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An Ordinary Tuesday?

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008
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Inside Thirteen blogger: Neal Shapiro, President

It looked like my usual Tuesday morning:

8:00 a.m.: Dropped my son off at school.

8:30 a.m.: Breakfast meeting with someone interested in our new international news program.

9:30 a.m.: Meeting about Great Performances.

10:30 a.m.: Senior managers’ meeting.

12:30 p.m.: Meeting with Mayor Bloomberg and Sting.

WHAT!? BLOOMBERG AND STING?

That’s right. At a press conference at 1 p.m. in Times Square, Mayor Bloomberg, Sting and the Police announced their very last concert ever in NYC. The proceeds from the concert will be donated to our public television stations, Thirteen and WLIW, and they will also fund planting 10,000 trees in NYC.

I was there to represent Thirteen and to thank Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers for their generosity. My colleague, Terrel Cass, president of WLIW, was also there.

We gathered just off Times Square while we waited for the mayor. Perhaps you were wondering if The Police were one of those bands who travel with a huge entourage and keep to themselves.

In fact, they were very approachable and friendly. They patiently posed for pictures, including a few with the real police as we chatted about life on the road.


Sting and Neal Shapiro

I asked if they had a chance to enjoy the different cities they visited. Stewart said that life on the road is a blur and even if you are in a great city, they are often too exhausted to enjoy it. “Better to go back when you have more time,” he said. “though I always love New York.”

I asked Andy if they always played the same set…if they ever decided to sing in a different order. He said the band might like to do that on occasion, but there are all kinds of lighting and stage cues involved in each song, so making a change on the fly is very difficult.

Finally, I told Sting that my wife and I had seen him on his recent tour and I was struck by how much he invited the audience to sing along with him, often times stopping a verse in the middle so the audience could complete the song. “Well, mate,” he said, “just means less singing for me!”

By now, you may be saying, “Enough with the backstage banter. Where is the concert? How do I get tickets?”

Well, we are still working all that out. So, as we say in tv, stay tuned.


  • Jose Menacho Galiano

    Hi Mr. Shapiro!

    Here is Jose, from Lima-Peru – South America.

    I am so proud that my all time favorite rock band, “The Police”, is involved in this type of initiatives that helps Planet Earth. Also like a peruvian citizen and heir of the Inca’s culture and amazon rainforest territory is so amazing that a rock band promote the taking care of our own environment. Some people really knows that enhance our knowledge is in the way to learn about the fragility of Earth. Originary people and culture that lives in contact with nature are the hardest guardians of this ecological knowledge. I am thinking in non-contacted people of the deepest rainforest, the rainforest tribes like Kayapos in Brazil or Shipibos in Peru, and many more, also that Quechua and Aymara people that lives into the high highlands Andes of Peru, who safe and maintain ancient Inca phylosophie well-known like andean cosmovision that involves “Mother Earth”, Sun and Universe. All those really brave people perhaps helps us, into the western society, to understand the real meaning of “Love” that include sending and receiving love from people to people, respect nature, making efforts to promote healthy life, working in harmmony with nature to produce the best for people, saving rainforest and environment like part of our own personal universe.

    “The Police” is for me a band, that produce my own soundtrack, filling me up by their smart lyrics, beats, chords and melodies. Nowadays, with the announce of their final show, involves on me diverse reactions, thanksfull for be part of my life, thanks for inspired me by their songs and actions in the way to respect people and environmment diversity, but also a bit of sad for their final act.

    Last year I saw them for the very first time in Chile -away from my land Peru-, waving my own flag, receiving in reciprocity their salute from the same stage, or waiting an announce that never came for making a concert in Peru. “The Police” told that playing their final show in NY is like close the circle they opened 30 years before in 1978… Also I need to close my own circle with “The Police”, but perhaps being a citizen of the bad considered “Third World” could be the main difficulty to get a visa to USA or flying to New York for ending my own chapter with “The Police”. I dreamming to represent Peru like a devoted fan, waving my flag, dancing and singing with my band and worlwide fans… Hope it happen in real life, if not in spirit and soul.

    Also, great initiative of “The Police” to donate incomes to Public TV Stations of USA for producing cultural and educational programms. You know media is one of the main roots people takes to be educated and if it brings to people the correct information and entertainment, we also helps part of the world into the correct way.

    Regards from Lima – Peru,

    Jose (“One World-Not Three” The Police)