Stewart Copeland was born in Alexandria, Virginia, but soon relocated with his family to Beirut, Lebanon, where his father served as the Middle Eastern city’s CIA Station Chief. It was here that Stewart discovered his talent on — and love for — the drums. His older brother Ian played drums in a local band and, following in his brother’s footsteps, Stewart picked up a pair of sticks and began to play. His knack for the instrument distinguished him from his sibling almost immediately. While Ian quickly gave up the drums, Stewart found his aim and purpose in them.
Encouraged and assisted by his father, who in addition to his intelligence career was once a trumpeter in The Glenn Miller Band, Stewart’s first teacher was an old jazz drummer. Copeland was a quick study with a good ear and scored his first real gig playing drums while still barely in his teens.
A sudden family move to England opened new opportunities for Stewart pursue rock and roll, first as a journalist for a drummer magazine, then as a roadie, for, among others British prog-rock group Curved Air. In 1974/1975, when the band found itself in need of a new drummer, Curved Air hired Stewart, who made his recording debut on the successful Midnight Wire andAirborne. In addition, Curved Air introduced him to vocalist Sonja Kristina, who would later become his wife and the mother of three of his sons.