Summers in 2015
|Andrew James Somers|
31 December 1942|
Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England
|Genres||Rock, jazz, jazz fusion, new wave, new-age, avant-garde|
|Musician, composer, photographer|
|Labels||A&M, Private Music, RCA Victor|
|Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, Dantalian's Chariot, Soft Machine, the Police, Robert Fripp, Circa Zero, Gustavo Cerati|
Andrew James Somers (born 31 December 1942), known professionally as Andy Summers, is an English guitarist who was a member of the rock band The Police. Summers has recorded solo albums, collaborated with other musicians, composed film scores, and exhibited his photography in galleries.
Andrew James Summers was born in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. During Summers' childhood, his family moved to Bournemouth in Dorset, England. After several years of piano lessons, he took up the guitar at the age of thirteen. By age sixteen he was playing in local clubs and by nineteen he had moved to London with his friend Zoot Money to form Zoot Money's Big Roll Band.
Summers' professional career began in the mid-1960s in London as guitarist for the British rhythm and blues band Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, which eventually came under the influence of the psychedelic scene and evolved into the acid rock group Dantalian's Chariot. He is one of the "two main love interests" in Jenny Fabian and Johnny Byrne's 1969 book Groupie, in which he is given the pseudonym "Davey".
After the demise of Dantalion's Chariot, Summers joined The Soft Machine for three months and toured the United States. For a brief time in 1968, he was a member of The Animals, then known as Eric Burdon and the Animals, with whom he recorded one album, Love Is. The album features a recording of Traffic's "Coloured Rain", which includes a guitar solo by Summers which runs a full 4 minutes and 15 seconds. The LP also included a reworked version of Dantalion's Chariot's sole single "Madman Running Through the Fields".
In London, Summers recorded and toured with acts including Kevin Coyne, Jon Lord, Joan Armatrading, David Essex, Neil Sedaka and Kevin Ayers. In October 1976 he participated in an orchestral rendition of Mike Oldfield's seminal "Tubular Bells".
Summers achieved international fame as the guitarist for The Police, which he joined in 1977, eventually replacing original guitarist Henry Padovani. Emerging from London's punk scene, the Police gained international renown with many hit songs, including "Message in a Bottle", "Roxanne", "Don't Stand So Close to Me", "Every Breath You Take", and "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic". During his time with the band, Summers twice won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, first in 1979 with "Reggatta de Blanc" (co-authored with Copeland and Sting), and again in 1980 with his instrumental "Behind My Camel".
Although Sting was the lead singer of the band, Summers occasionally contributed lead vocals, as in "Be My Girl/Sally" (1978), "Friends" (1980), "Mother" (1983), and "Someone to Talk To" (1983). Other notable Summers compositions from this period are "Omegaman" (which would have been released as the debut single from the 1981 Ghost in the Machine album had Sting not objected), "Shambelle" (1981), and "Once Upon A Daydream" and "Murder by Numbers" both co-written with Sting (both 1983). In early 1984, after seven years together and record sales around eighty million, the Police disbanded.
Though not given songwriting credit, Summers wrote the guitar riff for "Every Breath You Take". It was recorded in one take with his 1961 Fender Stratocaster during the Synchronicity sessions. The song was number one for eight weeks. Sting won the 1983 Grammy Award for Song of the Year, and The Police won Best Pop Performance by a Duo Or Group With Vocal for this song. Summers provides an account of the session in his book, One Train Later.
Summers' solo career has included touring, recording, composing for films (including 2010, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, The Wild Life and Weekend at Bernie's), writing books, and exhibiting his photography.
Summers' solo debut, XYZ was released in 1987, and is the only non-instrumental album in his catalogue. Although it featured some pop material, including the single "Love is the Strangest Way", it failed to dent the charts, prompting Summers to move from MCA to Private Music and embrace a more experimental sound.
In 1987 Sting invited Summers to perform on his second album ...Nothing Like the Sun, a favour the singer returned by playing bass on Charming Snakes (1990) and later contributing vocals to "'Round Midnight" in Summers' tribute album to Thelonious Monk Green Chimneys in 1999.
In the mid-1990s Summers briefly returned to a more rock-oriented sound with Synesthesia (1995) and The Last Dance of Mr X (1997) before recording a string of jazz albums.
Over the years, Summers has collaborated with a number of guitarists, including two instrumental duo albums - I Advance Masked (1982) and Bewitched (1984) - with King Crimson's Robert Fripp, as well as recordings with John Etheridge, Victor Biglione and Benjamin Verdery. In December 2004, he and Copeland joined Incubus on stage in Los Angeles and performed "Roxanne" and "Message in a Bottle".
His biography One Train Later (2006) was voted music book of the year by the UK's Mojo and was turned into the 2012 documentary Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police. The documentary was released on DVD in July 2015  along with his CD, Metal Dog.
During the 2007 Grammys Award show, The Police appeared, playing "Roxanne" and subsequently announcing that they would be going on tour. The Police Reunion Tour began in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on 28 May 2007, and continued until August 2008, becoming the third highest grossing tour of all time.
In August 2013, Summers announced he had formed a new band, Circa Zero, with Rob Giles from The Rescues. Originally, drummer Emmanuelle Caplette was also a member of the band. Their debut show was 25 July 2013 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. The band's debut album, Circus Hero, was released 25 March 2014. It is titled after a malapropism of the band's name made by a radio disc jockey during an interview of Summers. The first single, "Levitation," was released to US adult album alternative radio on 3 March 2014; and reached number 36 on the Japan Hot 100 chart.
In March 2017, Summers announced he had formed Call The Police, a Police tribute band, with two Brazilian musicians, Rodrigo Santos (Barão Vermelho aka Red Baron) on bass guitar and vocals and Joao Barone (Os Paralamas do Sucesso) on drums. After a debut 7-date South America tour in Spring 2017 (from March 31, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil to April 15, 2017 in Teresopolis, Brazil),
Summers was married to his first wife, Robin Lane, in 1968. They divorced two years later in 1970. He married his second wife, Kate Lunken, in 1973 and they had one daughter in 1978, Layla Zoe Summers. They divorced in 1981 although they would then remarry in 1985. In 1987, Kate and Andy's twin sons Maurice X and Anton Y were born.
The above is a list of equipment used by Andy from the '80s. Since that time Summers has built a collection of 200 guitars and uses a wide variety of amplifiers and electronic equipment.
Since the 1980s Andy Summers has done 35 photography exhibitions including:
With The Police
With Kevin Ayers
With Kevin Coyne
With Dantalian's Chariot
With Eberhard Schoener
With Strontium 90
Andy Summers was born Andrew James Summers on December 31, 1942, in Poulton-le-Fylde. Lancashire.
I was on this early morning radio station and the guy said, "Yeah, here he is with the new record from Circus Hero!" and I went, "Oh, god. It's Circa. Zero." But anyway I told Rob and he said, "Yeah, we should call the album that." Just to be a little bit weird. I thought about the early Police albums where we had all these weird titles that kind of got people's attention. Might as well have fun with it.