Stewart Copeland didn’t think much of “Roxanne” the first time he heard it, admitting he considered the tune a “throwaway song.”

The Police drummer was recently a guest on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast, where he recalled his initial reaction to the track.

“We were struggling and starving and going nowhere for about a year and a half, and [Sting] wrote it without any agenda,” Copeland noted. “It was certainly not a Police song because we were still theoretically a punk band.”

In those days, the drummer was determined to keep the Police tethered to their punk rock roots, but Sting and Andy Summers were interested in exploring broader sounds.

“I was the one cracking the punk whip," Copeland admitted. “No, we’ve got to be punk. We've got to be punk. And they're saying, ‘Can't we just play?’”

READ MORE: How the Police Turned Hookers Into a Hit: The Story of 'Roxanne'

According to the drummer, Sting “secretly” played Summers his “Roxanne” song idea. When the guitarist shared his enthusiasm for the track, they took it to Copeland.

“I gave it a drum beat that was kind of bass-ackwards and made it into a Police song,” the drummer explained. “It wasn't punk-o-rama, but it was still a rock song, even though it was kind of a lament.”

Stewart Copeland's Brother Recognized 'Roxanne''s Potential

Despite his contributions, Copeland didn’t think much of “Roxanne.”

“It was a throwaway song,” the drummer opined, before adding that it was his brother who recognized the tune’s hit potential.

READ MORE: Top 10 Police Songs

“It was my brother Miles who put his finger on it,” Copeland recalled. “That's what he does. He provides dumbass. Which is, forget musicality, sophistication. He hears it, ‘Folks are going to love this. And I don't care if it's any good or not, but I do know folks are going to love this.'”

Watch the Police's Video for 'Roxanne'

Miles Copeland, who was serving as the band’s manager, insisted they push “Roxanne” in an effort to get signed.

“He took it and he said, 'I'll take that to a record company,'” Stewart explained. “And they said, ‘OK, we'll release that as a single.’ And the rest is history.”

"Roxanne" was a failure when it first came out in 1978, but a year later it was rereleased and became a smash hit. It remains one of the Police's most popular tracks.

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Gallery Credit: Michael Gallucci