Listless Andy Summers Doc

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Can't Stand Losing You coverCan’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police
Directed by Andy Grieve & Lauren Lazin
Bob Yari Productions
In A Word: Yawn

Sigh…. Rock superstar problems can wear thin fairly quickly. The nicer their home, the bigger their bank account, the more rapidly one is tempted to grab them by the lapels and ask – as in the case here of former Police guitarist Andy Summers – just what the hell are you so glum about?

Don’t get me wrong. I know that money and fame can’t bring happiness and often have the opposite effect. Summers was a warm and delightful interview subject when I spoke with The Police in 1979 (as was Stewart Copeland; Sting sat removed from the two with little to say – harbinger of things to come). And damn, he can play the guitar.

So when I recently spied this DVD on the new release shelf at my local video with bold-faced raves on its cover – “a must see,” “wonderful” and “entertaining and insightful” – I figured it was worth a view. This documentary is based on Summers’ memoir, 2006’s One Train Later; hence the story has already been told, and a wan reading of it by Summers forms the film’s narration. His rather skilled photography is seen throughout.

Can’t Stand Losing You doesn’t even come close to the quotes. It may not be a case of wanting the hour-and-a-half I spent watching it back, but my time could well have been better spent elsewhere, as it rarely connects with the viewer with any dramatic crackle other than the footage of The Police performing on the 2007-’08 reunion tour. One scene that haunts me is the rather short of stature Summers climbing into a super-stretch black SUV limo backstage after a show all by himself and riding off, almost overwhelmed by the surroundings. Guess it can be so lonely at the top. Which all implies without it being said outright that what Summers really can’t stand losing is being in a dynamic superstar band making hit albums and touring the world.

So it goes. Buck up, laddie, and carry on….

Rob Patterson

Rob Patterson began writing about music in 1976. Since his first published record review in Crawdaddy he has contributed to numerous national popular music magazines such as Creem, Musician, Circus, Spin, Request, Tower Pulse!, CD Review, Acoustic Guitar, Harp and many others along with major country music, consumer audio, musical instrument and studio recording magazines plus international publications New Musical Express and Country Music People in the U.K. From 1977 to '84 he wrote a nationally syndicated music column as well as stories for Newspaper Enterprises Association/United Feature Syndicate that ran in more than 400 daily newspapers across the nation. His work has also appeared in many weekly newspapers, onlinepublications like Salon.com and The Huffington Post, such books as the Rolling Stone Record Guide & Revised Record Guide, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History and The Year In Rock, 1980-81, plus liner notes for 20 album releases.
Rob Patterson
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