Two-thirds of the Police -- guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland -- will be reunited on Sunday to talk about their role in Amnesty International’s benefit concerts at the world premiere of “Released!” a new concert film with highlights from two AI tours and two other individual benefit shows from 1986 to 1998.
Strictly by coincidence, the third member of the trio — Sting — happens to be in the area to perform Monday, Nov. 4, at Magicopolis in Santa Monica, but there’s no word on whether he could join his former band mates at the screening.
“Released!” includes performances by U2, Bruce Springsteen, the Police, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Lou Reed, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez and many others, and has been created in conjunction with the release on Tuesday, Nov. 5, of a six-DVD set of four films highlighting each of those events.
The vast majority of footage captured at those concerts has never been officially released for home video. Simultaneously, a two-CD set of music culled from those shows is being released on Tuesday, and proceeds from sales of the DVD and CD packages will benefit Amnesty International’s efforts on behalf of political prisoners around the world.
In addition to Sunday’s appearances by Summers and Copeland, AI USA board chair Ann Burroughs and executive director Steven Hawkins will participate with Martin Lewis, the English producer and humorist who, as co-creator and producer of "The Secret Policeman's Ball" benefit series in the 1970s and 1980s that featured Pete Townshend, Sting, Bob Geldof and others, instigated Amnesty's outreach to the rock community.
Sunday’s screening begins at 3 p.m. at American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. In addition to the "Released!" concert film, there will be a screening of three other films: a new 40-minute documentary, "Light A Candle!" tracing the history of the benefit series featuring specially-filmed new interviews with Springsteen, Sting, Bono, Peter Gabriel and Pete Townshend; the theatrical premiere of "The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights," an animated film featuring music written for the project by David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Danny Elfman and Mark Mothersbaugh, and Peter Gabriel's home movie of the 1986 tour "Witness To A Conspiracy," including cameos from all the touring artists plus Robbie Robertson, Dave Stewart, Bonnie Raitt and others.
More information: www.HumanRightsConcerts.com.
A full report on the “Released!” home video project is coming soon in Calendar.
Meanwhile, here’s an exclusive clip of Sting discussing how and why the Police reunited for the 1986 Amnesty International shows and confessing that the group felt “a bit rusty” going into that event.
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2