10.03.2007 - The Secret Policeman helps rock Paris...
As everyone now knows, Henry Padovani - founding member of the Police - guested with the band at both of their shows in Paris last weekend. Over 160,000 fans received an unexpected treat when they saw the four-man, twin guitar line up of the band for the first time since 1977. We caught up with Henry after the show to ask him a few questions...
What were your thoughts when you first heard that The Police were reforming for this tour?
As I said throughout the years, since we split and since they split, I have always had this band in my heart, because we are friends and our friendship has always been strong and sincere.
Right after we split, I was there to help as much as I could with Wayne County and the Electric Chairs, getting them to support us. At that time, when it felt that no one in the business could care less about them, I was on their side, as friends should be. When they split, I was sad but wanted to make sure my friends were alright. Not, in terms of money, of course, but in terms of spirit. And I guess, that is how we remained friends. We did see each other now and then, going to football or tennis, just hanging around and talk about life and simple things. When I did my record last year [A Croire Que C'Etait Pour La Vie], Stewart agreed to play with me and then he wondered whether I had asked Sting. I then asked Sting, and he accepted too and so a mini version of the original Police 'reformed' for a song and something happened. I was ever so pleased. When they decided to do this reunion, I was informed immediately by Sting and I was over the moon. I went to see them in Italy and it was obvious that the earth was a better place. I am also amazed to see what happiness they bring to people all over the world and the community around the Police is a wonderful one. I met many fans. Just great people.
What did you think of the shows in Paris?
The shows were good. Incredible size of course but the crew and all the people involved were very much on top of everything. They were all very helpful and I felt very comfortable. Again, I was very pleased and proud that the French people came in numbers to see them. The press was ecstatic and so it should be. I remember in Italy in May, them asking me whether they would play several Bercy Arenas or possible a outdoor place. I think they couldn't believe it themselves.
What did it mean to you personally playing in Paris and before such enormous crowds?
I was a bit nervous when Sting sent me an email asking me if I felt up to it. But my answer was a big 'YES', of course. When I arrived at soundcheck, I felt at home. Andy was very helpful, just taking me through the song, and proposing different signals for me not to get lost during the song, and also proposing me to take the part of the solo, the G one, and him the A part in order to take me back into the song. How cool is that? We just went through it twice, rehearse the intro once again and that was that. The stage is quite good because it is small, with just a bass stack, a drum kit and a guitar stack, and therefore we all felt very close, just like playing in a club. You can see on the pictures how close we are.
How did you feel about all playing together again after all this time?
In terms of playing, of course, no problems... I had the best band playing with me! And the huge crowd was pushing us. I felt this I had done before. I had 3 friends on stage, all very nice to me. I told them before the show, at soundcheck, that I would play like in the flying padovani's, clear and loud. They all laughed!! My Gibson 335 and my 'Elvis' pink and black leather jacket showed no doubt about my intentions. Stewart was smiling his head off and at the end of the song, jumped and nearly crushed my bones, when he held me in his arms. Andy as I said, was extremely helpful with me, taking me through the song and Sting was also pushing me, I could hear him building the song with Stewart. He also made me immensely proud when his announced me as 'le corse', the Corsican... the next day on Sunday, there were Corsican flags all over the crowd.
Also, the big thing for me that I hadn't told anyone about my appearance, especially my 14 year old daugther Fedora, who came to the show on Saturday and whom I left in her seat telling her that I would be back in half hour... and then she saw me on stage and cried with shock and joy!!
What more could I ask for! You guessed it, I had a blast!!!
* Be sure to check out the following audio files of Henry reading several extracts from his autobiography. To order a signed copy just follow the links to his website!