The Police’s Stewart Copeland Rips Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant


Ultimate-Guitar have up a new interview with former The Police drummer Stewart Copeland, where he insults former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant’s singing.

But you dug John Bonham?

No, I wasn’t a Bonham guy either until years later. I was a Mitch [Mitchell] guy and a Ginger [Baker] guy and Bonham I didn’t get. I didn’t notice him because the singing put me off and I couldn’t take Led Zeppelin seriously because of that singing. I never even got as far as checking out the drums. But later on I came to realize what a monster he was.

Did you ever see Hendrix or Cream perform?

I did. The first professional band I saw when I got to England from Beirut that wasn’t my high school band was Jimi Hendrix at the Saville Theatre in England.

Were you blown away?

Not as much as I thought I would be because the sound was so weird. I had never heard amplified drums and in those days they were really badly amplified. It was like, ‘I wish they would turn everything off so I could hear what’s going on.’ It was just a terrible sound but it was amazing of course. Remember the opening act was the Crazy World of Arthur Brown was good too.

  • April Simkins

    well Mr. Copeland sure doesn’t sound like very much fun to be around. I think he’s got a stick up his @rse.

    • Patrick Obrien

      Da do do do da da da da is all I want to say to u. And he wants to talk trash about zep? They were giants Stewart who? Show me one person that never heard of led zeppelin. That’s what I thought. Stewart you’re a clown!

      • Floyd Zepplin

        Copeland is a bitter, second rate drummer

        • Keyser Soze

          Copeland is actually quite a good drummer. Certainly not my favorite and the Police always bored me, but we don’t have to beat him up just because we don’t like his opinion. I love Led Zeppelin, he doesn’t. So what?

          BTW, listen to the unique soundtrack music he composed for “The Equalizer” TV series. Copeland IS a talented musician!

          • Melinda Rhodes

            A talented and jealous one = has personal issues. 🙂

      • Patrick Obrien

        Some things should be kept to yourself. That’s his opinion fine. Let’s look at net worth. I’d bet bonham is worth more than stevie and he’s been dead since 1980

      • Christopher Madden

        “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh/You don’t have to go.”

  • Gary Reilly

    Couldn’t take Led Zep seriously “because of that singing” ? Plant is widely regarded by critics, fans and peers alike as one of the all-time great rock vocalists. Methinks it’s Copeland who shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    • Michael Haselton

      Thats why they wanna pay led. 894 million to go on tour the police maybe 50000

  • Marc Edward

    Stewart Who?

  • Tom Leustek

    Funny thing. To me there is no worse of a sound than the Police. I have to switch the station every time they come on. And my ears are so keenly tuned to their sound, like finger nails screeching on a chalk board, that I can instantly detect horrible songs like “Roxanne” or ” Message in a bottle”. But I always turn up the volume when Zeppelin comes on.

  • Linda Harris

    Robert Plants hauntingly beautiful vocals are as integral to the magic of Led Zeppelin as Jimmys guitar and John’s drums, maybe more so. “Rock and Roll” , for me, is the ultimate rock song, ever, and The Police don’t have anything that comes close to it. Stewart sounds like he works hard at being snobby and superior.

    • dakotablue

      Attended a Stewart Copeland press conference years ago and he asked–no, demanded–that someone bring a coffee “for the effete artist” (meaning himself). Came across as a very snobby and better-than-you guy.

  • britannia1799

    stewart copeland and the police. A cultural wart on the face of British music. Their lead vocals ‘Stung’ me once too often.
    Robert Plant does not need to be defended.

    • Bollicky Bill


  • Edward T. Head

    Who is this guy again?

  • Edward T. Head

    Doosh-canoe gonna doosh, typical

  • krafty

    Sure, but even Robert Plant bashes himself while in Zeppelin these days:

  • Melinda Rhodes

    Jealousy will get you nowhere. That’s how I saw this article. Though I did love the police Stewart Copeland has achieved nowhere near the fame as Robert Plant. How can you say his vocals were ~ what bad? Ludicrous. On top of that, I think amazingly, Plant is pretty humble these days I have listened to some current interviews from Carry fire. You can also see from his lifestyle he is down to earth. Too bad Copeland – envy is a bad feeling and a bad place to be. You’re not such a big wheel, you should try to be devoid of ego for a day or two it has an amazing affect on your heart.

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    • Christopher Madden

      “Jealousy will get you nowhere.”

      Thanks for reminding us, Dirk! 🙂

      • Melinda Rhodes


        • Christopher Madden

          thanks for getting the reference! LONG LIVE PERCY 🙂

          • Melinda Rhodes

            Haha, in all honesty, I had to look it up ~ because it peaked a curiosity. 🙂 Learning ~ always good.

  • Giusto

    Hey, I like Led Zeppelin too, but I agree with Copeland’s comments. To serious musicians who try to play as skillfully as possible, Zeppelin, at first, must have sounded like mostly loud noise. You can’t compare The Police with Led Zeppelin. Two different genres at two different periods in the development of rock music. Personally, I never cared for Sting’s voice. Bohnam was a monster drummer and Page was an innovator on guitar who took chances and pushed modern rock guitar into the next level. Plant made every Rock singer want to sound like him. So, in the end Rock music was better for having heard Led Zeppelin. I can’t say that about The Police.

    • M Dunn

      The last part of your comment I agree with , the first part NO. Zep’s first album’s a masterpiece and their early stuff live was great , they sounded like the Yardbirds instrumentally with a better drummer and they had Robert don’t call me Bob. I was gonna trash this Copeland guy but everyone else did such a good job I don’t need to.

  • Guest
  • Clarence Beidler

    Rags on Robert Plant and can handle the sound of Stings voice singing Roxanne. Sting is absolutely terrible.

    • April Simkins

      exactly. oh the irony of it all

  • Clarence Beidler

    Listen to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss singing and harmonizing together. Total compliment to each other.

    • Wordsworth_from_Wadsworth

      It’s some harmony, isn’t it? Bob deserves a lot of credit for trying other genres and interesting projects like the one with Ms. Krauss. He always had that curiosity and eclecticism which added much to Led Zep.

  • Clarence Beidler

    Absolutely beautiful

    • April Simkins

      God, those 2 make me cry, perfect. your long journey is a true tearjerker yet so beautiful about death. i played it at my mom’s celebration of life

  • Clarence Beidler
  • Suicide_Note

    Everyone with rock n’ roll dreams from ’68 onwards wanted to sing like, and be, Robert Plant. No one ever wants to be, let alone be compared to, Sting, who is one of rocks all time douches.

    Copeland is a very good drummer, but he doesn’t have any credibility with regards to judging vocalists, seeing as how he plays second or third fiddle to Sting.

    • Firecard Rock

      I think that these older artists tend to say things like this just to get a little press buzz. He is probably planning to tour or something, so Robert Plant is pretty huge right now and if he says something off-putting it will get him in the news again and generate some kind of buzz, just speculation, of course.

  • Kate Waters

    Hey Stewie, don’t quit your day job to become a rock critic. You really suck at it.

  • Dave’s Kustomcity

    Stuart copeland is a worthless nobody. Anyone could drum for the police.

    • April Simkins

      jeez. isn’t that the truth

  • Dave’s Kustomcity

    Just read his comments and you can see how totally bizarre he is. Seems like he doesn’t know a lot about music

    • Charlton Wilson Cht Ccht

      son, you have no clue about what you are speaking. go look up his CV and see what he’s done since police.

  • Dave’s Kustomcity

    He’s too busy appearing on Storage Wars..if it wasn’t for Andy summers and sting, you would never even have heard of him. I think he thinks he is Neil Peart.Keep dreaming.

    • April Simkins

      um, I did not know that. Storage Wars, huh? so he’s a big tv star now I suppose.

  • FM KC

    Even this guy is entitled to his own opinion. However, the way he chose to express it is insulting, no matter whom he was referring to… even more so when he meant Robert Plant. Nothing wrong if he doesn’t connect with Plant’s singing, yet the way he said it shows his own insecurities and frustration at best. Small dogs bark the loudest.

    • Melinda Rhodes

      Sooooo true….

  • Greg MF Jones

    Stewart is a conceited idiot!!! The Police didn’t have 16 number 1 albums!!!!

    • Charlton Wilson Cht Ccht

      no, just 15 #1 albums. not 16.

  • Keyser Soze

    Robert Plant is unequivocally my favorite singer. However, I understand that everyone doesn’t like the same thing. Popularity isn’t a measure of quality. If Stewart doesn’t like Robert, I’m OK with that. I still can’t stand listening to Janis Joplin or Rush, while the hoards still insist they are fantastic. If we all liked the same thing, it would be a boring world.

    • FM KC

      Wise words. The funny thing is how he said it tho. Like I couldn’t focus on Brian May’s guitar because of some ‘stache guy’s singing 🙂

      • Keyser Soze

        Hey! I’m glad you brought up Queen! I don’t “HATE’ their stuff, but I have never thought of Freddie Mercury as any unique singer and Brian May’s guitar tone always annoyed me. But lots of people think they were the best band ever to hit the airwaves. Maybe they were! But they don’t do anything for me. When it comes to pop music, it’s all a matter of preference. Just don’t get me started on rap!

        • FM KC

          I have a buddy who can’t stand the Stones and has lots of wtf looks whenever he says that. I’m a kid of the nineties mainly into alternative, yet I have so much respect for the great bands from before that for leading the way. Not so much the ones after, irrespective of the genre… and I try to live a rap-free life, unless accidental exposure to it!

  • Steve

    Well, They do say opinions are like a-holes. This guy is a big OPINION !!!! Never see this tool in any of the Greatest of all time list. Hmmm….Jealous Stewie?

  • christoper christian

    they were interesting comments;in a number of books I have read,it seemed like Liverpool giving up on the Beatles,as they moved to London;Led Zeppelin were a massive band,but from what I have read,a lot of British people did not like them;the Police were an amazing band;John Bonham said in a concert,that he thought Message in a bottle was an amazing song ! the Police were around for 8 years and toured everywhere,and split after Syncronicity;Led Zeppelin were together 12 years,toured everywhere,and and still have the 2007 02 Concerts in London with Jason Bonham;The Police have reformed too,but to me,you can’t compare both groups;i think Bonham to be a better drummer than Copeland…

  • J Private

    All the bashing of Copeland simply because he stated his opinion of Zep’s music. So what? There are very popular bands I haven;t liked. They just don’t hit me where I live and feel that their music isn;t very good. One band in particular, that if I posted my dislike of them here, would get me ripped to shreds I am sure. You don;t have to be more famous nor more successful to have an opinion of music that other’s do.

  • James Keegan

    I would compare Mr. Plants volume of work MINUS Led Zeppelin and he would still dwarf Mr. Copeland’s achievements. personally I always felt the Police were over rated to begin with, but that’s me.

  • Kurt Noble

    The Police are an annoyingly Saccharin easy-listening pop band. Hard to take them seriously as authoritative pundits of rock history. Roxanne? Message In A Bottle? Every Breath You Take? Good god. Songs I’d rush to the radio as fast as I could to change the station, every time they came on. Arrogant bunch of pansy-pop-penning daisies, compared to Led Zeppelin. Why are we even being subjected to this tool’s opinion about a vastly superior band? His comment about “barely noticing Bonham” makes me chuckle, too. What a lying tart. Every drummer I know fell in love with Bonham’s thunder the second his first snare-crushing hammer hits ear drums. These guys are hilariously self-righteous for a bunch of sappy bubble-gum pop-stars. Anyone with a single name, “Sting,” is also worthy of ridicule. They should do a show with Enya and Cher, in Vegas, which is kind of where they belong at this point.

  • BigTunaLV

    Funny! “Robert Plant reportedly turned down $800 million deal for Zeppelin reunion” I wonder what the offer to hear Copeland play the drums? Can someone dig that up for me? “Stewart, you have some free time!!!”

  • randyboy10

    It’s obvious that Copeland was never a fan of rock and roll growing up. He’s basically European douche. I bet he would be hard, pressed to even know the name of the singer he’s talking about. His ignorance is astounding. The Police are not and will never be worthy of licking Led Zeppelin’s ballsacks.

  • crag keeper

    Why can’t everybody from all age groups just admit that there were only two worthwhile Rock Pop Bands in the last 70 years ,and forever moving forward. And one great drummer.
    Bands: Beatles and Zep. Drummer: Bonham Sr. The Police? A novelty band with a Collins like workaholic singer. Do real people even know who the drummer and the other guy were besides Sting? Not me. Ringo: a human metronome. That’s fine. Baker? : like a kid with a new drum kit thrashing about with 2 bass drums. Who needs 2 basedrums with a properly quick foot?
    Such silly talk. McCartney, Lennon, Page, Plant,Jones,and Bonham . That’s all that ever mattered.

    • Christopher Madden

      There are four, sir – four. Beatles Stones Who Zep. Townsend took the concept of the rock song and elevated it far beyond “You need coolin’, baby i’m not foolin'” or “Bang, bang, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. came down upon her head.”

      • crag keeper

        The Who were working class , would be dock workers, made good.
        The Stones? Some decent songs, but Jagger always comes across as less 100% Homo Sapien than what a front man should be. Rod Stewart seems more dignified. And that’s a stretch!

        • Christopher Madden

          “Jagger always comes across as less 100% Homo Sapien than what a front man should be”

          this makes no sense

  • Christopher Madden

    It is not illegal to say you don’t like Robert Plant’s voice, no matter how famous he is. Personally, for me, it died after “Zoso,” going from a glorious shriek to a little squeaky thing that couldn’t hope to live up to the power and intensity of I,II,III, and Zoso. Thus it is today; the great Robert Plant works with what he’s got. I saw Shape Shifters 4 years ago and they were amazing, Plant’s voice sent chills down the spine. But just not in that Zeppelin way.

  • Sidsie Stensgaard

    At least, someone has the balls to say what many have always thought. Keith Richards was of the same mind too, namely that Plant’s vocals are awful. Good singer, but a terrible voice. All that baby baby baby and high pitched screeching…..terrible.

  • Clarence Beidler

    I can’t stand hearing sting singing, he sounds like a stuck pig.

  • Jim

    Couldn’t take Zeppelin seriously because of Plant’s voice, yet he records an album as part of Oysterhead with Les Claypool on vocals…LOL.

    By the way, I love Les and his singing voice…but it wouldn’t be considered technically great by anyone’s standards.

    Copeland is a douche.