Guitarist Andy Summers was the one who wrote the instrumental “Behind My Camel” which was included in the 1980 Police album, Zenyatta Mondatta. The piece ended up winning the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1982, but Sting wasn’t enthusiastic about the song.
He wanted nothing to do with the song by going as far away and tried to bury the first tape to stop recording the song.
“I was always much more interested in weirder stuff,” Summers recently told Classic Rock.
“And the commercial hit songs always seemed to come out of Sting anyway. But we didn’t have enough songs to fill the album, and I had this ‘Behind My Camel’ thing. I said: ‘How about doing this then?’ And Sting said: ‘I’m not playing on that!’ I actually believe he did bury the tape in the garden. Stewart [Copeland, the Police’s drummer] was actually up for working on it, so I just played the bass.”
After touring for several months, the Police were supposed to go back in the studio to begin writing a new album in mid-1980.
“The entire industry was waiting for an album,” Sting recalled in the liner notes to a Zenyatta Mondatta reissue. “While I was writing it, I was getting messages from the record company saying retailers were waiting for it. I had this impression of thousands of people, cogs in a great system, waiting for this album and I was sitting there struggling. And I got caught up in it, frankly.”
Zenyatta Mondatta was a remarkable success beyond the board, becoming their first Top 5 record in the U.S., producing a pair of Top 10 hits: “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da.”
But it didn’t change the musician’s opinion about it. “Zenyatta was our most flawed record,” Sting noted. “Surprisingly, that was also the one that made us big.”
“I loved the irony,” said Summers. “I’m sure there was some smug self-satisfaction: ‘See? I f*cking told you!'”
Keep going for the instrumental piece below: