America to Sting: Cancel the Fall Tour
Earlier this week, Sting announced his Back to Bass Tour, a series of intimate performances marking the 25th anniversary of his solo career (a boxed set, Sting: 25 Years, arrives on the 27th).
As long-time Sting detractors, we greeted this news with alarm - another year, another shitstorm of Sting merchandise and nauseating TMI interviews. When will this man go away?
Rather than resort to our usual tactics (scornful columns and whining to our friends), we decided to take decisive action and send Sting's management- the same people who sent us the breathless press release about Back to Bass - a request that Sting cancel the tour and retire instead.
As added inducement, we even offered Sting the remainder of our 401K account, a like-new ColecoVision gaming system, a stack of old Penthouse magazines, and a sincere vow to no longer mock him in writing.
Reps for Sting have yet to respond, but it got us wondering what other people might offer him to go away for good. Drawing on the full resources of Heard Mentality (i.e. our cousin Colin in Woodlawn Heights, NYC and our buddy Clint, currently driving across the U.S.), we cornered random Americans and asked them what they would contribute to our unofficial Stop Sting project.
Location: Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY
What would you offer Sting to cancel his upcoming tour?
"Hey, be nice. I like the guy. I like having him around. He's a comfort to see. I like that song he did 10 years back, the one with the harmonica [Brand New Day]."
"No, I'm just fucking with you. Sting? Come on! [laughs] Who cares about that guy? I never did. You know, I was into bands like The Ramones and The Dictators. I never paid much attention to guys who gave themselves their own nicknames. And isn't there some wrestler called Sting?"
Yes. But the Ramones used pseudonyms, too.
"Sure they did, but they were like Johnny Ramone and Joey Ramone, like they were all brothers or in the same gang. It was for fun. And there's never been a pro wrestler called The Ramone."
True. So back to the question. What would you offer Sting to pack it in and retire?
"Ah, fuck him, who cares about him. Change the channel and act like he doesn't exist."
Location: Chicago, IL
What would you offer Sting to retire?
"I'd give him my wife's car." (points to car in driveway)
That looks like a pretty new car.
"It is. It's a 2012 Ford Fusion and she loves it."
That must have set you back a few bucks. You'd give that up?
"If it means the next time I turn on the radio, log into I-tunes, or go to a bar with a jukebox, and there's no chance of any new music by Sting, yes. If it meant my wife and I had to share one car for a while, well, fine. Get rid of Sting."
That's very selfless of you.
"Can you make it happen? Or do you just ask strangers hypothetical questions?"
We just ask strangers hypothetical questions about Sting.
"Well maybe you should disappear, too."
Location: Long Island, NY
What would you offer Sting to retire?
"He'll never retire. The best you can hope to do is to distract him for a few months. Maybe you can give him a new cause to champion."
Like what? He's already spoken on behalf of everything.
"I don't know. Threaten to chop down those trees over there and maybe he'll chain himself to one. Has he done a benefit for global warming yet?"
Yeah, I think he's done a few of those already.
"Then nothing is gonna make him go away, and that's actually fine with me. I think he looks hot with a beard."
Location: Kern County, CA
What would you do or pay to make Sting cancel his tour?
"Why would I give Sting a damn thing?"
To make him go away, to force him into retirement.
"Listen, I like the idea of older men remaining relevant and in the workforce."
Fair enough, but -
"But I see your argument. I mean, Sting is pretty irritating, and he's been around for 30 years, which is long enough to make his point."
What do you think his point is?
"Save the whales, no nukes, is it that sort of thing? Or is he more, you know, contemporary? Rainforests, all of that?"
"His newer music is about rainforests?"
Yeah, and feelings, love, memories, etc.
So what would you pay to make him stop?
"Not a damn cent. But I could give him a job on my ranch to keep him busy. It's probably the hardest work he'd ever do in his life, and it would keep him out of the public eye."
How long would he last as a ranch hand?
"Not very long, but he'd find it more rewarding than singing Roxanne."
How long, specifically?
"I don't want to disrespect anyone here...two days."
But what if he ends up writing a record about the joys of manual labor? Like, what if he does a concept album about self-discovery through sweating it out in the sun all day? Wouldn't that be your fault?
"I guess it would be. Yes. Then I think your first suggestion, a payout, is the best choice."
"How am I supposed to put a dollar amount on that? Are you asking me how much he'd be worth if he was getting a severance package from the record industry?"
No. I mean, if money was no object and if you had every means at your disposal, legally of course, to make him go away...
"Oh, I see. Well forget paying him off. I'd just buy him his own little island. Yeah. I'd send him to Pitcairn Island."
"Go online and look it up. [laughs]"
Editor's note: "Pitcairn Island is a volcanic island located in the Southern Pacific Ocean measuring about 2 miles. With only about 50 inhabitants, it is the least populous jurisdiction in the world [and] is accessible only by boat" - Wikipedia