My Week: Stewart Copeland

When he wasn't promoting his new book, The Police's former drummer was composing the score for and narrating 'Ben Hur Live' in London
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The Independent Online


I have a book about my life and especially my time playing drums for The Police coming out soon so I've been busy promoting it. After today my pockets are full of passes from BBC1 through to 19 or something. I'm all over the place talking, talking, talking. I also do a signing at a book store. I've gotten some of the first reviews for the book and they've all been quite stunning, so I'm really pleased. I have a nice dinner at Le Caprice with some friends.


I'm at the O2 today as we're having a press day for the Ben Hur Live, so I'm still in full flogging mode. I've composed the score for it and I will also narrate the show. They called me up one day out of the blue asking me if I wanted to get involved. The story goes that the producer's wife woke up in the middle of the night shouting my name. They called me the next day and I of course said yes straight away: creating two hours of music for one epic production has been one hell of a ride. I then go on Jools Holland's show; we go way back. The Jools you see on television is the real Jools: he's a genial, cheerful guy who loves music. I have a blast there.


We are in rehearsals for Ben Hur today We do the whole show once and then the second act again. It's a huge production. All the stage instructions are in four different languages; the crew's from all over the world. The forces assembled for this are a lot of fun to work with. The original book was very serious. The film was more entertaining but still a bit serious. Our production is not serious at all: it's just a wild ride.


It's the premiere and Ben Hur hits the stage! I lived in London for 20 years so I've got all sorts of friends showing up for the show. It goes really well. It falls into place perfectly and I celebrate with some friends after the show.


I hang out in Canary Wharf, which I've never been to before and do a little shopping. The architecture down there is really cool. I then go and read the reviews of Ben Hur... I think I'll go back to my book reviews, thank you! I've been set up with a very high standard when it comes to reviews since I got my book ones and these are, let's say, not so good!

The buzz from the audience is the real thing, though, and the real blessing. It may be that we have oversold the show as a serious piece. It isn't – it's family entertainment. But I'll take it on the chin from all the harsh London critics. I love them like my own kin, bless them. They're entitled to their opinion, aren't they? I don't think the reviews will kill us, though, as they all say the show's an eye-opener. It is fun and the audience is having a great time so I think it will do good business. Who was it who said "A bad review can ruin your breakfast but should never interfere with lunch"?

Stewart Copeland's Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo and Pygmies is published on 1 October