Last week I was skyping with Chris about The Police's upcoming world tour. He had just scored 2 in the reds for their Montreal show, finding the tickets on eBay. I have not heard about a Dublin date yet, but hope they do make it over here.
We got to talking about the plethora of tours by bands who really should just hang it up (are you listening, Roger Daltrey?) and how this contrasted with the decision by The Police to regroup for a world tour.
Many bands stay together for the money and keep touring solely for the money. Well past their prime, the reasons for carrying on likely have more to do with college fees than the desire to "see a million faces, and rock them all."
The Police, Chris argued, were a band that never should have broken up. They had just released a fantastic album and launched an even more successful world tour. (My older brother Jamie went to the concert at the Olympic Stadium, to many everlasting envy.) Yes, Sting had a successful solo career to pursue, but they left a huge vacuum in the music world.
A vacuum that I argued was filled by U2. Up until their fourth release, The Unforgettable Fire, U2 had never fulfilled their commercial promise to their record label, Island Records. At my high school, only the cool kids who were up on new music listened to U2 before 1984, but after The Unforgettable Fire, every kid in chess club had a U2 pin on their blazer.
This could not have happened had The Police not been an alternative to Michael Jackson.