliceinconcert.free.fr/concerts.htm, when they appeared at Bogart’s, in Cincinnati , because I decided to catch Elvis Costello & The Attractions, on the “Armed Forces” tour, in Louisville on the same night http://www.elviscostello.info/gigography/all_69-79.php, instead. Another good friend of mine from high school days [Mike “Mac”, R.I.P.], largely responsible for opening my ears up to a lot of the mid-to-late 70’s bands when they were mostly unknown outside of the major cities on both coasts, made the drive to see that show in Cincy, and was witness to a stunner of an evening, as he and Gary told me later. The venue was half empty, and they were treated to multiple workouts of new songs, along with extended versions of the songs from the first lp. Mike was directly responsible for introducing Gary and myself to, amongst other bands, Elvis Costello, The Stranglers, Blondie, The Dictators, Mink DeVille, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, the original Ultravox, and many more. On that evening in 1979, while he was having a good time at The Police show, we were treated to a barely 40 minute “set” by EC and The Attractions, cut short, as we later found out, as a result of the infamous run-in with Bonnie Bramlett, with Stephen Stills and crew, earlier that week.
The performance on this evening in Lexington, would be more of a mid-tempo affair, with lots of effects on the instruments, as I recall, with few moments that would feature material from the earlier lps, aside from “the hits”. But, the upside of the experience, was the curious fact that even though I had no official photographer’s pass, Andy Summers did not seem to mind being the subject of my camera lens, whatsoever. He even posed for one frame, by doubling over while he played guitar, and peered between his legs with a grin for my benefit [see below]! I came to know, a few years later, that he is an avid photographer, and early collector of photographic art, himself. This would be the only time I saw the band perform, as I could not be bothered with seeing them in even larger venues, and by now, my tastes in music had begun changing, yet again…..
Well, enough of the babbling; the show was okay, but the photographs yielded a handful of nice images, as per usual, in my estimation. Enjoy, and feel free to comment.
Link to an informative Wiki on The Police:
NOTE: A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE WATERMARKS ON MY WORK
While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let me explain why I choose to do this.
No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs. On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night.
Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then. Hence, the old dictum, “Supply and Demand”; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers: a venue for discussion.
Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach “proof” quality – which is what you will see here. This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.