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Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies

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  • Posted August 23, 2010

    A different side of Stewart Copeland

    When I sat down to write this review, it was difficult to describe what this book is really about. It is not a strict biography written in chronological fashion. It is not a detailed history of Stewart's career with The Police. To put it in simplest terms...this book is a collection of experiences spanning a 60 year period from Stewart's childhood abroad to his days as a senior citizen rocker. There is no definitive timeline with these stories, and most of the subjects will appear to come out of nowhere...

    But that's what makes this book unique. This book shows us the other Stewart Copeland. A man who has shared a polo field with British royalty and shared a concert stage with the Foo Fighters. A man who gives hot showers a religious quality to the point where they become a staple in almost every tale he weaves for us.

    This is not a simple rock and roll mud slinging fest. This is a look at Stewart's life and career told through his own words. The story can be hard to follow since the topics change frequently; and for those readers who only want to know about The Police, this may not be the book for you. However, if you want to get an in-depth look at a great rock drummer, this is a book worth reading. Some people will say the book does not make sense, but perhaps that is the author's intent here. "Strange Things Happen" is a fitting title because it reflects the adventures and strange happenings that accompany rock star life.

    As I read this book, I watched Stewart Copeland develop from a one-dimensional rock drummer into an artist and a man with diverse talent and interest. This book is similar to life: some of it you'll like, some of it you won't like, but you'll come to appreciate most of it in time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2010

    An American in Old York

    Copeland covers what he's been doing since the original The Police broke up through the end of the second coming of The Police. It's a wild self deprecating ride on polo ponies, Indie movie making, the movie music business, Italian rock stardom, British reality television, all-star celebrity parent bands, all star jam bands, and finally the isolation and exhilaration of re-living the rock god life.

    I found myself skimming some of the overly long and detailed descriptions of certain events. Subjects seem to change abruptly with no discernable transition. But, it's more about how it feels than linear story telling. I found it an enjoyable read.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Love Stewart, but book is slow in places...

    The first chapter engages right away, and many of the revelations about Stewart's "Diplobrat" childhood are fascinating. However, I found that the tale began to drag when the too-detailed chapter on polo began. I know...blasphemy...Mr. Copeland...but for this reader/Police fan it's a bit too much! I thoroughly enjoyed the parts that documented the rise of The Police (in my opinion one of the greatest bands ever!) and found much of the writing laugh-out-loud funny. ("leather pants, pointy shoes, hostile shirts.") What the heck makes a shirt "hostile"??? :0 I'm guessing the polka dot one you favored in the '80's is Exhibit A. Overall, an enjoyable, witty recollection that Police fans...or fans of Copeland in general...will thoroughly enjoy. The cover shot alone is worth the price of the book. sigh. Brings back SO many lustful memories. It's not hard to see why he's the father of SEVEN! Go Stewie!

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  • Posted January 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    This was a fascinating bio of the Police drummer. Although I'm not necessarily a big Police follower, I enjoyed the stories, the glimpses of the life on the road - unbelievable. After reading this, though, I was so grateful for my boring life. His life just seemed so empty of deepness and very one-dimensional.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2009

    If you ever wondered what it's like to be a drummer in a band this is the book for you!

    Having been a drummer since the age of 5 I have been asked many times what it's like. Making a living playing drums is pure joy, followed by pure agony, followed by pure joy once again. Stewart has a no nonsense way of putting you in his chair and explaining in perfectly understandable terms what being in a band is all about. This is a very entertaining book written by a very open and honest guy. It is definitely a great read for any music fan, especially those of you living with that great far off fantasy of playing drums in a band. The author is one of the most widely respected drummers in the world. Stewart Copeland, I salute you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    This book explains WHY musicians play!

    I am a lifelong drummer, and Stewart describes the reasons we do this music stuff very adequately. It's not money! A good read!

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    Posted September 25, 2009

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    Posted March 31, 2010

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    Posted October 23, 2011

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    Posted October 1, 2009

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