Article "Police Portraits"

[Updated: January 20, 2000]

Andy Summers' photobook Throb Title: Police Portraits
Author: ?
From: Smash Hits (?)
Date: 1983


A life on the road drove Police guitarist Andy Summers to buy a decent camera and start capturing some of his private moments. Debbi Voller asks him why he calls his collection Throb.

Andy Summers' sense of humour is dry, not slapstick; his conversation, rather heavy. He finds it hard to talk about his book of pictures in simple terms, the same way that he finds it hard to take a simple picture. Throb is a collection of black and white situations and portraits, with the odd naked body and hint of sex. Pictures to make you look, and look again. And that's a curious title, isn't it? Throb! "I like one-word titles and evocative words . . . throb baby! It's tongue-in-cheek, sexual. Sex is part of rock and roll. "A lot of the pictures are taken from life. Mostly shot on the road during the last three years touring America. They portray my life, or the life of someone like me. "I look for moments, ironic moments in my life, funny ones. Some are deliberately set up - like the shot of a pair of trousers lying under a door, with shoes on, but there's no person inside them. Or the one of the toilet roll stretching along a hall with the word HELP written on it. "It's finding moments of chaos, humour and weirdness, and they're mainly on the road. It's not just a collection of nice pictures, they are fairly thematic. "I've been taking photographs for four years now. I was just an average snap shotter at first because music took all my time. Then one day I bought a good camera and as I was travelling and being surrounded by cameras myself, I started studying photography and images. "My sense and taste got more and more refined, in the same way that you learn to play music really There's a great parallel. "I use an SLR camera and I'm totally self-taught. Anyone can learn to make an exposure, but it's more than technique, you've got to have the right eye and mind. "I've considered doing an offbeat Police book and there are some pictures of Sting and Stewart in this book, but l've taken so many pictures of them. I want to leave music behind! "I want to do another book but it's very time-consuming. I've written all the little anecdotes in Throb but they don't explain the pictures. They're anecdotes from life on the road which point out what the book's about." Well, it all becomes clear once you take a look at the book. Honest!

Throb is published by Sidgwick & Jackson, 7.95.

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