Here are some rare photos that offer new views into Andy's equipment. I am most grateful to those who gave me permission to use these photos.
Here is a picture of The Police touring in support of "Regatta De Blanc". Look to the left of Andy. Against the wall are his two, "modified" 100-watt Marshall half-stack amplifiers he used throughout all his career with the Police. The cabinets are 4 X 12's, but Andy never knew what speakers were in them because his roadie was changing them all the time. Andy used both of them at "half-volume, with not alot of presence," according to June 1983's issue of Musician magazine.
You can also see his Aria Pro guitar on a stand in front of the amplifiers. Sitting on the table in front of Andy is an "Echoplex" tape-delay machine, with a glass of water standing by. Andy, of course, is playing his '63 Telecaster Custom.
Here another shot from the same concert above.
the Aria Pro,
and two glasses of water
Four of Andy's guitars sitting around. This shot is probably from the "Ghost In The Machine" sessions. The guitars are, from left to right:
- 1957 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top - 1963 Telecaster Custom - 1958 Gibson ES-335 - 1961 Red Fender Stratocaster
By the time "Sychronicity" was recorded, Andy was using Dean Markley strings gauged .010, 013, .017, .026, 036 and .048. Before that he was using lighter strings, but "because I spend a lot of time practicing on acoustic guitar, electric guitars are just too light for me," he told Musician magazine in June 1983.
When Jas Obrecht of Guitar Player magazine asked Andy about what slides he used on the "Next To You " and "It's Alright For You" solos, Andy gave these comments:
"I had some very heay brass slides made specially in England. You couldn't buy them. They're quite big. I like them because you get alot more tone out of them."
Andy and Sting warming up. Sting is playing what looks like Andy's Martin D-28, but at first glance it looks like an old hollow-body. Andy is playing his '63 Telecaster Custom, and sitting next to him is one of his Roland G-303's. Andy's G-303's had special menus written on the controls for easier tone coloring. Look at this one and you make out one of the menus.
A good view of a custom Pete Cornish pedalboard similar to Andy's. To make these pedalboards, Pete Cornish would take apart the player's pedals and rewire them into one huge unit, like this. The pedal controls would then be placed at the top while footswitches would be at the bottom. The board has a master effects on and off button, so you can preprogram effects together without having any effects on, then just hit one button and have them all come on together. Endless possibilities, indeed.
Andy's daughter proudly showing off her dad's awesome '63 Telecaster Custom. This picture was taken around 1980-81. In the background you can clearly see Andy's two modified Marshall half-stacks.
Update: From David Maxson comes this helpful info...
'...the smaller amps stacked to the side of his Marshall stacks are Mesa Boogie Mark
II's, probably Mark II-C's. They were typically loaded with EV speakers and are known to be brutally loud - their
small size is definately misleading !!!
Boogies were used extensively by The Who, Rolling Stones, Santana, Dave
Edmunds, and many others during the late 70's and 80's.'
Check this out. This shot was taken during the "Ghost In The Machine" Tour. Andy's pedalboard can be seen, as well as a bit of his Marshall amps. You can see the back of Andy's '63 Telecaster- the black spot is where the preamp is sellotaped. Sting's arm is in a sling because he got in an accident during a film shoot- best friend Danny Quatrochi is standing in on bass!
Last but not least, we have a junkyard of guitars that Andy owns. This photo was taken during the "Sychronicity II" video shoot. You can spot his banjo, an SG, and even more of his most bizarre guitars. Proof that Andy is a guitar maniac.
By Greg Danielak - 2000