During their heights of fame – and even in the years since – the Police have often been accused of being arrogant. Now, Stewart Copeland has admitted the label is accurate.

“We were convinced, absolutely certain in fact, that we would dominate and rule the world,” the drummer explained during an appearance on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast. “And we had that same arrogance from the moment, the day Sting and I met.”

It was Copeland who sparked the Police’s formation, recruiting Sting join his fledgling group. Never lacking for confidence, the drummer was more emboldened than ever after his electrifying first jam session with the bassist. The two musicians headed to a local London gig that night with their cockiness on full display.

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“That night I took him down to the Roxy Club, which was the opening of the first proper punk club in London, and we saw Generation X, which was Billy Idol and his band,” Copeland recalled. “And we're there looking to our left and to our right thinking, ‘Ok, these are the minnows us sharks will devour. We're gonna eat everybody's lunch.’ And we're still high off [the jam session] because we knew, just the two of us playing together, we've got something rare here. This is really cool. We knew that. Well, we were arrogant.”

Andy Summers Brought 'Harmonic Sophistication' to the Police

The Police's original lineup featured Henry Padovani, but he was soon replaced by Andy Summers. The guitarist, who was already a well-known performer in England's music scene, had seen Copeland and Sting rehearsing and liked what he heard.

"He pulls me into a cab and says, 'Hey, look you and that that bass player. I think you got something," Copeland recalled of his conversation with Summers, "but you need me in the band. And I accept."

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According to Copeland, the guitarist change opened things up for the Police, especially Sting.

“As soon as we had Andy in the band with his harmonic sophistication, now Sting's ears prick up,” the drummer noted. “Now he had an actual musician … With Andy, his mind just started exploding with music. And that's when he came out with those songs that you have heard of, and one by one they replaced our dumb, fake punk songs.”

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Gallery Credit: Michael Gallucci

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