Sunday, May 6, 2012

So Lonely (The Police)

I went to see The Police in 1979. It was kind of in the midst of the whole punk/new wave thing, and at that time, The Police were a punk/new wave band. And that was why they were playing at the Hotel Diplomat in Times Square.

Sting at the Hotel Diplomat © Sheri Lynn Behr

Now for those of you who've been to Times Square lately, it was very, very different back then. Not exactly where you'd want to be late at night, or, for that matter, during the day. And The Diplomat was not exactly The Four Seasons. Or even a Days Inn. But it had a ballroom, with a stage in the middle (actually a platform that came up to about your waist) and they put on live shows.

The Police at the Hotel Diplomat © Sheri Lynn Behr

Now in the early eighties The Police became one of the biggest bands in the world. Not when I saw them. Their first album, Outlandos d'Amour had come out in 1978, and when they played The Diplomat, Roxanne was getting some airplay. But that didn't mean people showed up. I think maybe there were about 50 at the show, milling around in that big space. So it was easy to stand by the stage and shoot, and that's what I did. No mosh pit, no photo pit. It was a great place to shoot.  I do wish I had photographed the audience but really, in those days, magazines only wanted shots of the band, not the crowd. And who knew that this band would go on to be that huge?


  1. Sheri,

    Would you happen to have taken any pictures of that ballroom before or after the Sting show? Or for that matter any where in the Diplomat Hotel besides just the concert perhaps. I'm trying to collect as many interior photos of the past Diplomat Hotel as I can get of find! If you read or receive this at some point. Will you email me @ Love to hear from ya!
    I would also like to hear your story when you first walked in the door of the Diplomat and what you saw and thought. Other than 42 & 43rd street being sex sleazy ghetto area at that time in the 70's & 80's.

  2. Sheri,

    If you google The Life and times of the New York Elks Lodge #1 and the Diplomat Hotel you can view the historical work and pictures of that building when it was a ghetto area and it was a brand new building back in 1910-1911. Their is video of Karla Daveto & David Johansen from the New York Dolls performing in the grand ballroom of the Diplomat Hotel you can check out if you were into those bands at the time!
    It's worth the viewing!


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