Earlier this week the Mighty Mighty Bosstones recreated legendary Boston rock club the Rathskeller as the backdrop for their Hometown Throwdown at the House of Blues. Now, the long-gone Kenmore Square venue, known as “The Rat”, comes into view once again with video footage of the Police performing “The Truth Hits Everybody” from 1978.
The video is so rare that its owner and creator, Jan Crocker, says no one has ever seen it — not even the band.
“A little New Years present for you all,” Crocker writes on The Rat Facebook page, “here is a video cut from The Police show at the Rat in 1978… it’s a little rough… but I was able to stitch together one song “The Truth Hits Everybody”… shot with a single camera with a low light tube… probably situated in front of Granny’s sound outpost… this is a first time view for anyone including the band itself.”
Audio of the Police’s shows at the Rat have long been available online and as bootlegs, though video footage is pretty rare. Crocker doesn’t specify the actual date of the performance, but it’s believed to be from one of the Police’s earliest North American shows. For their first stateside tour, they played the Rat four nights in the fall of ’78: October 26, 27, 28 and 29.
In the Vimeo description, Crocker notes that Boston rock band Unnatural Axe opened up the Police show that Crocker filmed. Boston Groupie News has an index of all four Police shows at the Rat, and lists Unnatural Axe as the opener of the Friday, October 27 gig.
More details from Crocker, via Vimeo: “I filmed this using a solo b/w Neuvicon portapak camera. Started out the day with three rigs… two failed during the filming of the Axe and the third limped along until it died a slow death less than half way into the Police’s set. The technology was great when it worked.”