I used to go to the same yoga place as Sting. And I have to say he was a very nice guy, always with a genial hello, as if he was just a dude, and not in fact a really talented musician who used to be in the greatest band ever until he went solo and started opening himself up to occasionally deserved derision. At any rate, Sting did seem nice! So it was most gratifying to discover that he just refused to play Pasay’s SM Mall of Asia arena in the Philippines, upon discovering that plans for an expansion of the (already rather disgustingly enormous) property called for the destruction of 182 trees.
A group called Save 182 has been fighting this expansion, and apparently Sting got some letters from them, and was like, “Yeah, those people cutting down the trees are bad — let’s say I don’t help make them any more money and cancel my concert here!”
Amusingly, the folks who own the arena tried to avoid Sting’s cancellation by claiming that they have nothing to do with the folks who own the mall, except that the same people own both of them. Oh. Yeah. That doesn’t sound like such a big deal. After all, if my brother and I didn’t have the same parents, we wouldn’t even be related!
Anyway, these tree-hating mall-expanders can’t be terribly surprised at Sting’s reaction — he and his wife Trudie Styler founded the very pro-tree Rainforest Foundation. The second those earnest tree-loving people started writing Sting letters, those dudes should have seen the handwriting on the wall — it wasn’t like Sting was just going to be like, “Screw you, Save 182, and your dumb trees.” No. He reserves that sort of dismissive venom for his relationship with former bandmate, drummer Stewart Copeland. (Full disclosure: I had a poster of Copeland on my bedroom wall from 1982-1991.)
The concert has been relocated to Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. And now the folks at the mall/arena say they’re not going to kill the trees, they’re just going to relocate them. Hmm. I would like to see them after their relocation and see if they’re still alive. And so would my friend Sting!