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Strange Things Happen: A life with The Police, polo and pygmies Kindle Edition
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He seems to be a well grounded and decent guy who is aware of the wonderful gifts and privileges life has given him.
The police years do not have the sense of bitterness or lack of recognition of other accounts. Copeland has a healthy sense of humour and understanding of his wonderful talent. His well deserved status as "Drum God" does not seem to have gotten the better of him.
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 .
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. Copeland's hobby project of editing all the film he took during the Police years into a movie is entered for the Sundance festival. For the first time in ages, the three musicians are reunited at the festival when Sting turns up for the premiere. This event sows the seeds for the Police reunion tour which takes up the final 100 pages.
Stewart & Sting's stormy relationship is the stuff of legend. Now they're both older and wiser, you might expect them to have mellowed. It starts off well, but these guys have had years of being top dogs now, and before long they're circling around each other, spoiling for a fight. They cope though, letting the music do it's work and manage eighteen months on tour.
This book is mainly about his career and working families, rather than the loving one at home. We find out very little about his parents, siblings, and even less about his seven (yes!) kids, although there's a nice photo of them all at the end. Copeland however, is an aimiable yet sparky host, always capable of seeing the funny side of things; his straight talking and writing style always lets us know what he thinks. What also come through strongly are what he sees as the shamanistic properties of music to inspire and inhabit a body - any music has the possibility to do this, and refreshingly he embraces this philosophy throughout.
Copeland is anything but a normal rock star - and this is an excellent read for any music fan, I really enjoyed it.
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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