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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF PHOTOGRAPH. Should be a photo taken at that concert, or a ticket stub scan, or something similarly identifying of the event.
Performance summary
Artist performing: Sting
Tour: 1981 The Secret Policeman's Other Ball performances
Venue: The Theatre Royal
Location: London, England, UK
Support acts: SUPPORT ACTS
Ticket prices: TICKET PRICES

On 1981-09-09, Sting performed at The Theatre Royal in London, England, UK.


Sting performed two solo songs each night: Roxanne and Message In A Bottle

He also joined the all star band The Secret Police at the end of each concert to perform I Shall Be Released.

Recording information

The shows were filmed by Julian Temple. The movie The Secret Policeman's Other Ball was released in 1982.

In 1982 selected tracks were released on an LP called The Secret Policeman's Other Ball / The Secret Policeman's Concert (depending on the country).


The Secret Policeman's Other Ball was the fourth of Amnesty International's fund-raising comedy galas (which were started in 1976 by John Cleese).

Sting was approached by producer Martin Lewis and agreed to perform on all four scheduled shows.

The audience was aware that there would be musical guests at this comedy gala, but the organizers did not announce which musicians would be appearing.

When Sting was about to perform he was positioned in the middle of the empty stage. He would begin to sing Roxanne and just then he would be hit by a spotlight. The effect on the audience was amazing.

John Strudwick remembers:

"I was the music producer for the Secret Policemans Other Ball organised by John Cleese in 1981.

On this show I got to record Sting, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, Bob Geldof and Phil Collins, and even Donovan. On the first day of the show, we were trying to keep our “top star” a secret and as I was getting through the backstage mass of people, I saw someone with a crash helmet on trying to get in but was having trouble with his pass.

None of the press realised, but I saw it was Sting, and quickly organised it for him to get in OK. So we got to know each other then. We also had to work together to get the right pictures and sounds for the albums, video and the film.

There were no official rehearsals. We got a running list every morning. It was chaos! Maybe the artists did their own thing, but there was no time or space with so many different acts.

We recorded the musicians every day except day two as Jeff and Eric couldn’t make it in that day.

I really don’t remember which days were used, it is too long ago. I remember doing a special mix for Anne Nightingale for the Old Grey Whistle Test, but the rest is a blur.

Martin Lewis claimed the term “producer” for the overall show and film, but I was totally in charge of the live and recorded sound.

I had done a fair bit of work with Martin up to that date – he managed Alexei Sayle and worked with the Comic Strip guys. I worked more closely with John Cleese on a day to day basis during the show.

We used the Rack Mobile outside with engineer Tim Summerhayes. Remixes were done at Basing Street Studio and Abbey Road number 3. We used computers a lot in mixing and re-synching the film to the music. The film was one of the first to have its sound mixed in a real rock and roll studio and then got synched up to the film. I even ended up cutting film up myself to help get all the edits to match the music, as we had to trim the length of tracks and comedy.

The film made number 3 in the box office and I believe although we never released Roxanne as a single (since as a charity show, you couldn’t favour one artist) , the airplay 45 inch sampler of Roxanne was the most requested song on many radio stations for weeks."

See also

External links

This section needs more information.


sources: the book The Secret Policeman's Other Ball, booklet of the 10th anniversary reissue CD The Secret Policeman's Concert, John Strudwick

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