Stereo Embers The Podcast: Andy Summers (The Police)

Written by on 2021-09-01

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“Fretted And Moaning”

The British-born Andy Summers started loading up his musical CV at the age of 16 when, inspired by seeing Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie live in London, the young guitarist set out on the road and the road welcomed him warmly. After a few years playing live in local clubs, he moved to London and helped form Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band. From there, Summers joined Soft Machine and toured the U.S. for a few months, then joined the Animals for one record, 1968’s Love Is. He took a break from the rock and roll lifestyle to study classical guitar fat Cal State Northridge. After graduation, he moved back to London, played with Kevin Coyne, Joan Armatrading, Neil Sedaka, and Keven Ayers. Summers joined the Police in 1977 and Summers life was, putting it mildly, never the same. The Police put out five albums, sold 80 million of them, won six Grammys, toured the world and at one point in 1983 they were arguably the biggest band on the planet. They went on hiatus in ’86, came back 22 years later for a massively successful tour, then officially called it a day in August of 2008. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees remain one of the most successful bands of all time. As for Summers, he never stopped working. He’s put out close to 15 solo albums, collaborated on record with with Robert Fripp, John Etheridge, Toni Childs, Carly Simon and Sting, did the soundtracks for The Wild Life and Down and Out In Beverly Hills, put out several books of photography, and published a fabulous autobiography called One Train Later. Andy’s new book Fretted And Moaning is a fabulous collection of short stories where the main character, common denominator, thematic through-line, hero and villain is the guitar. Filled with the ego-driven, the confident, the unconfident, the winners, the losers, the girls, the boys, the hopes, the dreams, the disappointments, the hilarious and the tragic, Fretted and Moaning is written with the kind of narrative velocity that will make you finish it in one sitting. It’s hilarious, it’s hopeful, it’s sad, it’s comforting and it’s alive with aspiration, inspiration and heart. It also showcases Summers’ brilliant ear for dialect and dizzying narrative control. In this discursive and engaging chat, the legendary musician talks to Alex about his new book, and they veer effortlessly off course to chat about Kraftwerk, reggae and reading The Odyssey….

Andy Summers Fretted and Moaning Short Stories / Preorder

Fretted and Moaning (Signature edition)


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