Photographs documenting The Police on tour ? captured by band member Andy Summers ? feature in an exhibition which opens in London this week. A separate show, opening in the capital on 5 September, reveals ‘early and rare’ shots of the band by Lawrence Impey.
The Andy Summers exhibition, called I?ll be Watching You, comprises 38 ?limited edition? signed prints depicting The Police on tour from 1980-83, at the height of their fame.
The exhibition runs from 30 August to 8 September and coincides with the European leg of their comeback world tour.
?Andy Summers was better placed to record life as part of a successful working band than any attendant photographer,? explained a spokesman for the Jill George Gallery which is showcasing the work.
?From the American West to Australia to Japan, Summers recorded not only the band members travelling, rehearsing and partying but also photographed fans, landscapes, still lives and passers-by in a reportage style reminiscent of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank,? added the gallery.
Meanwhile, ‘On The Beat’ showcases Lawrence Impey’s images of The Police documenting their very early sessions as an unknown rock group.
‘My first photographic encounter with the band was at the Mayfair flat that Stewart Copeland shared with his brother Ian,’ said Lawrence. ‘I’d known Stewart since school days but this was my first meeting with Sting and the original guitarist, Henry Padovani. I took along my little Konica Auto S3, loaded with Ilford HP4 and snapped away.
‘Stewart wanted a ‘tough guys’ look, although the only jacket that Sting possessed wasn’t entirely suitable. A photo from the session was used on the front cover of the band’s first single Fall Out.’
Lawrence added: ‘Later in the year I met the band in Sting’s Bayswater basement, this time with new guitarist Andy Summers. There were two sessions, although the first was abandoned due to technical problems. For those sessions I used a Nikon F2 with a 24mm wide-angle lens and Ilford HP5, with the light from the flash being partially reflected off the low ceiling.
‘The final meeting was in March 1978 when I shot the band at the Locarno Ballrooms in Bristol, supporting the Californian group ‘Spirit’. Here is The Police on the verge of stardom: dynamic, passionate, assured. In a little while photos from Bayswater and Bristol would appear on the back cover of their first million selling album Outlandos d’Amour.’
Andy Summers exhibition, I?ll be Watching You: Inside The Police 1980-1983 takes place at Jill George Gallery, 38 Lexington Street, Soho, London W1F OLL.
The gallery is open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm (Thurs until 8pm) and Sat 11am-5pm.
Entry is free. For details call 020 7439 7319 or visit www.jillgeorgegallery.co.uk
On The Beat, by Lawrence Impey, runs from 5-23 September at My Life In Art, 4 Broadway Market, London E8 4QT. It is open Weds-Fri 11am-6pm; Sat noon-5pm; Sun 10am-4pm. Entry is free. Visit www.mylifeinart.com
The picture below is by Andy Summers; Credit: Rockarchive.com
Picture credits (below): Lawrence Impey