The Police circa 1978.
A huge tip of my hat goes out to the excellent Boston-based music and culture blog Vanyaland and their equally excellent editor-in chief Michael Marotta for posting this previously unseen footage of The Police performing at legendary Boston club “The Rat” (or the Rathskeller if you prefer) back in 1978. The footage was captured during the band’s four-night stand at the Rat in October just before Halloween.
The legendary ‘Rathskeller.’
During the club’s heyday it played host to pretty much every band you’ve ever loved like Mission of Burma, Thin Lizzy, the Ramones, Sonic Youth, Talking Heads and the subjects of this post, The Police are just a few off the top of my head. Local rock and roll radio station WBCN (where yours truly got her start as an engineer and producer during the late 80s) was championing the single “Roxanne” from the band’s 1978 debut Outlandos d’Amour which was also rotating heavily on college radio airwaves. According to Jan Cocker who shot the footage, nobody—not the band themselves—has ever seen it. Until now. Shot with one camera using a low-light Cocker was able to piece the vintage footage of The Police performing “The Truth Hits Everybody” together and it is a blast to behold the future MTV superstars playing such a small room located deep in the heart of Boston’s once vibrant music scene. Nice.
The Police performing ‘The Truth Hits Everybody’ at ‘The Rat’ in Kenmore Square, 1978.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Incredible early Nirvana gig at a tiny East Coast goth club, 1990