Sometimes I'm grateful that the Internet didn't exist back when I was a kid with endless hours of free time and white-hot obsessions. Otherwise, I'd have gone down the rabbit hole of Monkees dedication sites and "Family Ties" fan fiction. The only thing saving me now, frankly, is the need to hold down a full-time job and speak to my family once in awhile.
Still, every now and then, the most random thing or person grabs my attention and reduces me to a panting, Googling, 13-year-old fangirl. Which brings me to Stewart Copeland.
In an unusual streak of good luck, I got face-value tickets to see The Police twice last year — once with my best friend in Tampa and again with my slightly less stoked husband in Atlanta. Both shows were fantastic, which was not a surprise. But what did surprise me was how freaking amazing a drummer Copeland is. (I know; duh.) It's one thing to hear his beat-making on a CD; quite another to see it live. He played the hell out of their 90-minute set, and when he went to work on an elaborate gong display during "Wrapped Around Your Finger," the crowd in both cities went nuts. It was gangster.
And a midlife crush was born. The sight of this gray-haired, fiftyish guy — wearing a sweatband! — suddenly became, like, the hottest thing ever. Why did it take a reunion tour for me to fully appreciate his awesomeness? Maybe because like every other teenaged girl back in the day, I was focused on the handsome, media-anointed frontman. Typical.
This is not to slight Andy Summers, who is a guitar god and a fine writer. But there is something extra appealing about Copeland's unhinged, gangly energy. Remember that moment in the "Roxanne" video where it looks like he's going to fall backward off the stool and his arms just keep windmilling around? That's what it is. And as a former newspaper journalist, I'm a sucker for a celebrity who gives candid, insightful interviews. His now-infamous blog item about their "first disaster gig" on the reunion circuit is classic and very, very funny. Look it up.
Random? Yes. A quarter century late? Guilty as charged. But if digging Stewart Copeland is wrong, I don't want to be right.
Now, excuse me. I've got some Googling to do.