Sting: Broken Music – A Memoir


Broken Music Book CoverTitle: Broken Music – A Memoir
Author: Sting

Summary: Believe it or not, Sting paid his dues by working in small clubs and song writing for years before he achieved true success with the Police.

Besides Sir Paul McCartney, Sting is the most well known bassist out there. He’s starred in movies, lives in a castle and his career is still going strong with the recent Police reunion tour currently underway. But before he acquired all his fame and wealth, Sting was an ordinary schmuck like you and me. This is the Sting you’ll read about in Broken Music.

Sting turns to music at an early age to escape the tension between his parents. First plunking away on piano, then with a hand-me-down guitar from his uncle, he learns the entire Beatles catalog by ear. Sting sneaks into a club to catch a new sensation by the name of Jimi Hendrix live at a club in his town and seems fated to be a lead guitarist until one day he fills in on bass and decides:

“…the bass, while being far from flashy, would suit the covert side of my personality much better than the guitar.”

What follows is a rags to riches story, with Sting working as a bus conductor, civil servant and eventually as a teacher while moonlighting on bass in bands such as the Phoenix Jazzmen and Last Exit. It is a truly inspiring book when you see how far Sting had to fall (on social assistance, his wife between jobs and his first child to take care of) before eventually striking gold with the Police.

Despite his all his fame and success, Sting still refers to himself as a bass player; for some reason this pleases me as a bassist, when he could easily get by on his voice and songwriting skills alone. You’ll read how he had to save up for a second-hand Fender Precision Bass, and how he was blown away by seeing Stanley Clarke perform for the first time in 1974.

You don’t have to be a bassist, or a fan of Sting or the Police to enjoy this book. If you have a dream in your life that you aspire to, you can gain some inspiration reading about Sting and his trials to get to the top.

They say that the only thing that all successful people have in common is that they never gave up. Sting didn’t and ended up succeeding beyond his wildest dreams – we should all be so lucky.

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