Monday, March 05, 2007

King Of Pain

The first of these why-The-Police-are-the-greatest-band-in-the-world-and-I’m-their biggest-fan dissertations was intended to be twenty thousand electrifying words of trivia, stats, peroxide tips and more. But then I was tricked into consuming a trough-load of red wine on Saturday night and since it’s now a mere 36 hours a later, I’m still a bit p#shed. Honestly, my vision was so blurred on Saturday that at one point when I was out in the garden having a quick smoke and gazing up at the night sky, I could’ve sworn the moon disappeared. Both of them. So for today I’ll keep it (relatively) short before the keyboard gets fuzzy and my typing just ends up producing a whole load of shiz$g%t5y9e£rb#&….

First, a quick word of thanks to my big pal Gordy who sent me a text message yesterday to alert me to the fact that there was an article in The Sunday Times about The Police reforming and did I want him to post it to me. Rather than accept his generous offer, I dragged my sorry excuse of an ass off the couch and threw a coat over my jammies in order to shuffle along to the local shop to pick up a copy. Three short hours later I returned to the house having finally tracked down a fork-lift vehicle sturdy enough to pick up said newspaper. I mean honestly, how many f#cking rainforests disappear every week to produce that behemoth Mr Sting? Of course, if I’d been smarter (or sober) I could’ve dragged my sorry excuse of an ass up the stairs to the computer and read it here instead.

Anyway, the article was very good and it reminded me of how, back in the 80s, I used to buy all the music papers (Sounds, NME, Melody Maker, Record Mirror etc.) every Friday and scour them for the smallest reference to the band and what they might be up to. I kept those hundreds of cuttings for years until the moment - somewhere round 1998 - when I finally gave up all hope that they’d ever get back together again. DOH! But I still have all the concert programmes and what fantastic souvenirs they make despite costing an arm and a leg at the time – 6 shillings and tuppence ha’penny I think it was – for a few glossy photos.

Better than all the concert programmes however is this collection of all twenty editions of ‘The Police Official File’; small, A5-sized little magazines, which were published between April 1980 and December 1981.
These were packed with more glossy photos, ‘exclusive’ band interviews, fan club information, merchandise listings and some quality letters from besotted fans such as… (I’m not making these up.)

Dear Ed,
I’ve seen some photographs in magazines where Andy, Stewart and Sting aren’t smiling. Does this mean they don’t like having their picture taken?
Sylvia Knowles, Ipswich, Suffolk

The editor reassures this obviously hysterical teenager by calmly explaining that “…(the boys) believe in acting natural when having their picture taken; if they’re smiling, fine, if they’re not, that’s okay, too.” Excessive use of commas seems to be the foremost requirement of being an editor.

And then there’s…

Dear Mark (This fan obviously think they know the editor personally)
I really like the way The Police’s hair looks at the moment. I hope they won’t decide to change it or cut it short like it was on their first album cover.
Haley Jobson, Portmadoc, Wales

Somewhat confusingly Mark replies, “Dear Haley (if that’s really your name). They’ve certainly got no intention of changing their hair colour or style right at the moment. But, as far as the future is concerned, with Sting, Stewart and Andy, you just never know! Now stop bugging me with your stupid questions, and your fake Welsh place names NEIL, or I’ll reinstate that restraining order!”

I think I was already a member of the fan club by this point but if I hadn’t been I’m sure this attractive feature of a cool 80s dude in some official band merchandise would’ve sent me scampering to the post office for a 4 shilling postal order to cover the annual subscription. My application would’ve read something like, “Please can I join your club? Oh and can you also let me know please where that cool guy gets his hair cut? Ta. Neil.”

I’ve no idea if having all twenty of these magazines in mint condition is worth anything substantial, although I notice that someone on eBay is trying to sell individual ones for £1.99 each. But it doesn’t matter because I’d never sell them. It’s over twenty years since I picked them up and read them but flicking through them yesterday was a joy and went a long way to curing my hangover. Almost.

Next week: 80s fashion. AM I too sexy for my shirt?

3 Comments:

At 5/3/07 3:23 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like a case of man-crush

 
At 6/3/07 4:14 pm, Blogger Kell said...

Woo Hoo! 80s fashion. You'll need to do one on 80s hair, too. Hair was very important in the 80s. Obviously hair is still important since the Sunday Times keeps describing Sting's. But he does have lovely hair.

 
At 7/3/07 11:27 am, Blogger DC said...

Neil,

Could you update in relation to the band's interest in photographing young island boys frolic-ing in the sea during the recording of their unforgettable album.

DC

 

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