The Bug House Files

Haway, Sting man! Old Geordies are called Gordon!


Age shall not wither him: even so, it's time that Sting became Gordon

Age shall not wither him: even so, it’s time that Sting became Gordon once again.

Further to my post about author pseudonyms, I will share with you a long-held concern about Tyneside rock legend Sting – namely, isn’t it time he reverted to his real name Gordon?

I only ask because I care and because he is now 62; and while he remains extremely well preserved for his age his nickname is surely becoming increasingly untenable, not to mention embarrassing in a “dad dancing” sort of way.

As a kid I worshipped Sting and thought the Police were the greatest thing since sliced bread. When he was 25, his nickname only added to his unrivalled cool. It continued to do so even after the band split and, lute in hand, he began his long and painful journey up his own backside, where he remained for the best part of 30 years.

But that was then. Sting is now in the autumn of his life. In three years he will be a pensioner.

To his credit, he clearly recognises this himself. His most recent albums have had all the hallmarks of being written by an elderly man who no longer gives a toss what anyone thinks; they are the musical equivalent of the Jenny Joseph poem that begins “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple”.

His latest project is a musical about growing up in the shadow of the Wallsend shipyards, and from the excerpts I’ve heard it is typical of his later output: musically brilliant, utterly niche. And I wish him every success with it.

But Sting has got to go. It should have gone 15 years ago, along with his hair and his chart success.

Waster: Geordie comic Bobby Thompson was more typical of an elderly Geordie male

Waster: Geordie comic Bobby Thompson was more typical of an elderly Geordie male

Then again maybe I’m doing him a disservice. Maybe he’s desperate to get rid of the name. Maybe it’s like a millstone round his neck, like a politician who can never shake off that youthful indiscretion with crack cocaine and high-class hookers.

In which case perhaps the best thing Sting can do is retire to his Tuscan villa and live out his days in blissful anonymity, leaving only fond memories of when he ruled the pop world.

Either way my teenage idol is now an old Geordie man, and in my experience old Geordie men are called Stan, Charlie, Bobby…or Gordon.


Author: Jim Ford

I'm an author and journalist. "The Bug House" series of Tyneside-based crime novels is published in 2014

2 thoughts on “Haway, Sting man! Old Geordies are called Gordon!

  1. He had a voice like a tin of milk. His Dancing on the Moon and Roxanne drifting downstairs spoilt my life in Jesmond. Paula Yates ( who I loved ) exposed his self importance & lack of humour when she asked: has being called Gordon held you back in your caeer. He ain’t gonna change back. Nice piece

  2. You may be right, Jim. I recently went to Live Theatre to see ‘Cooking with Elvis’ (ps. excellent in a filthy kind of way). In the

    programme, listed among the theatre’s “Best Friends”( such luminaries of the northern arts scene as Kevin Whately,Lee Hall

    and Robson Green for example) was the name Sting. Anachronistic and a bit embarrassing ,really. …….but then ..Gordon??!! Even

    Sting can’t be that old xx

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