Sunday, June 7, 2009

Andy Summers: I'll Be Watching You - Inside The Police 1980-83

So much of our visual perception of The Police is based in guitarist Andy Summers' photographs. They're the source of many of the band's most candid photo moments, and they also adorn the sleeves of both Zenyatta Mondatta and Synchronicity. That being said, we were psyched to stumble upon a massive tome of Summers' work entitled I'll Be Watching You.

The book, which is takes on the vibe of a journal, is actually in a large coffee table format. All of the narratives appear in English, German, and French, and they very literally narrate three years in the life of the band, from Summers' perspective. In it, the band travels the entire world, makes their way through recording sessions, and spends more than a little time dawdling in hotels. It seems all the assumptions one could make about the rock star lifestyle are, largely, correct.

Looking over the photos is a voyeuristic adventure, as the reader gets to delve into private moments for both the band and Summers. What's more, it's nice to see the band living it up before tensions ran high and everything fell apart. The Police are a band that became so big, so quickly, and then fell apart, that having this intense documentation of that rapid period is really a treat and a rarity. Imagine, if you will, George Harrison religiously documenting the Beatles from 1965-1969. Awesome, right? Well, with The Police, that's not a fantasy, and this book is the proof.

Perhaps the best part about stumbling upon the book was that we did so in the sale rack of our local book shop, and in doing so managed to snag it for the pretty price of $15. For a massive, beautiful, heavy stock book like this? We couldn't be happier. If you have a vested interest in Police history, we'd definitely encourage you to pick it up when you see it. And, frankly, at $15, it's really a solid buy for anyone even remotely interested in rock and roll.