Andy Summers of The Police returns to Nestor’s life 25 years after the Havana duet

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Legendary guitarist Andy Summers of The Police reunites with Nestor nearly a quarter of a century after their 1999 duet in Cuba, which you can hear at Baltimore Positive as well. His current tour brings him through The Appell Center in York, Pennsylvania with a full multimedia show: “A Cracked Lens + A Missing String.”


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Andy Summers, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back, W and S, T, Towson, Baltimore. And Baltimore positive we we do a lot of sports around here. We do some politics, we do some business, we do some local business and we do some rock and roll from time to time my Almost Famous days as a music critic back in the 1980s in the 90s. And from time to time, I get a gift given to me, Andy Summers is playing at the strand and the Appel Center for the Arts up in York, Pennsylvania. On Thursday night for my birthday, by the way, it’s October the 12th. He will be there, he’s out on tour out on the road without the rest of La polisi on doing the spoken word tour, singing some songs showing some art showing his photography off. And I had the occasion many, many years ago. And I would say it’s one of the top five experiences of my lifetime of singing a couple songs with Andy Summers in the famous Bodeguita del medio in Havana, Cuba in 1999. I was on an Orioles trip. He was on a cultural exchange trip with a whole bunch of very, very famous musicians from all over the world, doing music with Cubans. He’s now doing music in New York, Pennsylvania. Andy Summers, you’re you’re coming to York, Pennsylvania, welcome back into my life. And certainly welcome back into the lives of anybody who’s loved your music. I know, this is a this is a celebration of your art and a whole lifetime of doing a whole bunch of things, right?

Andy Summers  01:22

Well, I’ll just try to get through the show, mate. That’s all. I’m not not blow it.

Nestor Aparicio  01:28

Well, how can you borrow it? Did you you put this thing to you. You can’t mess it up, right? I mean?

Andy Summers  01:35

No, no, no. I’m pretty good on the guitar. But it’s quite technical. We have three computers running stuff on the big screen. Lots of cues, lots of little things. I mean, we’re getting a you know, we’ve kind of built our technical chops up over the time we’ve done this. And it’s getting pretty slick. I’m lucky I worked with a very clever guy, who’s the sort of opposite to me. He’s very tech. But he’s he’s got it sorted. And now we’re at the process where it’s working really well. And now we’re just trying to refine it and see if we can make have less equipment, make it smaller. But it’s very good. I’m very pleased. It’s a multimedia show. surprising thing is it took me so long to get around to combining the photography with a guitar playing. But yeah, it’s going down very well everywhere. And you know, I open my mouth a lot and talk to the audience.

Nestor Aparicio  02:26

Well, there’s a point where you want some storytelling, right people? Yeah. Oh, yeah. The night I met you, your association to one of the greatest bands ever, and the music you make that’s ubiquitous to our lives, right? I mean, everybody would, if they run into you, they want to say something about stealing or murder or song, right?

Andy Summers  02:45

Yeah, they do. But I don’t. I, ya know, we’ve got some stuff in there. I think people were very happy with it. I mean, we usually get them all out of the season up at the stage at the end.

Nestor Aparicio  02:58

Well, so for you to put the concept together, what in your mind, you wanted this to be like, what are something you would seen? Or, you know, I

Andy Summers  03:05

thought it should be a pretty arty show. And it was different. You know, unfortunately, you know, we’re lucky, let’s say not unfortunately. But fortunately, there’s a there’s an elephant in the room. And it’s hard to ignore, you know, in other words, they want to hear some police stuff. So I’ve crafted idli craftily got some in the show, but they’re beautifully presented, because, you know, they’ve never been seen like this, you know, I made some new videos. And I selected certain kinds of photography, that really worked very well, the songs, I’ve been selective about it. So I feel two things they work, you know, we’ve built them to a place where it’s a nice thing. And also it keeps people happy. You know, they expected me to do something like that. But I’m slightly changing the context of the song. So yeah, it’s going, it’s going really well as all I can tell you. It’s more for me, is like, do you want to keep doing this? Do you want to keep going on the road? Or is this enough now? Thinking about it, you know, like,

Nestor Aparicio  04:05

Well, I mean, you were a lot as a young man. And then you know, your band famously. Didn’t do this so much anymore. I was there back in Oh, six when you put the band back together, Vancouver? I was there the first night? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I love your band. And I love the one experience I have with you other than this one, which I’ll get to in a couple of minutes and your Cuba trip and how we wound up in the same room together. But the notion that anyone I mean, I see Bruce Springsteen, I see people I you know, I just anyone who’s older than me, and I turned 55 This week, and I know what if I’m in Arlington, Texas right now on the road with a baseball team, right. So I know what the road can do to that you choose to do this when it’s probably not a financial endeavor, and you’re part more of an art, more of something

Andy Summers  04:51

that I realized that I wanted to do. Yeah, because I’ve had something where I’m, like 60 photo submissions museum shows all over Well, you know, I’ve had a very good shot with that I’ve made five books, the latest one is out now. You know, it hasn’t been a barren existence, it’s been plenty of it. Most of us haven’t been out on the road for three years. So I’m like a lot of people sort of returning and trying it. And, you know, I mean, basically, the great bit is, when I’m on stage, that’s it, then the rest can be a little bit of a grind, which I’m not so awful. But the way I’ve done this tour is I usually go and do about seven or eight shows, and I come home from it, then I go out and do another little bunch, and then come home. So, so it’s not like life on the road forever, a year at a time, right? That’s what we used to do. It was incredible. I mean, I basically be on the road of my life. And I don’t want to do that anymore. So, you know, without the brakes, because, you know, it’s like choose your areas, see how many shows you can get there. And let’s do that, you know, and that’s kind of what we’re doing and we’re getting better at it, we’ve sort of tightening up the whole way of traveling, the amount of equipment we have to go with the shows together, musically and logically. So you know, we’ve, you know, you sort of have a show in mind in your in your studio, and you’re isolated, then you go out and you play in front of the first audience and it’s a complete shock because you probably got everything wrong. And then on on you go and you refine it and you know, I can see where from where we were to where we are now is a big jump.

Nestor Aparicio  06:25

So what we’re seeing is different than it would have been if we seen it earlier and better in your mind.

Andy Summers  06:32

Yeah, you know, I mean, the technology change, we’d be able to do things I’ve you know, I’m not playing with guitar amplifiers on stage now. It was so loud, I’ve removed those I have any ears and I can balance the whole thing personally. So it’s ladder out front but for me I’m you know, like all musician, I have to watch my ears my hearing. But, you know, that’s a real kind of, it feels like a technical revolution to me that I’m doing all this electric guitar stuff and No, no guitar amplifiers. Work getting somewhere.

Nestor Aparicio  07:10

Andy Summers is here of course, the legendary guitarist and Hall of Famer from the police. He will be at the strand and the Appel Center for the Arts up in beautiful York, Pennsylvania. encourage everybody beautiful little downtown area and York go up take advantage on Thursday night on Friday. I’m a drug city on Saturday, Sunday. We’re doing our our ravens games, it’s my birthday celebration. Andy, you and I got together and I remember it as one of the greatest experiences of my life. I went to Havana, Cuba, doing baseball, and I strolled into a bar and Woody Harrelson was in the bar. You were there with the great, late great Patti Maloney of the chieftains. I recently saw another artist who was was on that junket down to Cuba, but Mick Fleetwood, there were so many artists, Jimmy Buffett, who just passed recently was a part of that as well. Speak to 9099 a Cuban what in the world you were doing in a bar? And how we went up singing three songs together?

Andy Summers  08:08

Yeah, well, it was a marvelous thing. And I think the guy, this gentleman, I can’t remember his name. I think he did this three times in the queue, you know, where he went to another culture. Maybe there’s one in Europe. They did one somewhere else. But I think the Cuban one was the big one. It was about 50 of us it traveled to Cuba, we got over to the East Coast. And I think we all flew out from Miami, for obvious reasons to close. And what happened was that we got there, you know, we’re none of us really knew what was going on. But we were on the hotel national. And the way they did it actually was they would pair one of us American or Western musicians up with a Cuban and then you’d see what you can make together. So it’s literally all the names on pieces of paper and a hat. And it was somebody was, you know, we had a big meeting in the morning and a courtyard there totally blows bits of paper. And I can’t remember the guys name now. But I got lucky. Because I got paired up with a sky who had a 16 piece band and he was the sort of, you know, he did soul funk and he was like the James Brown of Cuba. And it was like, I had great guy. And so I sort of had the advantage over most of them are like folk singers. And I was like folk singer with folk singer. And this guy was okay. Yeah, but I had this powerhouse.

Nestor Aparicio  09:32

So but it was by luck of draw. It was not to draw. No, I


Andy Summers  09:35

didn’t pick it. I realized I

Nestor Aparicio  09:37

was believing that they purposely pair you up with people that it wasn’t random.

Andy Summers  09:43

No, it was random. And I got the guy. And he was like the James Brown. came to me in a giant giant lime green Cadillac got a cowboy hat on and he had a studio. It’s a real thing, but because we had the big band, I got to end the show of the whole thing. Ain’t no one could compete with us, really. So we wrote a song got into the brand. And we were the last thing on the show. And then they sort of pulled everybody on. Then we had a big, very Deluxe dinner banquet, which you go, how could you do this in Cuba? It’s not possible. Of course, it was all government stuff. And we’re all lined up and I met Castro, Fidel Castro, and I picked up a little book in the market. It’s very cute. It’s a very literary press that books everywhere. Remember the name of it’s a little red and black leather book I picked up in the market, and it was something like my journey. That’s not quite right. But something like that, but Fidel Castro, and so I had it in my pocket, and I went up to Castro was about six foot six, gigantic guy. And he had two guards with him, of course, you know, and I pulled out my book. And then they said, No, they’ve stopped pushing guns at me. So okay, sorry, and went back and sit down. And then this girl came up to me who was somehow involved within the official stuff. She’s Give it to me, I’ll get him to sign it. And so he wrote a very nice note to me that says, Put Andy in fraternity, fat and earlier dad ever del Castro. So that’s where I felt like I was the only one out of the whole budget was, I got it, you know, and I still have it. So I was


God. Hold on you for it. Oh, yeah.

Andy Summers  11:26

I’ve risked death.

Nestor Aparicio  11:28

Well, I don’t know what you were doing in Botha, Geeta Domenico that night, and we wound up next to each other. And Woody Harrelson is the one that really convinced you to do this to pick up the guitars, I have the story from the three people that were with me that night, in in 1999. And I found the audio tape and I’m gonna present that for my audience to tell the story as we told it, two days after we got back from Cuba, and I had not listened to it and 25 years of this evening, and they’re the guys swear that you and Patti bought Polaroid pictures from the man on the street that comes in and take your picture for you that you have pictures of this somewhere. But you and I get three songs together that night. And you were very, very magnanimous. And I think the drinks were flowing, at least as we went back and told it was a pretty good time. You look like you’re having a good time there.

Andy Summers  12:24

That’s pretty good. I gotta say. And, you know, it’s weird with Woody, he said that he was he lived two doors down from releasing was in Santa Monica in California, you know, Los Angeles. So we got to really hang out and spend some time together. And the way that you might imagine

Nestor Aparicio  12:42

I held Woody’s bag inside of what do you want to take a walk in the in the in the out in the alley? And I’m like, man, what are you okay, I can’t be the guy holding your passport.

Andy Summers  12:52

What is brave guy,

Nestor Aparicio  12:55

but back to your show and coming out. And again, I I waited a lifetime to say thank you. So on behalf of me and my friends that night for giving me a memory. It’s It’s the greatest cocktail story I have that I sang three songs. And you let me be staying in the band for 10 minutes. So it literally is, and I have photographic evidence. And I now have you admitting that it really happened. So it did happen.

Andy Summers  13:22

Good math, it’s fun to have some memories like that. To do it

Nestor Aparicio  13:28

to your show, and taking pictures and traveling and this You said we haven’t been on the road in three years, is seeing a different world post COVID through your lens and what you want to capture. And I would think the bad hotels, the bad flights, the connections that the crazy guys you sang songs with, they want you on their podcast and all of that. The part of it for you is everywhere you go there is art for you, right and it’s sort of like eating for me. I can go to Texas and even if I don’t like Texas, I can eat the barbecue and say I had a decent time and go home.

Andy Summers  14:01

Yeah, I mean, I’m not an idle person. You know, and I do photography and you know, travel is a great stimulant. I mean, we’ve been three days of filming. But you know, I’ve course got my cameras with me my likers and here we are is never a dull moment. But this is what you do now we were out last night shooting up in East Village. That was fun. Very I liked it. He’s Polish these days. Well, hang on. Yeah,

Nestor Aparicio  14:31

thanks for coming on. If you please wrap up I I know your time is valuable when you’re getting reading you’re probably

Andy Summers  14:39

reliving in half an hour or two. We’re going to drive up to Alberni we got a nice vehicle and the filming guys coming with me and yeah, that helps us to know.

Nestor Aparicio  14:50

Well, take care of yourselves. Take care your voice. I hope to see you on Thursday night at the stream when you come in and you can be one of the great memories of my life. Andy Summers when people asked me about it The summers I’m like, Andy Summers is a good dude.

Andy Summers  15:05

Thank you very much. I’ll see ya.

Nestor Aparicio  15:08

Appreciate you. Thank you so much. Andy Summers joining us here. From the police to you and from Arlington, Texas back home as well and having some fun around here with a little bit of rock and roll memories. Even though the Orioles season’s over we are wn St. A and 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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