Colin Grainger

Day Sting busked under the Thames in the Woolwich Foot Tunnel

There’s a certain joy to finding the final piece to a 31-year-old jigsaw puzzle.
And that’s what happened today – with a little bit of luck and good fortune and thanks to a very helpful woman who happens to have worked with a musician for over 30 years.
All those years ago we got a tip off at the Newham Recorder newsdesk that Sting was filming in my home manor, North Woolwich.
That was about 13 years into my journalism career and as news editor, I sent a reporter and a photographer down there. But there was no sign of the man, or any members of The Police, the band he was to split from a year later.
In those days, publicity companies weren’t too keen to give local newspapers any exclusives, but with a little help from some decent local contacts we discovered he had been filming a video for a track in the Woolwich Foot Tunnel,
The pedestrian tunnel was opened in 1912 and has served the community ever since, providing an alternative to the Woolwich Free Ferry, for pedestrians and cyclists.
 So I managed to write a little exclusive, finally getting enough information for a nice piece, but without a picture of him actually in the tunnel, which would have rounded it off.
That was a busy news week, and so we moved on to other things.
Over the years , I have occasionally done a little internet search to see if a picture was ever taken, but without any luck.
So it was with great joy that while looking for something completely unrelated, I found the picture of him in the tunnel at the weekend.
And it was with even great joy that I also found the actual track he was recording , Moon Over Bourbon Street, on YouTube a day later, of him in the tunnel. Very rare footage indeed, uploaded on TheAudioMystics Channel.
The song is about a vampire in New Orleans,  and Sting was inspired to write it after reading a book by Anne Rice called Interview With a Vampire.
It just remained for Sting’s publicity team to confirm my question from back in 1985.
And Tina Maidman from, confirmed that the North Woolwich to (south) Woolwich pedestrian foot tunnel featured.
He asks a passer-by for 50p as a joke near the end of it. She added: “I remember Jools Holland being involved in the video.”
The track was on Dream of The Blue Turtles, his debut solo album.
I won’t spoil the ending by revealing exactly what a (very young looking) Jools does at the end of the video…
You can watch it here:

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This article was written on 20 Dec 2016, and is filed under North Woolwich, Sting, Woolwich Foot Tunnel.

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