The Police’s Andy Summers on his songs, Sting, and covers by Puff Daddy

From The A.V. Club:

AVC: Although they aren’t easy to play, Police songs have been covered hundreds of times.

AS: Yeah. Hundreds of thousands. One thing that just occurred to me the other day is that Police music seems to still be played everywhere. I didn’t know I’d be walking in a clothing store or a restaurant in Sao Paolo… You don’t hear that with Led Zeppelin or, you know, name any band you like. But The Police seem to stay on the airwaves. Forever. It’s amazing. I mean, you don’t hear Deep Purple, you don’t hear Def Leppard. You hear The Police. Always. It goes on and on and on. Unbelievable.

AVC: Are there other people’s versions of your songs that you particularly like?

AS: I heard something in Brazil, a really fucked-up Brazilian version of… I don’t remember which one it was. But we all went, “Ooh, look at this and that. Oh, that’s weird the way they did that.” I’ve heard a smooth-jazz version of… Fuck, which one was it? I hated it. Anyway. It goes on.

“I’ll Be Missing You,” Puff Daddy

That was the major rip-off of all time. Stuart and I were not privy to that. I found out about it after it was on the radio. It was actually my kid, who was 10 at the time, said, “Hey dad, there’s some girl on the radio who’s playing you guys!” I went into his room and listened to his radio, and I was like, “This is me, what the fuck is this?” Anyway, it turned out to be Puff Daddy, a single that sold 30 million copies and all the rest of it. Major. The Police is being used a lot in rap. Loads of it. And I mean, it’s very flattering. I guess everybody likes it. You can work yourself up into a fury about “Why am I not getting paid for it?” The Puff Daddy one was weird for me, because, I mean, what do you use with the guitar riff? He actually sampled my guitar, and that’s what he based his whole track on. Stuart’s not on it. Sting’s not on it. I’d be walking round Tower Records, and the fucking thing would be playing over and over. It was very bizarre while it lasted.

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