Sting lead singer with The Police talks about spending time in Ireland and how he got his nickname.

Formed in London in 1977, The Police are a new-wave band performing a blend of rock, reggae, jazz and punk.  

Sting (bass and lead vocals), Andy Summers (guitar) and Steward Copeland (drums and percussion) have recorded two chart-topping albums which produced a string of hit singles. The band completed their world tour this year. This interview features clips from one of their Miami concerts in 1979.  

Spending time in County Galway with his Belfast-born wife Frances Tomelty and their son, Sting has roots here himself, as his grandmother is Irish. He got his nickname when he was a teenager playing in bands in Newcastle, and that was the end of being known as Gordon Sumner,  

I used to wear a jumper rather like this it was black and yellow, like hoops and I looked like a wasp, so they called me Sting and it stuck.

The air in the west of Ireland is good for his creativity, as he has been working on new material for The Police and recording in a Dublin studio, which he describes as being of a very high standard. He is fully aware of the fickle nature of the music industry. 

There's a finite limit to how long a band lasts and I'm very aware of how transient the whole thing is. 

The Police have been enjoying international success for the past few years, but it seems to be a combination of the type of music they play and the type of music people like at the moment.  

We just happen to be very lucky I suppose.

Having long had the dream to make his living by playing music, Sting left his teaching job in Newcastle to pursue a full-time career in music, but never imagined that the band would be where they are today,  

Rather like winning the pools. You fill the pools in but you never expect to win really.

This episode of 'Summerhouse’ was broadcast on 8 July 1980. The reporter is Áine O’Connor. 

'Summerhouse' was a summer magazine series on RTÉ Television. First broadcast in the summer evening time slot on RTÉ 2 on 13 June 1979, it ran until to 1981. Other presenters and reporters were Liam Nolan and Vincent Hanly.