by Andrew Goldberg
It was 1983 and Synchronicity was the best record out – at the moment. I was in summer camp and I was going to leave 2 days early because my parents were taking me to see The Police at Shea Stadium on August 18, 1983. We were all going courtesy of our good friend who at the time managed Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Joan was the opening act at Shea for the Police. Joan’s set was insane. I remember we all got to stand on the side of the stage (stage left) and watch the gig from there. Looking out into the stadium crowd while everyone clapped in unison during “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)” seemed surreal. After the set – we all wandered backstage – I remember my Mom and I running into MTV VJ JJ Jackson (aka Triple J) and my mom telling him that we see him in our living room every night. Then out of nowhere – I begin talking to this little girl (maybe 8 years old) – blond hair and the cutest English accent. At the same time – after everyone has been asked to clear the stage, my Dad is trying his best to get me back on stage to watch the Police. The image of my Dad taking out money to try and give Ian Copeland (Police’s manager) to get me a spot on stage will never be erased. But it was this little girl who asked me to come on the stage and watch with her.
So I did while waving goodbye to my parents and telling them I would meet them at the end. The Police were at the top of their game. Stewart Copeland’s kit was shaking the entire gig. At one point I turn to my left and there is Matt Dillon next to me with his girlfriend – and he looks at me and nods, hey. I say hi back. Sting is owning the entire crowd – King of Pain has everyone singing. Message in a Bottle , Invisible Sun, Don’t
Stand and Roxanne – all were memorable numbers to me. Even to this day. At the end of the gig – the little girl says to me , you want to come in the trailer – ? In the trailer meant inside the Police’s trailer – I don’t recall if I was too nervous or if I really had to go – but I ended up declining. And saying good night and thanking her for letting me watch with her. Though I did finally learn – the little girl was Andy Summers daughter.
Ok, now – fast forward many many years ahead. The year is now 2003. I have been in the music business for a few years and now working for a marketing company who works with tons of emerging bands at the time. My boss is unable to go to the annual Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony that year at the Waldorf Astoria on March 10, 2003, and he graciously offers the seat at his table to me. This year, AC DC, the Police are among the group being inducted. During the pre ceremony cocktails, I see Andy Summers – and tell him the entire story about my experience at Shea – Andy smiles and says , oh yeah, well that little girl is right over there. He points – then waves her over. She is an adult now. We meet and I tell her the entire story. She has no memory of it – but all the same, for me to come full circle and meet her and thank her again all those years later was magical. I have no photos of the little girl in 1983 or the older version in 2003. Instead – I offer you my ticket stub. This stub has a life if it’s own and memories that will never be forgotten.