Stewart Copeland Timeline
July 16, 1952
Stewart Copeland, son of Miles Copeland, a CIA agent and trumpet player in Glenn Miller's Air Force Band, is born in Virginia.
The Copeland family moves to the Middle East. Stewart spends his youth in Egypt and Lebanon.
Following in his brother Ian’s footsteps, Copeland starts playing drums at age 12 and joins a Beirut band.
After spending some time in England as a roadie, Copeland lands his first gig with Curved Air. There he meets vocalist Sonja Kristina, who later becomes his wife.
Copeland records his first album, Midnight Wire, with Curved Air. On the follow up, Airborne, his credit reads: heavy artillery.
Motivated by the explosion of punk in London, Copeland gets inspired to form a trio and recruits guitarist Henry Padovani and a bassist named Sting from the Newcastle band Last Exit.
Copyright photograph by Peter Baylis
The trio take the name The Police, start rehearsing, and soon release their first single, “Fall Out”/“Nothing Achieving.”
Copeland, Sting, Padovani, and guitarist Andy Summers begin performing as a four piece. Summers replaces Padovani, solidifying the classic Police lineup.
Copeland issues a few singles (later followed by two albums) under the pseudonym Klark Kent.
The Police record Outlandos D'Amour. On the strength of “Roxanne,” A&M signs the band and releases the album.
The popularity of The Police explodes with Reggatta De Blanc, scoring its first #1 single with “Message In A Bottle” and a Grammy for the title track. The reggae-inspired beats establish Copeland as a drumming icon.
The Police record Zenyatta Mondatta. The album, featuring “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da,” and “Behind My Camel,” tops the UK charts and goes to #5 in America.
The Police head to Air Studios on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean to record Ghost In The Machine. But egos clash and tensions soar so much that producer Hugh Padgham temporarily leaves the sessions. “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” hits #1 in the UK and #3 in the U.S.
The Police release their final album (of new material), Synchronicity. It hits #1 in the UK and the U.S. and goes platinum eight times over in America.
Copeland makes his first foray into the world of soundtracks with Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish. This kicks off more than 40 scoring projects over the following years, including music for Wall Street, Talk Radio, and Highlander 2.
The Police play their last concert, in Australia.
Copeland stars in and scores the movie The Rhythmatist, a fiction-meets-documentary depiction of his journey to Africa in search of the origins of the beat.
The Police regroup for three dates to benefit Amnesty International, but inner band tensions put a quick end to the reunion.
Copeland appears on Peter Gabriel’s So, and composes the score for The San Francisco Ballet’s King Lear.
Copeland forms Animal Logic with bassist Stanley Clarke and singer-songwriter Deborah Holland.
The Cleveland Opera commissions Copeland’s first opera, Holy Blood And The Crescent Moon.
The Police play an impromptu set at Sting’s wedding.
Copeland scores the soundtrack for the video game Spyro The Dragon.
Copeland produces the track “Dirty Drowning Man” on Primus’ Antipop.
The Grand Pecking Order is released by Oysterhead, featuring Les Claypool of Primus and Trey Anastasio of Phish.
March 10, 2003
The Police are inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
January 19, 2006
Copeland premieres Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out, documenting the rise of The Police from 1978 to 1982, at the Sundance Film Festival.
February 11, 2007
Copeland, Summers, and Sting perform "Roxanne” at the Grammys. The next day the trio announces a 2007 reunion tour in honor of The Police's 30th anniversary.