On Sting's Tail; JIM BERRYMAN Has Known Sting since He Was a Rebellious Schoolboy Called Gordon Sumner. Now the Jester at the Singer's Court, Jim Has Written a Revealing Portrait of the Star and His High-Society Friends. MOIRA PETTY Met Him

Daily Mail (London), April 23, 2005 | Go to article overview

On Sting's Tail; JIM BERRYMAN Has Known Sting since He Was a Rebellious Schoolboy Called Gordon Sumner. Now the Jester at the Singer's Court, Jim Has Written a Revealing Portrait of the Star and His High-Society Friends. MOIRA PETTY Met Him


JIM BERRYMAN has known Sting since he was a rebellious schoolboy called Gordon Sumner.

Now the jester at the singer's court, Jim has written a revealing portrait of the star and his high-society friends.

They were two working-class schoolboys circling each other on their first day at St Cuthbert's Grammar School in Newcastleupon-Tyne. Their shared love of ribaldry and of baiting the masters, the other boys and, when all else failed, each other, was to be the foundation of a lasting friendship. For now, James Berryman, the son of a silkscreen printer, addressed the other boy, Gordon Sumner, whose father was a milkman, by his surname. 'I wasn't aware I was your butler,' said Gordon. 'Have you got servants at home in Longbenton? Well, you can call me Gordon and I'll call you Berryman.

Spiffing, Berryman. Go feed the hounds.' Jim, as James was always known, still doesn't run to a butler at his council flat. Gordon didn't become Sting (his nickname because of his habit of wearing a yellow and black striped sweater) until he was working as a teacher and doing gigs in the evenings.

Today, he has several butlers at his seven homes across the world and an estimated fortune of [pounds sterling]185 million, which continues to rise with royalties from his days with The Police and his solo career. His English base is Lake House in Wiltshire, a 17th-century manor with 800 acres.

'I first went there a few weeks after he bought it,' says Jim. 'If there was ever a sense that he'd truly made it, that was the defining moment. The grounds are fantastic and you get tired just walking around them. There's a staff of 80, who work there all the time, and 100 people worked on the renovations. A French guy was there for three weeks, just examining the curtains and coming up with new designs for them. I'm more amazed than impressed by all he's got. I never thought he could sing properly. He told me I had perfect pitch and I made it into the school choir, but he didn't.' Jim, 53, a failed bookie who has never married or had a relationship that lasted longer than a year, has been present at many important events in Sting's life, from his wedding in 1992 to actressturned-film producer Trudie Styler, to a party at London's Harry's Bar two years ago to celebrate Sting's CBE.

'At the wedding, Sting was dolled up like Beau Brummel leading Trudie on a horse. I thought it was incredibly naff and I think he does now. Blame Mr Versace. Most of the time Sting looks like a tramp.

He's got a cream woolly jumper he's had about 24 years and I've seen him wear it a hundred times. When you stay with him, it comes out day after day and doesn't smell too sweet. It's the same with the favourite dogtooth jacket he's had for about 15 years.' Jim has written a book, Sting And I, subtitled The Totally Hilarious Story Of Life As Sting's Best Mate. The cover puff lives up to its claims, although Jim says, 'I'm a storyteller, not a writer.

I wasn't very good at English at school. I sit in the pub and tell stories from our school days.' On paper, Sting - rich, successful, glamorous, happily married and a devoted father of six - couldn't be more of a contrast to Jim, who has cultivated a beard and a beer belly and, after long periods on the dole, now works as an assistant in a Newcastle bookie's shop.

'We still relate to each other as if we were 14,' says Jim. 'There was a period, when he first became famous, when we didn't speak for eight years, because I thought I didn't know him any more. He looked like a sourpuss. He was on Juke Box Jury and was unbelievably rude about everyone, and that just wasn't him. He always wanted to get in touch and when we met up we were back in third-form mode within minutes.' A curious subtext of their story is how Sting has funded Jim's various enterprises. 'I've always lost money on the race track or on having a good time.

He once wrote to me that he had had to create a philosophy for lending or giving money, though he broke it with me. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

On Sting's Tail; JIM BERRYMAN Has Known Sting since He Was a Rebellious Schoolboy Called Gordon Sumner. Now the Jester at the Singer's Court, Jim Has Written a Revealing Portrait of the Star and His High-Society Friends. MOIRA PETTY Met Him
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.