The Police were a new kind of power trio, and Andy Summers was the main reason. Quickly moving away from punk, he recast jazz chords and reggae rhythms as headlong rock & roll. Summers played as sparely as possible, constructing clipped twitches or dubby washes of sound – leaving ample room for Sting and Stewart Copeland. 'His tone and style were just absolutely perfect – he left space around everything,' Rush's Alex Lifeson said. 'And he can handle anything from beautiful acoustic playing to jazz to hybrid kinds of stuff.'"
Andy Summers rose to fame in the early 1980’s as the guitarist of the multi-million record selling rock band - The Police. The Police were the number one band of the time and dominated the music scene and the media in the 80s with several number one records. Summers’ innovative guitar playing created a new paradigm for guitarists in this period and has been widely imitated ever since.
Prior to the Police, Summers played with various bands in the London scene, including The Animals, Soft Machine, Kevin Coyne and Kevin Ayers.
After the band’s dramatic exit from the music scene, Summers continued to develop his interest in photography as well touring, recording as a solo artist, composing for films (including 2010, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, The Wild Life and Weekend at Bernie's), writing books, and exhibiting his photography.
Over the years Summers has collaborated with a number of fellow musicians including Robert Fripp, John Etheridge, Victor Biglione, Benjamin Verdery, and Roberto Menescal. In December 2004, he and Copeland joined Incubus in Los Angeles and performed “Roxanne” and “Message in a Bottle.” In March 2005, he made his debut at Carnegie Hall playing the premiere of Dark Florescense, a concerto written for him and Verdery by the composer Ian Marshall.
In 2006 his memoir One Train Later was released to great success and was voted the number one music book of the year in the UK by Mojo Magazine. The documentary film Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police is based on the book and was produced by the Yari Film Group and is being released in North America by Cinema Libre Studio.
In 2007 The Police reunited for a fantastically successful world tour, which was the third-highest grossing tour at the time. Summers had been a photographer since the early days of The Police and has published four books of his photographs, many of which are featured in the film Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police. Exhibitions of his photos have taken place across the globe at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles, Paris/LA Photo Show, Kunst.Licht gallery in Shanghai, CCC gallery in Beijing and Photokina in Cologne Germany. Upcoming photography shows are scheduled for March in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro with Globo newspaper.
Recent projects include: the album Circus Hero from his new band Circa Zero!, which was released in April 2014 and working on music for a contemporary ballet with the preeminent photographer Ralph Gibson.
Summers is in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, the Guitar Player Hall of Fame, has the keys to New York City and has been awarded the Chevalier De L’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres by the government of France.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Kate and has three children, all of whom were able to finally see their father perform during the 2007/8 reunion tour.
"A disarming, surprising literary memoir by the ex-Police guitarist . . . A rollicking you-are-there history of the 60s-80s rock era." – Entertainment Weekly
In this extraordinary memoir, world-renowned guitarist Andy Summers provides the revealing and passionate account of a life dedicated to music. From his first guitar at age thirteen and his early days on the English music scene to the ascendancy of his band, The Police, Summers recounts his relationships and encounters with the Big Roll Band, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Animals, John Belushi, and others, all the while proving himself a master of telling detail and dramatic anecdote.
Andy's account of his role as guitarist for The Police--a gig that was only confirmed by a chance encounter with drummer Stewart Copeland on a London train--has been long-awaited by music fans worldwide. The heights of fame that The Police achieved have rarely been duplicated, and the band's triumphs were rivaled only by the personal chaos that such success brought about, an insight never lost on Summers in the telling. Complete with never-before-published photos from Summers' personal collection, One Train Later is a constantly surprising and poignant memoir, and the work of a world-class musician and a first-class writer.
"The facts: we had a number one album on the Billboard charts for four months without a break. We had the number one single in the United States for eight weeks. We are a phenomenon. We have countless number 1 records around the world…We are three. All this –and yet it seems like only a flickering five minutes ago that we were pushing a broken van back through the streets of London after a gig we played to no one. Tonight we play out the fantasy of millions." – Excerpt from One Train Later (Page 3)
For more information on One Train Later, visit http://andysummers.com/writing/books/one-train-later/.
"This time the studio feels more like a canvas for dirty fighting. The stakes have been raised. And instead of rejoicing in the unbelievable success we’ve 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 are arguments in the studio in which each one of us wants his instrument slightly louder than the others, wants his songs recorded, will not be less than anyone else. It is a combative process, with the poor engineer trying to arbitrate as three sets of hands fiddle with the faders.” – Excerpt One Train Later (Page 296)