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1979 03 28 receipt Kim Turner.jpg
a receipt signed by Kim Turner - picture used with permission
Performance summary
Artist performing: The Police
Tour: 1978-1979 Outlandos d'Amour Tour
Venue: Hullabaloo
Location: Rensselaer, NY, USA
Support acts: The Units
Ticket prices: TICKET PRICES

On 1979-03-28, The Police performed at Hullabaloo in Rensselaer, NY, USA.


"This section needs more information."

Recording information

"This section needs more information."


The club was actually in Rensselaer, NY one mile across the Hudson River from Albany, but for all intents and purposes, it was called "Hullabaloo, Albany". The Units opened for The Police on the March '79 show. They were a pretty popular, relatively newly formed, and relatively musically adventurous local band, in the process of growing from a cover band to an original band. Band members were Steve Cohen on bass, Val Haynes - vocals, Todd Nelson - guitar, Doug White - guitar and keyboards, Al Kash - drums. The Police had started to get airplay on what was then a great local radio station, WQBK-FM. As people who went out and bought lots of new records, and as avid readers of magazines like NME, The Units knew all about The Police and were very interested in seeing them. They had read that The Police were into Little Feat (one of their favorite bands) and couldn't wait to see a band that looked punk but played well. The Units were given the opportunity to open the show for them, in part because they had their own local following. They were also asked to help find an Eventide Harmonizer for The Police, which they managed to do. The Police arrived in the afternoon, as did The Units. It was just the three band members, Kim Turner, and a roadie named Dave. Andy Summers had a custom-made effect pedal board, the first that the support act had ever seen.

The Police's set was short but great. Sting hit most of the high notes, but they ran out of material and had to repeat at least one song by the end of the set. They watched The Unit's opening set and were really taken by them, telling them that they were the best band that had opened for them. The Police (presumably Stewart Copeland) told Ian Copeland about The Units, which was the beginning of their near brush with fame and fortune. When The Police came back in October (1979-10-03), both bands spent a lot of time backstage.

It should also be noted that the Hullabaloo had a leopard, who used to walk around backstage and hang out in the apartment that served as a dressing room. Sting was not happy about this leopard at all.

Ian Copeland took The Units on as a client of his booking agency FBI. Over the next two years or so, they would open shows for Squeeze, XTC, Iggy Pop, The Psychedelic Furs, The Specials, The English Beat, The Jam, Ultravox, and numerous others.

Shortly after The Police's second Hullabaloo concert, in October 1979, Miles Copeland called Steve Cohen. He'd heard very positive things about the band and wanted to figure out what he could do with them. He arranged to have Glen Tilbrook produce a demo of The Units, but Squeeze had some last minute problem making Glen unvailable, and Kim Turner wound up producing it. The results weren't so great. The Units weren't really developed enough, and Kim at least at that point was not the producer they needed. Eventually they recorded their own record and Miles released it on his label Faulty Products (having changed their band name to Fear of Strangers by then), but they were fish out of water on what was essentially a punk label. And the rest is history, or the lack thereof...

Steve Cohen went from seeing The Police at the Hullabaloo one fall to seeing them at Madison Square Garden not long after. At least he got free tickets from the Copelands! And then he saw them again at Bonnaroo in 2007. It was quite an experience for him to see them in that venue and think back 28 years to when he first saw them play.

Steve Cohen is now an artist manager, and his client DJ Spooky is a friend of Stewart Copeland.

Stewart Copeland's diary lists this as "Albany NY - The Madison".

See also

This section needs more information.

External links



sources: Stewart Copeland's diary, The Police: A Visual Documentary by Miles, Steve Cohen (from The Units)

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