Andy Summers: Somewhere on the subconscious level there was a need for closure.
Based on Andy Summers’ 2006 memoir, One Train Later, CAN’T STAND LOSING YOU – SURVIVING THE POLICE documents the guitarist’s days in one of the world’s biggest bands, told through archival footage, narrative and Summers’ own remarkable photography.
When he first met Sting and Stewart Copeland, Summers was truly a struggling artist, having experienced varying levels of success with different musical outfits and the typical ups and downs of the industry. Just starting to settle down with his wife Kate, but still always on the lookout for a venue for his creativity, fate led him to meet the two men whose partnership would change his life in ways he never could have imagined.
And so The Police was born and the three lads first took over the UK and then moved on to US domination. The small club gigs gave way to larger theatres, which in turn led to stadium shows and enormous outdoor festivals. The hits were churned out, fans amassed and their immense popularity continued to grow.
As did competition within the band. Being fronted by the beautiful and charismatic Sting came with its fair share of issues and Summers openly discusses the resentment that began to fester and drive a wedge between the three friends. Tension that was not alleviated by media interviews in which the journalists outright referenced the fact that Sting was the main artery of the group. Summers and Copeland continued to wait for the day their lead singer would announce he was going solo, never quite sure when the bomb would drop. Eventually, at the height of their popularity, the band called it quits and the three went their separate ways.
The documentary continually flashes forward to 2007, which saw Sting, Summers and Copeland reunited for a massive global tour. Seeming to pick up right where they left off, and with just as big a fan base, The Police are once again one of the biggest bands in the world.
CAN’T STAND LOSING YOU – SURVIVING THE POLICE has no shocking revelations or dirty gossip. It’s simply the story of an iconic group’s rise to power and the lifestyle that took a toll on its members. Summers talks of the drugs and the partying and long absences that destroyed his marriage just as his family was beginning to grow. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, but it’s exactly this simplicity that gives the film its greatest appeal.