Stewart Copeland Recalls ‘Golden Ray of Sunshine’ When He Met Sting
Personality conflicts between Sting and Stewart Copeland helped bring about the demise of the Police at the peak of their popularity. But before they could scale those heights, the drummer remembered, Sting was the lone bright spot of an otherwise dismal concert.
"I think I saw Sting first playing in 1976," he told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show. "He was playing in a polytechnic college, which is like an occupational college. And they weren't allowed to play in the theater of the college, so they were playing in one of the classrooms. And they had a couple of reading lights [as] their light show."
On top of that, Copeland remembered, "they were terrible," saying that they were a "clone" of every other jazz-fusion group around. "But there was a golden ray of sunshine coming down from the heavens, through the roof of the building, through the ceiling and landing on this bass player. And as a drummer in a band in those days, I didn't even notice his singing – pretty good, good frontman – but wow, that bass player!"
When he eventually decided to put together a band, Copeland "remembered that real cool bass player who could sing." But there was one aspect that he hadn't considered, which turned out to be a stroke of luck. "I hadn't heard him play any songs," he continued. "They were just these long, 20-minute jazz improvisations that his band were playing. So, I had no inkling that the guy could write a song."
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