The secret Policeman
It has been 32 years since he left The Police but Henry Padovani still gets asked questions about the famous band behind hits such as Roxanne and Every Breath You Take. The 57-year-old founding member of The Police says he is still in touch with members of the band – Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers – which broke up in 1984.
In fact, he tells Life! that he played a part in the band’s decision to get back together for their reunion tour in 2007.
The Corsican guitarist, who is playing at Crazy Elephant blues bar tonight, says that he was recording his new album that year when he invited drummer Copeland to play on one of the tracks titled Welcome Home.
“Someone said Stewart would soound great on the track. So I rang him up and he asked if I’d called Sting, so I called him too and said, ‘Shall we get it together?'” They recorded the track together and six months later The Police reformed, The band went on a blockbuster world tour which grossed over US$340, making it the third-highest grossing tour of all time.
He even got to play with the band when they performed at the Stade Francais in Paris. He recalls: “Sting told me, ‘You should be part of this.'”
There were no hard feelings between the two even though it was Sting who suggested that he leave The Police after Andy Summers joined the group.
Padovani says: “We’re still friends. When Sting is in France , he’ll ring me up and we’ll go to see a football or tennis match.”
After he left the band, he enjoyed a diverse music career. He formed The Flying Padovanis in 1980 and they released two albums of instrumental rock to modest success. They broke up in 1982 but re-formed in 2007 for the album Three for Trouble and a tour last year. He also became vice-president of IRS records and manager of Italian rock singer Zucchero, who has sold over 10 million albums.
The divorced father of two has also jammed with The Clash and still recieves Christmas cards from B.B. King.
Now on a solo tour of Asia, he will play classical French rock with an acoustic and electric guitar at his gig tonight. The Arts House will also screen a documentary on his life, Rock N Roll Of Corse, by French director Lionel Guedj. It traces his career from the Police to the present.
Looking back at his life, would he trade everything he has for the career of The Police? He replies: “No I wouldn’t trade anything. I’m very happy. With fame, the bigger you are, the harder you fall.”