In the late 1970s, I lived in Wimbledon, in south-west London. (The place where they have the Tennis tournament every year.)
I used to frequent a record shop locally, and buy new singles and albums. The owner got to know me well, and would always suggest a new release that he thought I might like. One day, he played me a new single from a band called The Police. I didn’t know much about them, and neither did he. But I agreed that it was my type of song. Something different, with powerful lead vocals, and a great beat. So I told him to include it in the bag of records I had already bought.
The following week, I bought a best-selling music newspaper, the New Musical Express. There was no Internet then of course, and other than radio and TV chart shows, such journals were the only way to read the background to what was happening in the music business. I was surprised to discover that The Police was fronted by an Englishman, Gordon Sumner, who liked to go by the irritatingly pretentious name of Sting. I had thought they must be American, from their sound. The drummer was an American, but the lead guitarist was English too.
The single didn’t appear in the charts until the following year, 1979, when it was released in America, then re-released in the UK. It made it into the top twenty, and the band were frequently seen on TV, and played on the radio. I was suitably smug, having owned the record long before it became popular.
As for The Police, the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
It’s still a great record though.