04.01.2007 - Andy Summers book signing for 'One Train Later' in London, April 4...
Andy is in London on April 4 hosting a book signing and reading from 'One Train Later' at Borders at 120 Charing Cross Road at 6.30pm.
Andy Summers' new book 'One Train Later' is a superbly entertaining biography and a must have not only for fans of The Police but anyone who enjoys well written and informative rock biographies.
Check out some of the reviews here, and if you can't make it to Borders tomorrow to get a signed copy of 'One Train Later' run to your nearest bookshop and buy a copy immediately. It's a terrific read and you won't regret it...
Review from "WORD" magazine:
Intelligence isn't rock's most common commodity boasting a brain a piece, The Police were outsiders for reasons beyond being punk's muso fifth columnists. With Stewart Copeland's DVD unrevealing, Sting's autobiography predictably pretentious, Summers's honest, humble, wonderfully written book is by far the best Police retrospective. It helps that his backstory is a veritable Who's Who of rock's culty backwaters, encompassing stints with psychesters Dantalion's Chariot, Soft Machine, The Animals, Kevins Coyne and Ayers plus jams with Hendrix and Clapton along the way, before he meets the other Police men via a - yes! - Gong stage show. Particularly vivid is Summers' depiction of the wages of fame - the groupies and sycophants ("with glossy words and eyes fizzing like carbonated water, they try to fold us in meshes of silk"), the straining marriages to lovers and bandmates, a star's cosseted life memorably summarised as "the sweet smell of gilded decay."
A rare treat, then - a musician who's also a natural writer.
Review from "Billboard" magazine:
Engaging memoir by the guitarist for megaselling rock band The Police.
Summers's account of his eventful career as a journeyman musician focuses squarely on his devotion to music and the process of mastering his instrument; those hoping for a lurid, behind-the-scenes tell-all will be disappointed.
For the record, he paints Police front man Sting as self-involved and high-handed, drummer Stewart Copeland as motor-mouthed and overbearing - but he doesn't dwell on these traits. Nor does he dwell on drugs consumed and groupies enjoyed, describing such diversions as mundane aspects of the itinerant musician's life.
More interesting is his life as a perennial cusp-of-fame British Invasion utility man in a career that included stints with the Animals; Zoot Money's Big Roll Band; and Neil Sedaka. He rubbed shoulders with Clapton and Hendrix, toured relentlessly and practiced, practiced, practiced, finding himself at the end of it broke and giving guitar lessons to survive for an extended period in the 1970s. But then he met Sting and Copeland.
The author analyzes incisively the unique sound of The Police, which benefited greatly from his past forays into jazz and classical guitar, bringing an unprecedented degree of musicianship to the era's requisite "punk" sound.
The most arresting passages here describe the group's mammoth world tours: He sharply observes the cultural strangeness of Japan (where he runs afoul of the yakuza) and his experiences in Eastern Europe and the military dictatorships of Argentina and Chile - simultaneously terrifying and surreally amusing, as are his adventures as John Belushi's drug buddy.
Summers is refreshingly endearing, with a self-deprecating wit, brisk pacing and elegant turns of phrase.
A pleasant journey through some of pop music's more interesting times.
Review from the "Chicago Sun Times":
The pick of the litter here is without a doubt One Train Later, a memoir by Police guitarist Andy Summers (St. Martin's Press, .95). The title refers to the chance meeting Summers had with drummer Stewart Copeland: If either had caught a different train one afternoon in the mid-'70s, one of the most successful bands in rock history might never have come together. The attitude Summers displays in that title - bemused, non-nostalgic and distanced enough to be both very funny and brutally honest - prevails throughout the book, which is evenly divided between his early days on the fringes of the British progressive rock movement and the surprising rise of the Police concurrent with (but never really a part of) the punk explosion.
The book ends with the demise of that beloved trio, leaving more than two decades of solo work unaccounted for. But that's fine, given that most of us want to read about the famously fractious battles between bottle blonds Summers, Copeland and Sting, and the writer/musician doesn't disappoint. "This time the studio feels more like a canvas for dirty fighting," Summers writes of recording "Ghost in the Machine" (1981). "The stakes have been raised, and instead of rejoicing in the unbelievable success we have created together, we lose sight of the big picture and go on in emotional disorder, each one of us battling for his own territory... 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." Ah, yes, we always knew Sting was an egotistical jerk! But Summers doesn't shy away from his own rock-star foibles, and the combination of this unflinching frankness and the author's considerable insights into the making of the group's best music combine for illuminating reading, leaving fans appreciating the group's accomplishments all the more, and marveling that it ever managed to create anything at all.
Review from "Publishers Weekly":
Summers-a musician best known for playing guitar in the seminal 1980's band the Police-recounts the details of his time in the spotlight and his circuitous and fantastic journey toward fame in a memoir that is just as generous (and sometimes meticulous) in providing details as it is in exploring the human toll of living out the "collective fantasy" of being a "rock god." There are many great rock moments that dazzle , hanging with Clapton, jamming with Hendrix, hallucinating with John Belushi-but the less extraordinay memories make for a more compelling narrative: he recalls his childhood in England, where, after an "immediate bond" with the guitar, "the spiritual side of life slowly fills with music." Narrated in the present tense and with occasionally vivid language (Summers recounts "the familiar backstage" as "the taste of Jack stuck on a Wheat Thin"), every rock cliche is described (drugs, sex, ego), but refreshingly, little is romanticized. This is a stage-side account of the birth, rise and dissipation of the Police-and fans of the band will not be disappointed-but it is also an honest travelogue of a British kid who, subsisting "on a diet of music and hope," traversed the most coveted lanscapes of pop culture and lived to write about it.
For more information on Andy Summers check out his website at www.andysummers.com