How Steward Copeland Almost Commited “Homicide” – Joe
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It is unquestionable that during the early 1980s, The Police was one of the world’s most prominent rock bands. The captivating vocals of their frontman, Sting, and the exceptional quality of their music endeared them to audiences worldwide, earning them accolades in the music industry.
However, the band’s period of fame was relatively short-lived. Despite producing only five albums, their final studio album Synchronicity released in 1983 became a defining album of the second wave of the British invasion.
However, as the band was nearing its end, the atmosphere among its members was far from harmonious. In fact, the animosity among them, particularly between Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland, had escalated to the point where one contemplated harming the other to a lethal degree.
“It was a very uncomfortable place — and we drove each other crazy,” Copeland recalled during a New York Post interview.
“It was hell on earth”
The group’s final days were marked by turmoil, as revealed by Copeland in an interview with the New York Post. He vividly described the intense atmosphere within The Police, to the extent that he expressed a desire to “choke Sting to death”.
“It was hell on earth… It was a very uncomfortable place, and we drove each other crazy. We now understand where all that tension came from,” the drummer said,
Copeland was still in awe that The Police was able to produce five albums in spite of their internal issues.
“I’m very grateful that we got as many as five albums out of Stingo, because by then… he had a very clear idea of how the arrangements should go,” Stewart observed.
A piece of hi-hat advice nearly ended Sting
Interestingly, the craziest incident occurred when the Police frontman offered Copeland guidance on how to play his instrument.
“The times when I came the closest to homicide,” Copeland shared, “the times when it became absolutely critical that I choke the life out of this man, were when he would come over to me and tell me something about the hi-hat.”
Looking back, the drummer acknowledges that he and Sting held contrasting philosophies, with each having its own merit.
Copeland went on: “Sting was looking for a beautiful place, and to create something serene and moving and, dare I say, intellectual. For me, it’s about burning down the house — it’s a party.”
Copeland didn’t kill him, but he did once broke his rib
The conflicts between Copeland and Sting even escalated to physical altercations, with one of the most serious incidents occurring in 1983 when Copeland broke Sting’s rib.
The tension among the band members became so intense that, during recording sessions, they opted to record their parts separately in different rooms to avoid confrontations. Stewart had even turned to therapy in an attempt to resolve their interpersonal issues.
As a result of these challenges, The Police disbanded in 1986, although they have since reunited for occasional performances.
Sting once shared his perspective on the band’s dynamics in a 2021 interview with the Mirror. The frontman confessed that he was a ‘benign dictator’ within The Police.
Both Copeland and Sting are having a busy year
Copeland is currently busy preparing the launch of an expanded edition of his Klark Kent project, which will hit the shelves on November 17. He has also authored a new book titled Stewart Copeland’s Police Diaries, available in various editions, including signed copies.
In Copeland’s own words about the book: “It’s full of my original diary pages, hand-made poster designs, ragged accounts, callow observations, and other scribblings of a proto-rock star, illuminated by hitherto unseen vintage photos from the deepest vaults. It’s a big, noisy book about one heckuva ride.”
On the other hand, Sting has been immersed in The My Songs Tour in support of his thirteenth solo studio album, My Songs. He has forthcoming tour dates scheduled for November and December, along with numerous performances lined up for 2024.
More recently, the Police singer has even found the time to collaborate with pop stars Marshmello and P!NK on a track titled “Dreaming”.