Stewart Copeland Air Drums

I was a little kid when Stewart Copeland came to a local San Francisco drum shop to give a workshop. I remember standing in back, too short to see over the other fans, and hearing him play a simple backbeat and make the point that the way you play that one simple thing could be so much more than any show-off fills. I was a fanatic of his playing, and I knew he was right… but I could not figure out how that genius could hit one drum and have it sound so energetic, so spiky, so cheerful, so intense, so creative. The Police were an air-drummer’s dream.

Then I watched him become a composer – my mom worked in Francis Coppola’s office during the making of Rumble Fish. His orchestral genius wasn’t a surprise. Though he wasn’t credited as “composer” of enough Police songs, it was painfully obvious that his relentlessly creative drum parts were as important as Sting’s lyrics. To me, they were (and are) everything. (I know that Neil Peart agreed!)

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