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Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo and Pygmies Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 329 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project; 1st edition (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007339399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007339396
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 3.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Stewart Copeland was a founder member of The Police, one of the most successful rock bands of all time. Before The Police he enjoyed chart success as the mysterious masked pop star Klark Kent. Since the band broke up in the early 80s he has enjoyed a successful career as a composer, working on operas, ballets and film music - most notably the score to Rumblefish. In 2007, The Police reformed and staged the biggest grossing tour in recent years.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J on 4 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you were a massive fan of the police as i was then you may be thinking whats the point in buying this book , heard it all before in music papers ,police story books, heard the interviews on radio ,seen every documentary on tv . many years down the line after the band folded we had sting with his moving autobigraphy broken music , andy summers took us on a magical journey with his one train later and now its stewarts turn with strange things happen .

Some might say do we need yet another account of the police story , they gave us great music , they are all brilliant talented musicians and also in my opinion great wordsmiths , after reading all three autobiographies its easy to understand how they they managed to create one of the best bands in the history of music .

stewarts book is no exception in the first two pages he manages to ecapsulate his life story in the first chapter ''letter to a friend '' a true master stoke , but then he moves on to provide the reader with truely amazing , rivetting stories of his journey through life so far which makes for a cracking read , i particularly like the opening chapters when one morning after retiring from the police stewart looks in his wardrobe and wonders just what the hell does he wear now .

laced with great stories , rich in vocabulary from an articulate , acute observer , a feast of a book , enjoyed it immensely .
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE on 7 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
The emphasis is on fun in this memoir - for Copeland is a hyperactive sort, workaholic but easily bored, loving a challenge, never playing anything quite the same way twice, liking to be boss, and he's also much more than a mere drummer.

Jumping about in time with flashes back and forward, the book opens with pages about his childhood in Beirut, where he played with Harry Philby - yes, son of that Philby, and where his Dad was big in the CIA, through moving to boarding school in England, learning the drums and then in 1975 joining his first professional band Curved Air where he must have broken many a boy's heart by marrying the elfinly beautiful lead singer Sonja Kristina. Then - The Police - the band that made him world famous. Copeland deals with their initial years in just ten pages. It's clear that our mission, should we choose to accept it, is really to read about what Stewart did next ...

The next big chunk of the book takes us up to 2007, and there's a lot to tell. Playing polo against Prince Charles, making a film in Africa, playing with many other bands, and developing a love for the pizzica music of Salento in Southern Italy, meeting his second wife Fiona, and having a ball being a judge on the BBC celebrity duet show 'It takes two' ... all great fun. Then, there's the main day job as a composer. Copeland studied composition at college, and post Police, he composed an opera - not a rock one, a proper, grand one - with a plot based on the crusades; it was staged in Cleveland to a largely enthusiastic response. Following this is a long career, in between all these adventures, as a film and TV composer, having composed scores for many movies and lots of TV work, notably starting with Coppola's Rumblefish.

Then it all comes round again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe on 5 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am still halfway through this and to be honest it's a bit of a weird one.
clearly the guy is a genius, and he had an interesting life, but the problem is that this book is difficult to read.
each chapter is quite disconnected from the previous and this makes you feel like you are just told small episodes rather than a nice entertaining story.
I read a lot of rock bios, and I wouldn't put this in my top 5, not even top 10.
An example of an excellent one is Andy Summer's one, fellow Police member: it sits on a different league altogether.

anyway, a good read (at times), not SO focused on music and the Police but hey...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By saloon on 28 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Love the Police, Love Stewart Copelands Drumming, as a drummer myself thought id give this book a go. Extremely boring book, mainly due to the constant repetition of how great he is. Early large stages of book are based on how he takes up POLO, Am i reading the right book?? We are constantly reminded of how he relaxes after a gig by taking a shower. Very little insight into police, except that he has a major chip on his shoulder with Sting. I Have read many music biographys over the years and have usually ended finding some redeming features of the artist, sorry to say none in this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Man From Essex on 21 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
The claim on the cover of this book that it is " .... a life with The Police" is seriously misleading. There is almost nothing in the book about the time that, as an excellent drummer, Stewart Copeland spent with the Police between 1978 (Outlandos d'Amour) and 1983 (Synchronicity) - the period summarised on page 306 of the paperback edition. There is some bitter material about the period from 2000 by when Mr Copeland and Sting had ceased to be on good terms, for those that like those kind of accounts. Very sad!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Gorman on 2 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I too got this book based on my love of the police and stewart Copelands drumming. Basically if your looking for a unique insight into the Police then don't by this book as he barely touches on his time in one the biggest bands in the world, this is mainly because he wants us to know that there are lots of other things in his life, he talks for ages about Polo for instance. If you want an insight into the Police then forget this book and get the "Everybody Stares" doco out on dvd.
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