What Happened To Andy Summers From The Police?

Ah, The Police: the thinking teen's British, bottle-blonde boy band of the early New Wave era from 1977-1984. You know the earworm hits: "Can't Stand Losing You," "Message In A Bottle," and "Every Breath You Take," among many others. Their expert musicianship and effortless cool coupled with each member's confidence and vision made their success every bit as inevitable as their volatile breakup. Bassist and lead singer Sting went on to a long and lucrative solo career, and drummer Stewart Copeland has been prolifically composing film and classical concert music. But what about guitarist Andy Summers, whose great tone and fretboard wizardry made it easy to forget that there was actually only one guitarist in the band?

Among many post-Police accomplishments, Summers wrote a memoir, One Train Later, which came out in 2006, and was turned into the 2012 documentary, Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police. In One Train Later, Summers writes about when it became apparent that the band's expiration date was drawing near, while they were recording 1981's Ghost In The Machine. Summers wrote: "This time the studio feels more like a canvas for dirty fighting... There is a humiliating episode in the studio one day when as a result of all this tension and loss of perspective, Sting goes berserk on me, calling me every name under the sun with considerable vehemence, leaving everyone in the room white-faced and in shock."

Artists gonna art-it

Despite the egos and angst that led to the 1984 breakup, Summers has said that although he regrets The Police breaking up when they had such momentum, their successful 2007-2008 reunion tour offered some kind of satisfying closure. Per Rolling Stone, he said, "I thought we went out and totally proved that we were as great as we always were — possibly, we played better than we'd ever played. Clearly that tour was amazingly successful beyond our wildest dreams. That was a more satisfying place to leave it...."

But life really did move on for Summers, and he went on to make several collaborative albums with an eclectic array of notable artists. Per AndySummers.com, he worked with King Crimson's Robert Fripp, John Etheridge, Victor Biglione, and Ben Verdery, released 12 solo albums between 1987 and 2017, and has written a number of film scores. Summers has also come into his own as a writer and photographer. In addition to the aforementioned memoir, Summers has published five other books featuring his photos and musings. One of his latest collaborations married his love of guitar and photography.

Summers is a multi-talented artist and creator, but music is his greatest love. He told Rocker magazine, "I like all the things and it is great to do them. But music is the thing for me. I still love making music and can't wait to start on something again and being in that creative flow."

In the life of an artist, every little thing they do is magic.