THE SUNDAY TIMESJanuary 01, 2000
The following article by Danny Scott appeared in a January 2000 issue of The Sunday Times magazine...
A life in the day of Sting...
I'm usually out of bed by about 6.30. My Dad was a milkman, so early mornings have never been a problem. First stop is the steam room, it's better than a bath or a shower. I don't like soaps and I don't use anything like shampoo or deodorant. I have a wash but I hate to smell like a product - I actually like my own smell. Then I clean my teeth, wipe my arse and get ready for a few hours of Yoga. I've been doing it for 10 years now, and I can do things with my body at 48 I couldn't do when I was 20. I try to meditate at the end of each session. It sets me up for the day. You have to work at it though. You try sitting in the same position for five minutes, never mind 45!
Breakfast always comes after yoga. Today I had fresh fruit salad and carrot juice. I don't go for the full English unless I'm feeling a bit homesick. When you're touring in America for six months, you need a dose of Englishness to keep you sane. I only flew in from the house in Italy last night but already I miss Trudie and the kids. My sister, Helen, has been staying with me at my old house in Highgate, but it feels very empty. We've owned it for about 12 years - we bought it off Yehudi Menuhin. It's got lots of good memories.
Today is a "work" day, my first for quite a while. I had a couple of newspaper interviews and then I'm doing the Des O'Connor show. I don't think the Police would have done Des, but I quite like him. And 9M people get to hear the new single, which isn't bad. I needed some new clothes for Des's show, so I had a stylist come round at about 9am. I bought a suit - some trousers and a pair of boots that look like old football boots.
The interviews started at 10am. English journalists are far more phlegmatic than the Italian ones. On the Continent they treat you with a kind of reverence, but here they just think: 'Oh, it's that bloody Sting again.' Most journalists seem to ask me the same questions the world over. They put a shape to my life and they think I'm going to slot neatly inside. To be honest though, I'm way past caring how people perceive me. It's their problem.
My housekeeper, Maria made me some fish for lunch. We have a housekeeper and a butler in Italy, too. Well, it's not like Jeeves and Wooster, he just answers the door. Trudie and I are quite sociable people. Some nights in Italy we might have 30 or 40 people over for dinner. I never cook. I'm terrible. The last time was about 1974 - baked beans, I think. Today has been quite strange, inasmuch as I've not had to step into the real world. After lunch, I jumped into a record company car and went to the television studio. I don't get too nervous about performing these days, but there's always a bit of "pre-match tension". I can still remember the first time the Police did Top of the Pops. We played 'Can't Stand Losing You'. No matter how rich or how famous you get, you never replace that feeling of seeing yourself on TV for the first time.
After Des, I'll grab a sandwich in the dressing room, then I'm flying back to Italy. I should be back at the house at about 11-ish. If the kids are off school and staying with us, the first thing I'll do is go and see them while they're asleep. We had a great summer in Tuscany last year, but once they're back at school and I'm on tour, things become a lot more regimented. I still feel very guilty about being away for so long, so I make the most of the time we spend together. I don't like bad behaviour, but I let them get away with things because I don't want to cause a bad scene. I can't stand conflict. People tell me I'm a good father, but I can't help but feel there must be a few drawbacks to having Sting as your dad. Imagine all your mates coming up to you at school and asking for your dad's autograph!
I'll probably have a quick drink with Trudie just before I go to bed. We've got a 1950's bar installed in the house, with proper cocktail shakers and bottle openers. I always play the barman at parties - "Yes, sir. What can I get you?" That's one of the great things about this job, you can indulge yourself a little bit.
There's a nice balance to my life today and I'm just sad my parents aren't around to enjoy it. I never got on that well with them. They loved me and I loved them, but we found it difficult to communicate. I don't think they could get their heads round what I was doing with my life. Nobody in our street had been a pop star before. They died within nine months of each other in the late '80s, just when we were beginning to understand each other a bit more. It's very natural for a child to leave it's parents, go and do something with its life, then come back home. I was on my way back home. I was on my way back, but we never managed to achieve that... that closure. I regret that.
I'll certainly be in bed before midnight. I hope I dream tonight. I had a great one the other night. I met up with my dad and we had a wonderful chat about life. I woke up feeling very much at peace with the world. Tonight, like most nights, I'll lie awake wondering "How the hell did I get here?" I'm worried that one of these days this giant hook's going to appear out of nowhere and yank me back to reality. "Sorry, Sting, your times' up." If it did all end tomorrow, I'd like to think I could still get on with life. As long as I got to keep my family, I'd be happy. Well, perhaps one of the houses too. And maybe an estate!
© The Sunday Times magazine