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Andy Summers

The Police


Andrew James Summers was born on 31 December 1942 in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England to his parents, Maurice and Jean Somers. When he was a young child, he moved to Bournemouth, Dorset,Attended Portchester Boys School and took up the guitar at age 14. By 17, he was playing in local clubs. While a teen he worked in a Bournemouth music store frequented by a young Robert Fripp.

Although Summers had been essentially self-taught when he began his professional musical career, he studied classical guitar at California State University at Northridge for four years until 1973. Summers began his recording career in the 1960's as the guitarist for the R&B group Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, and its subsequent psychedelic-era incarnation, Dantalian's Chariot In 1968, Summers was a member (for a couple of months, from May to July) of the Canterbury scene jazz fusion band Soft Machine, although he did not record with the group He also recorded with Eric Burdon and The Animals and spent much of the mid-seventies doing session work for Kevin Ayers, Kevin Coyne, and others. He was also a member of the band Strontium 90 along with Sting, Stewart Copeland and Mike Howlett.

When he moved back to London, he changed his surname from Somers to Summers. Summers achieved international prominence as the guitarist for The Police (which he first had contact with in 1977, and of which he was the oldest member by almost a decade), most notably on popular hits such as "Message in a Bottle," "Don't Stand So Close to Me," and "Every Breath You Take." Summers also wrote songs for the Police, such as "Omegaman" and "Mother", and his instrumental "Behind My Camel" (on which Sting refused to play) won the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental in 1980. Although Sting was the primary lead vocalist, Summers sang lead vocals on several songs, including, "Be My Girl - Sally" (which he co-wrote) and "Mother." After the break-up of The Police in 1984, Summers continued his musical career, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians. He has also developed his career as a writer (of books and essays) and a photographer.




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