Outlandos d'Amour

New York City, NY, US
Sting from "Broken Music": ''From the outside, CBGB's, the famed New York club that spawned the Velvet Underground, Television, and the Talking Heads, looks like a cheap sideshow at a carnival. It's Friday night and the bums lounging in adjacent doorways seem unconcerned, preening themselves absently as the limo pulls up outside. I announce myself at the door, guitar case in hand, and am ushered into the gloom by an unsmiling girl wearing too much mascara and the weight of the world on her shoulders. The club is long and narrow and about a third full. A handful of people from the record company have turned up, although Miles was warned by one of the VPs in the promotion department that we would be wasting our time and not to bring us at all, as we wouldn't get any support. Miles coolly informed them that we wouldn't need any. So the audience is made up entirely by the indigenous population of the club and a few company stalwarts intrigued by our nerve and unusual independence. We had paid our own way on Sir Freddy Laker's airline offering a transatlantic crossing at sixty pounds a head. The others have been in the city a day or two, and they're buzzing with excitement. But if they're buzzing, I must be levitating, exhausted, delirious with jet lag and the swooning novelty of the city. Tonight I will give an out-of-body performance, yelling like a banshee, suspended above the stage like my own ghost, and the band playing with such ferocity that no one will be left in any doubt that we aren't here for good reason.''

Andy Summers from ''One Train Later'': ''On October 20, 1978, Sting and I fly to New York; Stewart is already there visiting his father. We arrive at around 10.30pm and are supposed to be on stage at midnight. Kim meets us at Kennedy and we drive hell leather into the city and straight into the Bowery. As we drive into Manhattan I have a slight sense of déjà vu. CBGB's is surrounded mostly by industrial buildings and places known in the United States as flophouses. The exterior atmosphere around the club is one of seediness and violence. In this part of New York the streets contain many derelict and homeless people; mugging - or jack rolling, as it's known - is commonplace. Started in 1974, CBGB's actually means country, bluegrass and blues, which was the favorite music of the owner, Hilly Kristal; but by the time of our appearance in 1978, it has become the shrine to punk and New Wave - a melting pot and laboratory to try out new music. With bands like Television, Blondie, the Talking Heads, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, the Heartbreakers, Patti Smith, and the Ramones, it has become a club with a pedigree. But physically, just like the clubs in London, it's not much more than a filthy hole. With graffiti everywhere, nowhere to change, a dressing room with no door and practically in the toilet, it's what we are used to and we start setting up our gear. I am renting Marshall cabinets for this tour but have brought along my Echoplex. We do a quick rough sound check in front of the audience and then are ready to go. No one there knows who we are, or have ever heard of us - we have to prove our worth, and knowing this makes us all the more determined to blow the audience away. We're tired from the long plane trip, but somehow New York comes in off the street to fill us with adrenaline and we play a hard and edgy set that rivets the audience, who haven't heard anything like it before. The Echoplex-reggae jams and Sting's high vocals cut through the tawdry atmosphere like a knife, and by the end of the first set the audience is on its feet and literally howling along with us. Despite the small numbers, it feels like a raging success.''