Okay, so I haven’t so much as thought about The Grammys since they awarded my beloved Jethro Tull a trophy for best Heavy Metal recording in 1988. WTF? But 19 years later, I’m considerably stoked about this impending and mostly irrelevant glam-fest. Why? The Police, of course. Tonight they reunite for what will most likely be tomorrow’s most-watched YouTube clip. I for one can’t wait. But lest you think me a bandwagon fan to this unlikely reunion, allow me to elaborate: I came of age in the 80’s - a decade known for the birth of MTV, incredibly big hair, and mostly forgettable music. On that, I cannot disagree. But wedged in between the Thompson Twins, Ratts and Bananaramas of my youth were some downright viable musical combos. Near the very top of that slim pantheon were The Police.
In the early 80’s, there was much to dig about what Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland and that other dude released on the world. The reggae influence, the clever lyrics and of course Sting’s strangely lilting voice. Sure, some might dismiss their music and the whole New Wave movement as watered down Punk Rock - but not the spiky-haired hoodlum-wannabes I ran with. Hey, I can still wrap my noodle around all that fabricated anarchy, but sonically, I always thought the songs unleashed by The Sex Pistols and their ilk, how do you say...SUCKED. I suppose that was by design. Whatever. All I know is nothing made me feel like I was on the edge of a brave new world back in 1983 more than the hypnotic melodies and staccato rhythms of 'Outlandos d'Amour', 'Zenyatta Mondatta' and yes - even 'Synchronicity'.
Granted, much of it was due to the packaging. Not only did Sting and the fellas sound like no one else, but they had modern clothes, icy attitudes and really, really cool hair. For a young punk-ass yearning to be anything but just another Wayne County redneck, it was intoxicating stuff. I’d like to think, however, my appreciation ran deeper than that of my female classmates. In a photo that for the life of me I cannot find on the internet, the peroxide blonde trio are seen standing in an elevator. Andy and Stewart are wearing their requisite blank stares, but Sting - the dude who named himself after a verb - is seen reading a book. A Book! I remember staring at that photo in the back row of some classroom and thinking it was just about the coolest damn thing I had ever seen. Perhaps it had something to do with the copy of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ I had stuffed in my book bag at the time. You know, the one I’m still pretending to comprehend.
So yes, I will be among the millions of the mid-80’s teenagers glued to their Hi-Def sets tonight. Architects of one’s adolescent soundtrack don’t reunite every day and I don’t plan to miss a single frame. Here’s hoping I just don’t mortify my 12 year old too much in the process. She’s never seen me actually wear those bright red parachute pants hanging in the back of the closet, ya know...