“Andy brought something to the table – money was to be made”: Original Police guitarist on getting fired in favour of Andy Summers

“Things had been good; now there were arguments.”

Andy Summers and Henry Padovani

Image: Getty Images

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Original Police guitarist Henry Padovani has opened up about getting fired from the band after the arrival of Andy Summers.

Padovani – who was dismissed from The Police less than a year into their run – told Guitar World that the members were split on their vision for the band after Summers had entered the picture.

“It became apparent that there was a Stewart-and-me camp and a Sting-and-Andy camp, both going in different directions,” he explains.

Recounting his last gig with the band, Padovani says, “Things had been good; now there were arguments. At the last gig we did in Mont-de-Marsan, Andy and I argued about an amplifier and who would use it. I let it go and let Andy use the ‘good’ amp.”

“After that gig, we found ourselves in the studio with [Velvet Underground’s] John Cale, recording Visions of the Night. John had an argument with Andy about the solo because John wanted me to do it, but Andy argued that he was a better player. And then John let Andy do it, but insisted that Andy do it with my guitar and use my amp. It was horrible.”

Padovani adds that he was notified about his dismissal after the session with Cale: “Sting and I went to my place, and he told me the next gig in Germany would not include me.,” he recalls. “But such is life. Everything had a good end, and The Police went to blow away the world. It was all for a reason.”

Asked if it was true that Summers had issued an ultimatum for the band to choose between him or Padovani, the guitarist replies: “Perhaps he did, perhaps he didn’t. But the split cannot be boiled down to a problem between Andy and me. Those three became the biggest band in the world, and so whatever happened was the right thing to happen.”

“All that happened is part of that success. I always felt I was part of it in a positive way, but all I know is what Sting told me that night after the John Cale session. Andy brought something to the table: money was to be made, and Sting told me the concept. I got it right away and went back to see my family.”

“If there was an ultimatum, it wasn’t made to me. But maybe Andy didn’t want to confront me. Maybe it wasn’t for him to do. I never held resentment. With The Police, Andy found a great sound that he never had before.”

And while one might wonder what a Padovani-Summers Police would have sounded like, the musician says that he’s not one to dwell on what-ifs: “Things happened the way they did, and that’s perfectly fine,” he says. “I never felt like I missed out. I did what I did, and I’m pleased with how things turned out for me.”

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