While Andy Summers is best known as the guitarist of the Police, he has since forged a successful and acclaimed solo career with new age-influenced contemporary instrumental music that, like his work with Sting and company, draws on his love for jazz and his fascination with creating instrumental textures. Born Andrew James Somers in Poulton-Fylde, Lancashire, England, on December 31, 1942, the young Somers (who later changed his surname to the more easily spelled Summers) moved to Bournemouth as a child and, upon taking up the guitar at 14, immersed himself in the local jazz scene. By 16, he was playing in local clubs and coffeehouses, where he was noticed by Zoot Money. Somers was invited to join Money's Big Roll Band, with whom he appeared on the live album The All Happening Zoot Money's Big Roll Band at Klook's Kleek. Money eventually changed the band into a psychedelic outfit called Dantalian's Chariot, and when that project dissolved in early 1968, Somers briefly signed on with the Soft Machine before rejoining Money in a revamped Animals lineup for the LP Love Is. When that imploded in 1969, Somers studied classical guitar and composition at UCLA for four years, in the meantime giving guitar lessons, gigging with a local Latin-rock band, and acting with various theater troupes. Upon his return to England in 1973, Summers became something of a journeyman, touring in the backing bands of Neil Sedaka, Kevin Coyne, Kevin Ayers, and David Essex.