Libertines’ Gary Powell Recalls Embarrassing Himself In Front Of Sting

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The Libertines drummer Gary Powell recently shared his embarrassing moment with the Police frontman Sting in an interview with NME. Powell indicated he felt like being ‘thrown under the earth’ at that moment.

The frontmen Carl Barât and Pete Doherty introduced Gary Powell to The Libertines as the new drummer in 2001. Although the band’s initial success was not very encouraging, they became part of the garage rock revival and encouraged this genre’s popularization in the UK. Powell contributed to the band with his drumming for three years until their first split.

The drummer appeared on New York Dolls’ reunion shows in 2004. He also played in various festivals and once shared the same stage with Red Hot Chili Peppers. Later, Powell continued with the indie rock band Dirty Pretty Things, fronted by the former Thee Libertines member Carl Barât. He contributed to the band’s success in the first album, ‘Waterloo To Anywhere,’ which debuted at number 3 on the UK Albums chart. The drummer also appeared with his band on various occasions, including award ceremonies.

As he revealed in a recent interview, he had an embarrassing incident with Sting in one of those events. Powell stated that there were some disputes during the ceremony, and suddenly everybody disappeared. While the drummer was spending time with Love’s Arthur Lee, the singer told him to ask for a job from Sting, pointing at his table.

After Love’s vocalist convinced him, Gary Powell went to Sting’s table and introduced himself. While trying to ask for a job, Lee started laughing loudly while looking at him. As the rocker noted, he felt like he was thrown under the earth by the vocalist at that moment. He incredibly felt embarrassed because of Lee’s laugh and the glimpses from Sting’s table.

Gary Powell said the following about his memory:

“Years ago, I went to an awards ceremony with Dirty Pretty Things. I’d not long been drumming with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers by then – in fact, our first proper meeting was when their guitarist John Frusciante nearly ran me over in LA! Anyway, I’d recently been to a festival where I and Arthur Lee from Love and actor Jason Schwartzman spent the entire day on the tour bus talking nonsense and missed all the acts playing.”

He added:

“Back to the Award’s ceremony: this is a time when Carl Barât was taking the piss constantly out of Americans, and the Chili Peppers got pissed off with him, so everybody disappeared. So I went to hang out with Arthur Lee, who pointed at Sting’s table and said, ‘Go ask Sting for a job,’ convincing me it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I walked over to his table and said: ‘Hi, Mr. Sting. My name’s Gary. I’m a drummer in a band called Dirty Pretty Things. I really like your stuff, and if you ever need a drummer….’  Before I could even finish the sentence, I glimpsed Arthur Lee out of the corner of my eye, killing himself laughing. He threw me under the earth, let alone the bus! I was crushed by both that and the looks of bemusement coming from Sting’s table. That’s why I don’t introduce myself to people. It’s easier just to get naked and stand there!”

Between 2016 and 2019, Powell continued his music career as a touring drummer of the ska band the Specials, replacing the late John Bradbury. He also has his own record label named 25 Hours Convenience Store.