On Drums - Stewart Copeland!

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On Drums - Stewart Copeland!

Series 1



Don’t worry, it’s not a documentary about Stewart Copeland, drummer with the Police; it’s one that he presents, tracing the history of drumming, and it’s a blast.

“This is the device that invented rock ‘n’ roll,” he declares, holding up a bass drum pedal – which in 1890s New Orleans allowed one player (a man called Dee Dee Chandler) to combine the various drums and cymbals that freed slaves had inherited from Confederate marching bands into a kit.

Copeland paradiddles through the many styles and grooves that followed, with help from contributors including Sheila E (Prince’s drummer) and Roger Linn (inventor of the drum machine). Smashing.


The former Police musician explores the drums as the founding instrument of popular modern music. Beats that travelled from Africa, via New Orleans and across the world, are the consistent force behind musical evolution. Stewart plays with some of the most inspiring drummers of the past 50 years, including John Densmore of the Doors, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince's musical director Sheila E, New Order's Stephen Morris and the Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins. He also goes dancing in New Orleans, builds his own bass drum pedal and checks out hot new bands on Santa Monica beach.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Stewart Copeland
Contributor John Densmore
Contributor Chad Smith
Contributor Sheila E
Contributor Stephen Morris
Contributor Taylor Hawkins
Director Nico Wasserman
Executive Producer Jez Nelson
Producer Nicky Lessware
Producer Nico Wasserman
see more
Documentary Music