Twenty-nine years ago tomorrow – 5/16/79 – the Police played the long-gone Roxy club on Cass Street in Pacific Beach. Broadcast live on 101.5/KGB-FM, the performance was widely bootlegged, the most common version being San Diego d’Amour.
Several websites offer the entire bootleg, including dimeadozen.org, jimihendrixforever.blogspot.com, and rapidshare.com. One site, fisica.unlp.edu.ar/materias/FG1/tradelist/19790516a.txt, claims to have the first-generation radio-station reels. “This is from station tapes, logo on them and all, given to me by a station employee in 1998 [and] taken directly from their reel-to-reel.”
Two songs into a 13-song set, just before “So Lonely,” Sting tells the crowd, “Nice to be in San Diego. I thought it would be warm. It’s too cold for us.” Near the end of the night, during “Roxanne,” he announces, “You know we are live on the radio on KGB-FM 101.5, which makes it even more important that you sing and show all the folks out there what they missed.” The ensuing cheers peg the volume meters into distortion.
After the approximately one-hour set, Roxy operators were reportedly dismayed to find graffiti on the theater’s wall murals that included Marilyn Monroe and W.C. Fields. A brief article in the San Diego Union didn’t specify the nature of the messages, other than to say they were “amorous.” A theater worker was quoted saying, “We cleaned a lot of lipstick off Marilyn.”
– Jay Allen Sanford