Police Drummer Stewart Copeland Calls Reunion Show “Unbelievably Lame”

We are the mighty Police and we  are totally at sea.”

Stewart Copeland


“It usually takes about four or five shows in a tour before you get to the disaster gig,” Police drummer Stewart Copeland writes on his blog
(yes, he has a blog). “But we’re The Police so we are a
little ahead of schedule.” Thus reads the self-eviscerating post
in which the drummer describes exactly how bad the band’s
much-heralded reunion shows have been sounding to him. He explicitly
details his take on the band’s second major reunion show in
Vancouver with a blow-by-blow of his onstage musings (read Charles
Cross’ review of the first show here). Oh, and he calls Sting a “petulant pansy.”
Here are our favorite snippets from Copeland’s post:

  • “I collect myself in the dark and
    start to warm up the gong with a few gentle taps. But I’m
    overdoing it. It’s resonating and reaching it’s crescendo
    before the stage has fully reached its position. Sort of like a
    premature ejaculation. There’s nothing for it so I take a big
    swing for the big hit. Problem is, I’m just fractionally too far
    away and the beater misses the sweet spot and the big pompous opening
    to the show is a damp squib. Never mind.”


  • “I stride manfully to my drums. Andy
    has started the opening guitar riff to MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE and the
    crowd is going nuts. Problem is, I missed hearing him start. Is he on
    the first time around or the second? I look over at Sting
    and he’s not much help, his cue is me – and I’m lost.
    Never mind. “Crack!” on the snare and I’m in, so
    Sting starts singing. Problem is, he heard my crack as two in the bar,
    but it was actually four – so we are half a bar out of sync with
    each other. Andy is in Idaho.”
  • “There is just something wrong. We
    just can’t get on the good foot. We shamble through the song
    [”Synchronicity”]
    and hit
    the big ending. Last night Sting did a big leap for the cut-off hit,
    and he makes the same move tonight, but he gets the footwork just a
    little bit wrong and doesn’t quite achieve lift-off. The mighty
    Sting momentarily looks like a petulant pansy instead of the god of
    rock.”
  • “We get to the end of the first verse
    and I snap into the chorus groove — and Sting doesn’t.
    He’s still in the verse. We’ll have to listen to the tapes
    tomorrow to see who screwed up, but we are so off kilter that Sting
    counts us in to begin the song again. This is ubeLIEVably lame. We are
    the mighty Police and we are totally at sea.”
  • “In rehearsal this afternoon we
    changed the keys of EVERY LITTLE THING and DON’T STAND SO CLOSE
    so needless to say Andy and Sting are now on-stage in front of twenty
    thousand fans playing avant-garde twelve-tone hodgepodges of both
    tunes. Lost, lost, lost. I also changed my part for DON’T STAND
    and it’s actually working quite well but there is a dissonant
    noise coming from my two colleagues.”
  • “When we meet up back-stage for the
    first time after the set and before the encores, we fall into each
    other’s arms laughing hysterically. Above our heads, the crowd is
    making so much noise that we can’t talk. We just shake our heads
    ruefully and head back up the stairs to the stage. Funny thing is, we
    are enjoying ourselves anyway. Screw it, it’s only music. What
    are you gonna do? But maybe it’s time to get out of
    Vancouver…”

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Comments

  1. Drew says:

    “I remember now, I’m 24 and I’m mad” – a mumbled quote from sting when sequeing in the ‘middle’ part of ‘ i can’s stand lsing you’ during there announcement gig @ the whiskey in LA earlier this year which he , before playing, claimed that he had forgotten to play.

    Well, this would seem like a precursor of what is expected by the band, including myself – a bit of retro-fury mixed with nostolgic mash, and a bit of regression to psychically ‘go back’ to when these songs WERE alive for them. And for this matter, for us – the fans- and in general the musical strata . A more stripped-down ‘ode to punk’ style for the opening shows with say a minimalist approach in stage decor would have been key in allowing them to regress themselves psychically, connecting them to their once furious selves. I believe it’s more about the context from which a song is derived, (emotionally, politically, socially etc.) that which defines the impact of a band to a fan, more succintly defined as “attitude”. Re-working the songs is dishonoring this context b/c it dis-affects the listener in a much deeper way, transcending the harmonics of the ‘newness’ of it thus, crinkling our brows as we try to re-familiarize it within the subconcious pocket of a glorious feeling when all aspects of song, place, time, and”attitude” became “one”.

  2. JT says:

    Drew-
    I can’t think of a better example then if I were to hear “Does Everyone Stare” any other way then the original.
    God darn that’s a great song.

    Thanks for your comment-

    Broadcatching

  3. JT says:

    Sorry-
    that’s “than the original”

    I change my clothes ten times before I take you on a date….

  4. Drew says:

    Dear Braodcatacher,
    I’ve been delaying a reply back to you b/c I’ve been kind of red-faced and a bit flabbergasted that I don’t know this song (!) I think, or so I thought, that I own the definitive collection of Police albums, although I don’t pay much attention to the titles outside of the hits. Hmm…I’ll have to buckle down and up ‘ effort meter’ to yellow soon hereafter.

    It’s reciprocated – thanks for your fantastic article. Stew has always been, out of the three, the one whose career I’ve followed closely over the years (since the 80’s). His soundtrack work on the Oliver Stone film, “Talk Radio” is what got me. During the end credits, there’s this fantastic sampled sound clip of a telephone receiver ‘clicking and blipping’ in synchopated rhythmn – clever genius!

    Thanks for the song referral, afterall.

    Thanks, again.

    -Drew

    Either, a sign of chronic insecurity, or a severe psychological condition in the desire to impress. Yea, right, who are we kidding – he’s whipped.

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