Stewart Copeland

TED'S CHOSEN DRUM CHAMPION

Personal Life

If you love the song Every Breath You Take, then you know the band The Police. And if you’re a fan of the band, you know about their drummer, Stewart Copeland. He’s one of the greatest rock drummers in history, and his career speaks for itself. 

Born on the 16th of July, 1952, Copeland was the youngest of four children. A few months after his birth, the family moved to Egypt where they settled for a while in Cairo. Then, they would move again to Beirut, Lebanon, where he would attend the American Community School. 

Copeland took drum lessons from age 12 and within a year, he was good enough to play drums for events like school dances. He would further his studies by moving to England and attending the Millfield Boarding School in Somerset, and he would eventually go back to the US to attend college at the University of California-Berkeley. 

Career

Copeland co-founded The Police in 1977 with bassist/lead singer Sting and erstwhile guitarist Henry Padovani. Padovani would then be replaced by Andy Summers. As a trio, they would become one of the most successful bands of the 80s, churning out hits left and right. Most of the band’s songs during their early years were written by Copeland. The band reunited in 2007 and finished their world tour in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. 

After spending a lot of years with The Police, Copeland would go on to try a solo career. Recording under the pseudonym Klark Kent, he would release several hits such as Don’t Care in 1978 which would enter the UK Singles Charts for the year. It peaked at 48 on the charts, considering that he played all of the instruments himself. It’s a massive accomplishment as far as his musical skill and talent is concerned. 

Copeland would also try scoring movies during the late 80s. Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumblefish was one of his first film scoring projects which would earn him a nomination at the 1984 Golden Globe Awards. Next, he produced a docu-drama in 1985 titled The Rhythmatist, which focuses on the roots of musical rhythm in Africa. He would also score Talk Radio and Wall Street at Oliver Stone’s behest. 

Furthering his foray into non-rock territory, Copeland would also write the music for several video games. He wrote music for the game series Spyro The Dragon. As part of his creative process, he would actually play the levels to get a feel of them before he even wrote anything down. These songs were never commercially released, but they did get to be part of a compilation album called The Stewart Copeland Anthology

All in all, Copeland’s career took him all over the place, where he explored the absolute limits of his musicianship and cemented his place as one of the greatest musicians of all time, selling roughly 60 million records worldwide. 

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Did You Know?

All the members of The Police including him were knighted by the French government, becoming members of the French Order of the Arts and Letters.

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