Copeland Connection

Have you ever sat in your room and listened to a song by the Cure while you cried your eyes out about the woeful state of your teenage life?

Did you ever jump up and down at a small club while singing "We Got the Beat" while your Madonna knock off rags held your hair off of your face?

I KNOW at least one of you drove to the liquor store in college with your equally underaged and anxious roommates screaming the words to the Smith's "Headmaster Ritual" or "Girlfriend In A Coma".

Or maybe you spent your youth in small clubs watching bands that were destined to become supergroups (R.E.M., The Police, Squeeze) play small venues on their way up the rock and roll ladder?

Anyone get swept up in that mid '80s/early '90s whirlwind vortex that was Athens, Georgia? R.E.M.? The B-52's?

Yeah, well I was sucked into it when my own BOYFRIEND and his band moved from New York down to this indie artist haven where you could rent an apartment for as little money as you could scrape up from between your couch cushions.

Everyone was too thin, had poor hygiene, and spoke with a lilting southern drawl that put you to sleep. My loud, fast-talking New York twang was like a jolting air raid siren that upset and frightened the natives.

If you've done any of these things, you can thank a Copeland.

Yes, that's right.

You probably have no idea how much you said and did during your youth that was directly or indirectly influenced by a Copeland.

Stewart, Ian and Miles.

IRS, FBI, and the real CIA. Oh, and don't forget The Police.

This influential family had a hand in discovering, cultivating, and breaking most new talent that came out of the late '70s and the '80s.

Sometimes I suspect that we would all be living in mud-thatched huts and collecting rain water for drinking had their father not been building and destroying nations while holding the reigns over at the CIA. I feel safer knowing that his fingerprints are all over the blueprint of society but whatever.

I once joked that Sunday brunch with this clan must be rife with oneupmanship.

Can you imagine ordering your Eggs Benedict while firing off your list of things accomplished?

Copeland genetics make it virtually impossible to fail so you'd have quite a bit to work with and you'd list your achievements in rapid fire succession before someone cut you off and outdid you.

Operas, an entire era of new wave music, concerts, the best band in the whole world, the Sting brand, belly dancing, polo, soundtracks, percussion, books, world domination.

So anyway, next time you open a bottle of pinot grigio, stop for a moment and give a "thank you" toast to the Brothers Copeland and all they have quietly added to your world.

For additional information on the family that made your exsistence possible, here is a reading list:
  • Stewart Copeland, Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo and Pygmies Stewart Copeland
  • Ian Copeland, Wild Thing (The Backstage, on the Road, in the Studio, Off the Charts Memoirs of Ian Copeland)
  • Miles Copeland, The Game of Nations: The Amorality of Power Politics
  • Miles Copeland, The Game Player
  • Miles Copeland, Beyond Cloak and Dagger: Inside the CIA

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