Strange Things Happen (1 of 108)
Strange Things Happen by Stewart Copeland. Copyright 2009 by Stewart Copeland.
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Strange Things Happen
A Life with the Police, Polo, and Pygmies
Strange Things Happen
[Tarazi, Lennie, me, Aragoosie (1965)]
[Tarazi with UN bunker (1998)]
A Letter to a Childhood Friend
A lot has happened since we broke that branch off of old Abu Tannous’s olive tree, behind the Tarazi Palace. Do you remember our little town in the Lebanese hills overlooking Beirut? That was back in 1965. The Russians had just made it into outer space and I was playing in my first band. I wonder what you and your mom are up to now.
We parted rather suddenly when my dad evacuated us after his CIA cover was blown. Do you remember that English kid, Harry Philby? Well, his dad’s cover was blown, too—as a double agent for Russia!
So we got pulled out of the American Community School in Beirut, and I was packed off to boarding school in England. Out in the misty wilds of Somerset, at Millfield School, I kept on blasting on the drums whenever I could. It was difficult because of the noise they made. Wherever I could find a cellar or an attic, or a distant outbuilding I would drag in my four big heavy cases, unpack my kit, and blaze away like fury. It never lasted. Someone was always annoyed by my art, and I would be cast out again.
But I got pretty good at it. By the time I left college, I could get into a semifamous group, and pretty soon I could break out with a little band of my own. We were called The Police and ended up playing huge stadiums. Our songs were glued to the charts. It was a blast! We struggled for two years, surged for four years, and then just sat there at the top of the world for another two years before walking away.
So now I’ve got a real job, a real family, and a real life! I write and record the music you hear in Hollywood movies. I have seven kids! No idea how that happened. Life is pretty settled now, but I keep having these strange adventures. Odd opportunities are attracted to celebrity, even when it’s much faded.
As I write this Lebanon is rebuilding. Again! Last time I checked, the old palace was still standing. But that was one war ago. If you get a chance, could you check it out for me? You’re probably a banker in Dubai by now.