The Police Fired Guitarist For Andy Summers

Original Police guitarist Henry Padovani recently reminisced about getting expelled from the band after the arrival of Andy Summers. He highlighted that he has no ill feelings towards his former bandmates.

It has been noted that Padovani entered the picture in early ’77, when a young American drummer under the name of Stewart Copeland was getting together a band to take on the bustling London punk scene, and Sting was yet to be recruited for the cause. The Police was much closer to Copeland’s original vision of the band, as heard on their “Fall Out/Nothing Achieving” debut single.

The trio met Andy Summers in Paris, where Sting and Copeland were to contribute to a project by the former Gong member Mike Howlett. Summers, who was ten years older, more experienced, and had access to much more money than the young punks, impressed Sting greatly and was invited to join the band, Padovani tells Guitar World in a new interview.

Over time, two sub-factions emerged in the band — “there was a Stewart-and-me camp and a Sting-and-Andy camp, both going in different directions,” Padovani says. Recalling his last gig with The Police, the guitarist said:

“Things had been good; now there were arguments. At the last gig we did in Mont de Marsan, Andy and I argued about an amplifier and who would use it. I let it go and let Andy use the ‘good’ amp.”

A similar argument was repeated when the four musicians joined Velvet Underground’s John Cale for some session work:

“After that gig, we found ourselves in the studio with John Cale, recording ‘Visions of the Night.’ John had an argument with Andy about the solo because John wanted me to do it, but Andy argued that he was a better player. And then John let Andy do it, but insisted that Andy do it with my guitar and use my amp. It was horrible.”

He was asked to comment on claims that Andy Summers made Sting and Copeland decide between him and Padovani, the guitarist said:

“Perhaps he did, perhaps he didn’t. But the split cannot be boiled down to a problem between Andy and me. Those three became the biggest band in the world, and so whatever happened was the right thing to happen.”

“All that happened is part of that success. I always felt I was part of it in a positive way, but all I know is what Sting told me that night after the John Cale session. Andy brought something to the table: money was to be made, and Sting told me the concept. I got it right away and went back to see my family.”

He added:

“If there was an ultimatum, it wasn’t made to me. But maybe Andy didn’t want to confront me. Maybe it wasn’t for him to do. I never held resentment. With The Police, Andy found a great sound that he never had before.”

“And when they split he found himself a bit lost, having a style that he could only play with The Police. Sting found himself a player in Dominic Miller, who can play like Andy, which is why he’s played with him for so long.”

About Bishal Roy

A devoted pro wrestling fan for more than a decade who feels fortunate to express the love for the art through writing. A passionate learner in the world of professional writing, and an ardent Manchester United fan. Happy to be bringing his experience of writing thousands of entertainment stories to the world of music fans. Bishal has reported for and Wrestling-Edge.

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