Far from a young punk-rocker stepping directly into the limelight with his first band, Summers’ back story reveals an extremely dedicated musician who parlayed years of classical and jazz guitar studies infused with blues, rock, and soul into recordings and roadwork with major U.K. acts Zoot Money’s Big Band, the Animals, Kevin Coyne, and the Soft Machine, and accomplished all of this over a decade before joining Sting and Stewart Copeland to cement what would become perhaps the world’s most popular musical group since the Beatles.
The Police—Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings collects every recording issued by the band up until their implosion in 1986. By the time the Police would reunite in 2007, Summers had contributed to the scores of ten films (2010, Down & Out in Beverly Hills, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Mississippi Masala among them), released a whopping 15 solo albums that run the gamut from moody and esoteric world fusion to a collection of Thelonious Monk tunes (including XYZ , Mysterious Barricades , The Golden Wire , Synathestesia , The Last Dance of Mr. X , Green Chimneys , Earth & Sky , plus I Advance Masked  and Bewitched , both recorded with Robert Fripp before the Police officially broke up), guested on an additional ten projects, toured internationally, and dueted in 2005 with classical guitarist Ben Verdery (First You Build a Cloud). Post-Police and reunion releases include several best-of compilations, Live (1995), and 2008’s Certifiable: Live in Buenos Aires. Summers is also an avid photographer who exhibits his work around the world, as well as an accomplished author. His books include Throb (1983),