My Open Letter To Sting Regarding "The Last Ship" And Not Leaving His Kids Any Money!

Dear Sting,

This letter is long overdue, I apologize for the delay in my correspondence to you and sincerely hope that one of the 100 people in your hire might be willing to read it to you.  In today's news cycle, I was greeted by the news that you will not be passing your vast fortune (estimated at $300 million) on to your six children.

For starters, I find this news disturbing because you've raised six children who have been unequivoically forced to live in their father's shadow.  Who knows how successful your son Joe's band might have been if not for the fact that they weren't The Police.  Well, that and the fact that their music has all the individuality of a burrito fart at a Morrissey concert. Plus, to hear you tell it, your father had no shadow.

When The Police were starting out, it was a different world.  Plus, the music business, though littered with crooks, was full of visionary mad men like, well, anybody named Copeland.  You had the good fortune to run into one who literally plucked you from screaming obscurity because he saw something in you that didn't even exist.  Without that perfectly-timed breath upon the tiniest spark that lurked within you, a being that would not have otherwise ever existed was born.

And his name was Sting.

Arguably, you rode Copeland like a barnacle, taking careful notes.  The whole punk thing was a bloody sham; a bandwagon upon which kids and geezers alike piled onto until the wheels fell off.  It was all a matter of survival, plain and simple.  There's gotta be a pic somewhere of Johnny Rotten with long hair, right?

So when the bottom fell out of "punk", The Police had only attained a modest level of success.  It was at this time that your skills as a songwriter outpaced Copeland's and control of the band shifted.  At the same time, Miles Copeland was just hitting his stride.

He'd used the punk explosion as a musical petri dish, grabbing literally hundreds of post-punk acts of every stripe and putting them on the road.  With brother Ian's help, he established a traditional, old-school network of touring and record company connections that he played like a fiddle.  I imagine you must laugh your ass off in the shower when you think of how unlikely your musical path was and how many different times the planets aligned perfectly.

Oh, I imagine you would probably have devoted more time to your theatrical career if not for Stewart Copeland giving you the hard-sell.  You'd have done some commercials, some legitimate theatre, but, let's face it, Sting, you're a shitty actor.  Anybody else with those looks who could, you know, act would've made Harrison Ford's career arc look like the aforementioned burrito fart.

So, you must give credit where credit is due and that credit goes to that wonderful, beautiful nepotism of the Copeland family, CIA ties and all.

Seeing as how the world has changed so much and artistry has become so devalued, you're no doubt burning through your fortune, but what made you go "Hey, I think I'm gonna put out a press release that announces to all the world that none of my vast fortune is going to my kids"?  What kind of dad hamstrings his own children like that?

You may as well tattoo a big scarlet "L" on each of their foreheads.

Seriously, there are 6 people on this planet who woke up full of hope this morning and are now walking around with the eyes of the world upon them, all tittering like mice and pointing in their direction.  And today was gonna be the day Joe asked out that cute barista at Starbucks.  Nice going, Dad.

Oh, by the way, we've enjoyed your recent stay in our fair city, where you've been making some major tweaks to "The Last Ship" before it heads for Broadway.  I'm sure you're well aware that the reviews were not pretty and that many who saw it thought your songs left a lot to be desired.  I know that I went in not expecting rock-based song craft at all, but still found myself wishing somebody would kidnap me against my will and force me to watch "American Idiot: The Play".

Ah, those Nordic good looks were enough to propel your solo career to platinum success time and time again, but age happens to everybody, even you, and those good looks just aren't up to the task of tackling Broadway without at least some memorable songs.  Did you learn nothing from that Sondheim fellow?

Ah, but this is your passion and, therefore, you are determined to throw the full weight of your ego, and checkbook, at this vanity project to ensure that "The Last Ship" gets its day, but wouldn't you rather give the world something just a little better?  There's no need to foist half-baked songs upon an audience just because it's "Broadway" and not Shea Stadium.

Until the songs are there, wouldn't you rather just throw your kids a few bones?  Maybe you could even take an active role in your children's lives.  I mean, you weren't exactly there for them, now, were you?

I'm not trying to pick a fight, really, I'm not.  After all, I've spent a majority of my life subsidizing yours by purchasing and re-purchasing every Police album in any number of formats, to say nothing of the box set that was comprised mostly of tunes I already owned, but that I just had to have for the few tunes I didn't already own.  Then there are the concert tickets, posters, tour merchandise, books, magazines, etc.

A quick calculation puts my investment in you, Andy and Stewart at just over $8,000.  That's not a lot of cash to you, of course, but if someone invested that much in me - and there have been a few who have, believe me - they'd at least get a heartfelt "thank you" note.

It was my admiration for your Police work that would lead me to "take a chance" on more than a few of your solo albums, hoping against hope that it would somehow restore my faith in you.  AN hour later, after having given it a proper listen, I couldn't help think that the same man who had penned such iconic songs as "Roxanne" and "Message In A Bottle" was now schlepping musical vanilla water to office gals who wouldn't know "edgy" if it bit them on the arse.

At what point did you think you could swap Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers for Vinnie Colaiuta and Dominic Miller and not piss off the entire male portion of your audience?  Where's the goddamn danger, the raw sexuality, the pulse?  This from the man who had the nerve to sing "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You" long after most Police fans had lost their faith in you.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility


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  2. Oh man, Sting was and is so much the towering genius that The Police would not have existed as a major band without him. It was the Sting Show through and through, despite the genius and mastery the others brought to the band.

    No unforgettable tunes, no Police as we know them. He wrote many of the greatest rocks songs ever, period. So very, very few people can do that.