The Police's Andy Summers: "The way I was casting myself was like a sonic experimenter – I was leading the way and everybody was copying me"

Andy Summers
(Image credit: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage for The Recording Academy)

During the hot summer months of 1977, the Police were not unlike any other unknown rock band in the world. The three members – bassist-singer Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland, and their newest member, guitarist Andy Summers – all of them flat broke, would rally their spirits by sharing dreams of stardom. 

“We’d sit around and say, ‘One day, we’ll be as big as the Beatles,’” Summers recalls. “Every band says it. Of course, no band could ever be like the Beatles – they were a phenomenon that will never be repeated – but that’s always the high mark musicians shoot for. But how on Earth do you get there? We didn’t have a clue.” He laughs. 

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.