STING has vowed not to play any more private concerts for Russian oligarchs following the invasion of Ukraine. However, some have wondered why he did them in the first place. Here he explains.
I wanted to spread my message of peace, hope and, er, walking on the moon
Listen to my lyrics closely and it’s impossible not to become a better, nobler person. I believed I should take my songs directly to the people who most needed to hear them, the evil oligarchs. Granted it’s not worked so far but my lyrics are subtle, they take a while to sink in.
I like playing small-scale intimate concerts, they’re more real
Sometimes the whole thing of playing to 20,000 people in some megadome or stadium gets you down. You don’t feel that connection with real human beings. Playing unplugged in a room with just a tiny, intimate group of billionaires and their family and friends, well, it’s just more spiritual.
At least in Russia I’m not a figure of fun
Listen, what do you think it’s like to google the words ‘Sting’ and ‘wanker’ and have 5,739,212 search results come up? At least these Russian guys regard me as a blond God. Also none of them have seen the 1984 version of Dune, which is a blessed relief at the moment.
If I didn’t play these gigs, they’d go to Ed Sheeran
I mean, that’d be worse, surely? No one wants to hear Sheeran singing crap like ‘Galway Girl’ when I could share my finely-crafted lyrics like ‘He starts to shake and cough/ Just like the old man in that book by Nabakov’.
I was down to my last £150 million
What with streaming services and all these new acts with their R&B and K-Pop, my earnings have dwindled alarmingly. I had to take these gigs. If my fortune sank to below £100 million, can you imagine the pisstaking from Bono down at the Self-Important Old Rock Twats Club?