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Strange Things Happen

A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies
Narrated by: Stewart Copeland
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

When Stewart Copeland gets dressed, he has an identity crisis. Should he put on "leather pants, hostile shirts, and pointy shoes"? Or wear something more appropriate to the "tax-paying, property-owning, investment-holding lotus eater" his success has allowed him to become? This dilemma is at the heart of Copeland's vastly entertaining memoir-in-stories, Strange Things Happen. The world knows Copeland as the drummer for The Police, one of the most successful bands in rock history. But they may not know as much about his childhood in the Middle East as the son of a CIA agent. Or be aware of his film-making adventures with the Pygmies in the deepest reaches of the Congo, and his passion for polo (Brideshead Revisited on horses).

In Strange Things Happen we move from Copeland's remarkable childhood to the formation of The Police, their rise to stardom, and the settled-down life that followed. It ends with a behind-the-scenes view of The Police's extraordinarily successful reunion tour. It's a book of amazing anecdotes, all completely true, which take us backstage in a life that is fully lived.

©2009 Stewart Copeland (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

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Profile Image for JN
  • JN
  • 21-02-15

Stewart Can Write!

Who knew Stewart Copeland could write? His career as musician, composer and actor are humorously documented here in great prose. Also included are great stories of his life. From childhood life in the Middle East as the son of a CIA spy -- to adulthood polo matches against Prince Charles (oh, and that whole Police thing), Stewart's gift of gab is entertaining and fun.

A good read for Police fans and non-Police fans alike.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David Smith
  • 14-09-19

Spoilt Brat’s Waffle

What a disappointment!!! No significant insight into life in The Police, plenty of whining and wishing that he was a normal person (most people would cut off their right arm to have Mr. Copeland’s life) and a nonchalant detachment from his fans (I paid a lot of money to travel to the fan club show which was the first night of the reunion tour and Copeland dismisses it as not worthy of mentioning as the crowd was only five thousand people....thanks mate!!!) - a lengthy boring chapter is dedicated to his polo matches and the rest of the book is a collection of vacuous anecdotes that serves to feed Copeland’s massive ego and self aggrandizement. They say that you shouldn’t meet your heroes, the one star accompanying this review is reserved for my grateful thanks that I will never get an opportunity to meet such a pompous self centered twat. Avoid this nonsense at all costs!!

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  • EBigelow
  • 10-07-19

Revealing look at Stewart and his personality

To be fair I was probably hoping for more about The Police. He didn't discuss The Police in the early days at all and The pygmies and polo stuff were just not that interesting to me. It was interesting to get a better sense of Stewart's personality. He is obviously a very intelligent person and it was great to hear his story told by him. but I almost walked away feeling like he didn't appreciate the life he led at times. His frequent rants and raves about his life almost came across as whiny at times. I would have liked to hear more about his family if he was not going to write about the Police. I think he has 7 children and they only get a quick mention twice. This guy is a musical genius in many ways, but he came across as a little over sensitive and annoying at times. He would talk about "mounting" the stage. No one says that. Why would anyone say that? it's not an actual thing people do or say.

It was a decent book that probably would have been better if he had some help writing it. Sometimes the things that we think are interesting about our own lives are not the things that others find interesting about our lives. Sometimes it takes another person to pick the stories to make the book the most interesting it can be.

On a positive note I loved the frequent original music clips throughout the book. I also really liked his narration. 70% of the book was really interesting and enjoyable. The other 30% was revealing, but just okay. What the hell. You can't make everybody happy I guess. I would recommend the book if you really want to know Steward Copeland's personality. I think that one gets a good sense of his thought processes and sense of humor.

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  • Brian Drew
  • 22-03-19

great story, pounded out by the best snare.

Stewart is smart, funny and refreshing. my two favorite drummers are my two favorite writers.

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  • Purplepeopleeater
  • 22-02-17

Now I understand why there was tension.

Stewart Copeland comes across as a pompous know-it-all, but he pulls it off because it works and because the author is brutally honest and self-aware.

I'd prefer more show to the abundance of tell, but there's more than enough to thoroughly enjoy this artistic endeavor.

I now demand he co-author a book with Neil Peart.