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Production notes from the Director, Amy Pickard


February 27, 2007

Hello loves!

I hope all of you are well and rockin’.  We’ve got some fun news on the GT:OFTR front and some rather fantastic rumblings in the world of power pop!

So you’ve heard of the land down under?  (Where beer does flow and men chunder…)  Well, Glenn is gearing up for a wee Australian tour and there is going to be a special screening of GT:OFTR as well!  I’ve always wanted an Australian screening and now it’s happening as part of the Brunswick Music Festival in Melbourne.  Glenn's Australian tour dates can be checked out here:  Many of you on the glennmovie list are from the UK and the US, but please tell your mates in the southern hemisphere to go check out Glenn live.  Glenn is doing a limited edition Australian EP for the tour and apparently, the tour has been christened the One For The Road tour!  Glenn's got some fun stuff cooking for the tour including rocking out with the RocKwiz orchestra and reliving the magic of his Aussie duet with Linda Bull.  Check out the DVD ABC Shop - The RocKwiz Duets – Two for the Show.

Universal are gearing up to re-release a lot of Squeeze's back catalogue this year and the next Greatest Hits compilation is set to be released in the UK in April.  Universal UK are asking for feedback for the Squeeze package and you can fill out a survey here: questionnaire.  Or you can just email your opinions and suggestions, etc... at "" and put Squeeze in the subject line.  Chris Difford talks about the Greatest Hits package on his website here:  Chris Difford.  Chris mentions that he and Glenn are planning on doing some press and promotion here and there and all of us Squeeze fans can only hope for the odd acoustic sesh!

Speaking of the wonderful and talented Mr. Difford, he is currently touring the US and his tour dates can be found here: Pollstar -- Chris Difford Concert Dates.  I managed to catch a Chris show when I was in the UK promoting the release of the GT:OFTR DVD and it was a fantastic night.  In fact, Chris' gig was the night of the DVD release!  So what better way to celebrate than to go see Chris rock out!!  It was thrilling to see Chris relaxed and enjoying himself and it was unbelievably generous of him to mention the GT:OFTR DVD onstage.

If you can't catch Chris stateside, I'd like you to be warned that it is a completely different show to Glenn's solo shows.  But you will be in for such a treat because it's also a completely different FANTASTIC show. It's really a thrill to see Chris play solo.

I just read an interview with Chris online from where he talks about a possible Squeeze reunion:

Having recently teamed up with former Squeeze songwriting partner Glenn Tilbrook to do press for a new U.K. Squeeze best-of, Difford says fans can expect to see Squeeze reunite sooner or later.

"I think it would be pretty amazing, really," he says. "I was with Glenn yesterday, actually, but we didn't talk about that. We get offers all the time. We got an offer just today to support Crowded House on their American tour, which I think would be an amazing tour, but I'm not sure we're both in agreement about how we would do it.

"Yes, I think it will happen at some stage, but I don't know if this time is the right time," he continues. "We need to sit in a room and discuss it, and we've got to have concrete plans, and we have to get a booking agent... But it has to be emotionally, spiritually and financially the right thing, and when all those planets come into line, then we will be there. At the time being, I can't see it on the horizon, but I've been wrong before."

Which brings us to the big, exciting news for me in pop world:  two of my favorite Top Five bands of all time are reforming!  The Police and Crowded House!  (the other three if you must know: The Beatles, U2 and what was the name of that band who did "Tempted"....)  My friend Tammy Glover, drummer extraordinaire for Sparks and others, actually auditioned for Crowded House here in LA!  She loves the band as much as I do and it was a big thrill for her to play with such a great band.  They asked her to play four songs and they jammed a bit and Tammy said that the CH guys seemed loose and happy and excited to put Crowded House back together again.  My mate rocked with the Crowdies!  Surely, the boys must need someone to document their reunion! ahem....  The first CH gig is going to be at Coachella in April just mere hours away from me.  And how great would a Crowded House/Squeeze tour be?  I'm sick of boring double bills where you either only want to see the opener or just the headliner and a Squeeze/Crowded House tour would be a match made in heaven.  I doubt it would ever happen, but it's certainly fun to think about.  They could call it the bestest poplicious tour ever!  I know I've said it before, but I always thought Squeeze never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity and I doubt 2007 is going to change that!  Alternatively, how cool would it be if Squeeze toured with....the Police?!!!  (they've played together before, same demographic, former label mates..... enjoyable!)

Yes, the Police are back and they held a press conference/rehearsal at the Whisky A Go Go on Sunset Blvd. here in LA the day after the Grammy Awards.  And we here at, with their finger on the pulse of all music happenings, sent their crack reporter Amy Pickard to check it out.  Or is that the reporter on crack because she actually got in to witness the coolest rock event in the past few years??  Yep, I was there.  Not only was I there, but I was front row center PEOPLE!!  Other members of the press were far too cool to dart immediately to the front, but I certainly didn't care and once inside the Whisky, I practically sprinted to center stage. 

Before I tell you about the press conference/rehearsal, let me first say that I have worshipped the Police since an early age.  I was introduced to Squeeze through the Police.  (Both bands were on the soundtrack to Sting's movie "Brimstone &Treacle" and that's when I fell in love with "Up the Junction"!)  I was so into the Police's music that I devoured every article, every book, every radio interview that they did.  I watched MTV practically 24/7 for news of The Police.  I joined Amnesty International because of them.  I read Nabokov because of Sting.  I started recycling because Sting was campaigning for the environment.  Now before you mock me, keep in mind that I was an impressionable young teen and The Police, like Squeeze and a few other bands, were my gurus in life, love and how to follow your dreams.  I dedicated my film to a handful of musicians and The Police are in that list in the end credits.  I was also too young to go see them play live, so imagine my sheer delight when I was going to be seeing them reunite from one foot away in the tiniest, coolest club ever!!!

So back to the Whisky:  Celebs spotted:  Les Claypool from Primus, Chris Botti- trumpet player, Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters and ?uest Love from the Roots, Jerry Moss (the M in A&M records) and Matt Stone from South Park.  The room was electric with anticipation and I was pinching myself while I stood infront of Stewart's beautiful, blue sparkly Tama drum kit with THE POLICE logo on the front, waiting for the band to come out. The Police bounded onstage and rocked into "Message in a Bottle" and that's when my head exploded.  Seriously.  They sounded just like the Police!!!!  Stewart's amazing drumming, Sting's bouncy delivery rocking the bass and Andy concentrating on the guitar and just creating the sound that is so unique and so distinctive - the sound that is so embedded in my DNA... it blew my tiny mind.  I was one foot away from them and if you would have told the teenage Amy in Dayton, Ohio that I'd be in the front row at the Whisky in LA all these years later.... it just hurt my head.  I actually had to close my eyes, grab my head with my hands and just make sure that it was all real.  And of course, it WAS!

After sending out our SOS, some corporate bigwigs came onstage to completely kill the electrifying vibe, but I spose business had to be taken care of.  The boys were incredibly elusive when it came to answering any questions about a new album.  Methinks they are going to see how the tour goes and then maybe they'll dip their toe in the studio.  The tour is just going to be the three of them.  No backing dancers or horns.  (awesome!)  And it's just the Police materiall - no Sting solo stuff.  They took a few questions from the press and then played a few more songs.  They did "Voices Inside My Head" which segued into "When the World is Running Down (You make the best of what's still around)". Andy ripped the guitar to shreds on this one and I was seen on the live satellite feed grinning like an idiot in front of him while he rocked the solo.  I recorded the press conference which was carried live on VH1Classic and saw myself in the front row a few times.  You could mostly just see the dorky guy next to me who kept "conducting" the band as they played and then the fans who won entry to the gig through to the left of me.

They played "Can't Stand Losing You" which segued into a scorching "Regatta De Blanc" and then back into CSLY and they closed with Roxanne.  During Roxanne, I figured it was their last song, so I snuck out my digital camera and took a few blurry, grainy, out of focus shots.  You can check them out in the photo gallery.  I apologize for how horrible they are, but I didn't want to get kicked out and I had to turn off the flash!

I was fascinated by the vibe of the band.  They all seemed really loose, happy, relaxed and just pleased to be playing with each other.  Sting sort of winced when Stewart opened his mouth (the loud American!!) just like old times and they playfully corrected each other over chord changes while navigating a long forgotten song. Sting had to cheat with the lyrics by using a teleprompter.  As he was trying to remember how "Can't Stand Losing You" went, he looked confusingly up in the air and as Stewart and Andy started the song, he said, 'How does this one go?  Oh yes, I remember" he laughed, "I'm 24 and angry."  It all came back to him in no time!

I know I'll be mocked for saying so, but there was a lot of love in that room.  The usually jaded press were super excited to see them play, the fans were losing their fan riddled minds and everyone just seemed really grateful and wanted to thank the guys for reuniting.  In the current world of pop crap, it's just a relief and sheer pleasure to see these 'old guys' rock out.  They were a REAL rock and roll band.  It seems that the older and more experienced you get in music, the less relevant you become.  You are suddenly perceived as 'past it' or desperately trying to cling to your 'former glory'.  And yes, the press conference happened because they were announcing a 300 million dollar tour.  Yes, all three will make a frigging mint off of it.  But I honestly, truly believe, after seeing their interaction with each other and their ease in playing again, that they are not doing it for the money.

Sting said that the Police reunion was something he's been running from for 23 years and he was feeling nostalgic and decided to get the band back together for a tour.  He said it was very healing for them to play together again and you could really feel that. Stewart said that when they all started out, they were young, driven and had something to prove.  He said the fighting that occurred was only because of the music, it was never personal.  (which may be why they aren't keen to rush into the studio!)  Stewart said that they are older now and 'fathers of many' and they are more mature and they have nothing to prove anymore.  He said that he is now just happy to follow Sting's lead and to play the songs with Andy again.  I was so moved by what he said, that I uttered "That's so awesome." and he actually heard me and smiled at me.  tee hee

I think that the guys in the Police are at an age where they have more years behind them than in front of them.  I know that Stewart's brother Ian died recently as did a few other members of the Police inner circle and I think they are keenly aware of how short life is and that you only go around once.  All three of them have kids who have never seen their dads play with the Police and now they are going to get to see their dads rock out one last time.  (Sting's daughter was there in a vintage Ghost in the Machine shirt and I couldn't help but think that she dug it out from a 'box in the garage'!  How cute is that?)  Sting said that they are all better musicians now than they were 23 years ago and they were pretty good 23 years ago!  How great to see musicians doing what they do best and with such grace, humor and fun!  Andy is something like 64 years old now so I can't really see him being able to rock out on tour many more years from now.  (I'm not saying that he can't play, I'm saying that touring itself is grueling, no matter how luxurious the traveling may be.)  Yes, they have a huge corporate sponsor. Yes, they are also publicizing a charity along the way (  But if you strip all of it down, I really believe the reason that they are reuniting is because they just wanted to play together again because they were nostalgic for the camaraderie.  You can argue all you want with me by telling me that they are doing it for the money, but you will not change my mind.  And this is from someone who most likely will not be able to afford to see them play on their world tour.

The rehearsal was all too short.  It was unpolished and rickety at times, but how glorious to see one of the best bands of my time so loose and in such an intimate setting.  And when it gelled, it was insane in the membrane PEOPLE!  I was literally in shock after it was over.  I walked out of the Whisky a bit dazed from the ROCK and saw Sting and Trudie get into an SUV surrounded by paparazzi and fans.  I was told to stay back, which I did and the SUV literally sort of drove over right next to me and stopped at the light.  I was a foot away from the car and saw Trudy sitting next to Sting with the window down, so I reached into my bag to get my GT:OFTR DVD with business card inside, which I just happened to have handy, and I reached out to her and said, 'Hi Trudie!  I'm an indie filmmaker and I brought this for you!'  She reached out, took the DVD and looked at it and showed it to Sting and they drove off.  So I can say that Sting actually looked at my DVD! haha  Sadly, neither have called me, but surely they must need an enthusiastic documentary filmmaker to rock a Police doc right?  I'll try to fit it in with the CH reunion doc!  So many reunions, so little Amy to go around.  Hmmm.... I can see it now.... or  I didn't get a chance to tell Trudie to look for the Police dedication at the end of my flick, but I won't really have to since they probably popped it into the SUV as soon as they drove down Sunset! haha

After the press conference/rehearsal, I rushed to have lunch with my mate Tammy to tell her all about it and she was most interested in the picture I took of Stewart's drums.  She felt the love as I relayed breathlessly every second of the press conference. I then raced home to see the press conference on TV and sadly, the magic of the room did not translate to the televised version, but it was still amazing and fun to relive it again.  I also took a few stills of the screen where you could sort of see me.  (you can see the two photos in the photo gallery!)  I took a screen grab of me looking over at Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters when he asked when the Police would bring back their mullets and the other photo is  me sneaking a picture of them during "Roxanne."  When I went to bed that night, I was still reeling from all the excitement.  I felt like a kid who went to Disneyland that rode every ride twice, ate every sugary, delicious, indulgent treat, drank gallons of soda, played in the sun all day and then collapsed happy, emotional, fulfilled and dazed.  It was one of the best days of my life...and I'm still grinning over it.  I know it's only rock and roll, but I like it!!!

Now, how do I get into Coachella?

rock on,


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