by Robert Wilkinson
Besides the legendary duo of Groucho Marx and Mahatma Gandhi, today is also the birthday of Sting, singer-songwriter, human rights activist, philanthropist, and great guy!
Gordon Sumner, a.k.a. Sting (October 2, 1951) began his claim to fame as the bass player for one of the greatest bands ever, the Police. I had the privilege of seeing them in 1981 during the "Spirits in the Material World" tour in the Meadowlands, and it was a major event with lots of kinetic and magnetic energy! It truly was one of my top 10 of all time.
Since his days with the Police, Sting has gone on to become one of the top performers and a global musical conscience for human rights in our world, and still writes hauntingly beautiful songs. Today are some performances of a bunch you know and a bunch you may not know, from early on to the present day.
Since the Police were among the first bands to hit MTV, there are a ton of music videos of their songs, as well as live clips!
From September 1979 on Veronica's Countdown in Voorburg, the Police doing a live performance of their first huge hit, "Roxanne." Also from 1979 live at Pinkpop, the Police doing "Roxanne." Here's the music video of "Roxanne."
Here are the Police in 2007 at the Grammy reunion, sounding awesome doing an updated version of "Roxanne."
I couldn’t find a complete video from the 1979 Voorburg concert, but I did find one video and one audio-only clip of the show.
The Police at Voorburg – Pt. 1 (10 minutes audio-only)
The Police at Voorburg – Pt. 2 (9 minutes video footage)
Here’s great video footage of the Police in Atlanta on the Synchronicity tour doing “So Lonely”
Here's the music video of "So Lonely."
Live in 1980, here’s great footage of the Police doing "Walking On The Moon." Here's another live concert in Atlanta on the 1983 Synchronicity tour of "Walking On The Moon." From 2008 in Tokyo, here’s a great live video of the Police performing "Walking On The Moon."
Here's the music video of "Don't Stand So Close To Me."
Live on the "The Kenny Everett Television Show" Christmas 1981, here are the Police live doing "Spirits In The Material World." Here’s a great live performance from “Top of the Pops” in 1981 of “Spirits In The Material World"
From 1986, a live performance by the Police of "King of Pain"
Here’s a great live performance by Sting with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra live in Berlin in 2010 of “King of Pain.” If you want to see the entire concert, a link to all 15 songs is just below the screen of this video.
Here are the reunited Police in February 2008 at the Tokyo Dome doing “King of Pain.”
The music video of the Police doing "Wrapped Around Your Finger."
The original music video of the Police doing "Every Breath You Take"
A great acoustic performance by Sting with Dominic Miller of "Every Breath you Take"
A Libra duet! Here Sting teams up with Bruce Springsteen to do a great live video performance of “Every Breath You Take”
From 1985 Live Aid, Sting with Phil Collins and Branford Marsalis performing “Every Breath You Take”
Here’s Sting on his Brand New Day tour in a live video performance at the Universal Amphitheater of “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”
The following are all Sting’s various post-Police hits.
The haunting "Russians." Here's a live performance in 1984 of "Russians," and here he is in Moscow doing a live performance on New Year's Eve 2010 complete with symphonic accompaniment of "Russians." Pretty awesome!
Here’s a great acoustic video performance of “Shape of My Heart”
Here’s Sting live in Italy in a great video performance of “An Englishman in New York”
Sting live performing “Whenever I Say Your Name”
Here's the beautiful "Fields of Gold."
From the 1982 Ghost in the Machine tour, an entire 1 hour 29 minute show! The Police Live at Gateshead, England 1982
From 1983, here’s a full 1 hour 15 minute video of an entire concert! “The Police – The Synchronicity Concert
From 2007, here’s an entire 1 hour 48 minute concert! The Police Live in Rio de Janeiro 2007
For a real treat, here’s an entire 2 hour concert by Sting, live in Berlin in 2010! For your extended listening enjoyment, here’s Sting Live in Berlin in 2010. There are 21 songs in the set list, including many not linked to in this article. It really is a beautiful concert, complete with backing orchestra!
We'll close this birthday celebration with one of my all time favorites! Though he didn't write this, he did sing on this collective effort that blew the doors down all over the world, and opened humanity's heart to millions of starving Africans! This may very well have been one of the most influential efforts ever done. Here's Band Aid doing the incredible “Do They Know It's Christmas?" Simply awesome!
I also found the original live performance at London Wembley in 1985 of the Live Aid band, with Sting, David Bowie, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Sir Paul, Bono, Bob Geldolf, George Michael, and the rest, doing the finale “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
So a giant shout out to you on your 62nd, Mr. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, CBE. May you have many, many more years of playing, singing, and working for the betterment of humanity! The world’s a better place for you being here. Thanks.
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson