I was in London last week doing some consultation for Pearson on the new A Level Music syllabus. The details of this are confidential, so I will use this post to provide an update on the other reason for my visit – research for my book on Sting. I am keen to give a sense of the places that Sting inhabited when living in particular locations. Having extensively dealt with Newcastle, this visit was the first of a few trips investigating his time in London. It included visiting well trodden places such as Stuart Copland’s squat just off Park Lane (where the cover of ‘Fall Out’ was taken) in addition to Sting’s basement flat in Bayswater – where we wrote bits of some of the early hits by The Police.
I also used the trip to catch up with an old colleague – Mike Howlett. Mike of course is a well respected musician and producer, perhaps best known for his work with Gong. He also has the distinction of introducing Andy Summers to Sting – and actually recorded with Sting, Copeland and Summers under the name of Strontium 90. The album they released was mainly recorded at the now demolished Virtual Earth Studios in Swiss Cottage, but one track – ‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic’ was actually recorded in the attic of Mike’s flat in Acton – see below
I get into details in the book, but the impact of place on both the creative practice of musicians, not to mention their memories of the event is an important part of the forthcoming book – which is now about 3/4 finished. After completing a few more London based interviews – I will then be looking at New York as a space of creativity.
I finish with something nothing to do with the book – the extraordinary house prices in Bayswater. Wish I had bought one when I lived there!