Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...

updated 12/04/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/04/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

>Ian Copeland


"EVERYBODY HAS ALWAYS SAID MY brother Ian would have been a more charismatic rock star than anybody he has ever represented," says Stewart Copeland, whose now disbanded group the Police benefited from Ian's guidance. "But instead of shouting to a sea of faces, he'd much rather sit at the dinner table and regale everybody personally."

For those of us who have never been invited to the legendary booking agent's Spanish-style Hollywood Hills home, here's the next best thing: his new memoir, Wild Thing (Simon & Schuster, $23). Readers might be tempted to rely on the index to scarf up juicy tidbits about such celebrity Copeland clients as Sting and the Allman Brothers, or former girlfriends, including Courteney Cox Arquette and Marianne Faith-full. But then they'd be missing some of the most intriguing chapters of this story, beginning with Copeland's boyhood in Beirut as the motorcycle-riding, car-stealing black-sheep son of a CIA agent dad and a British archeologist mom.

Sixteen years after forming his maverick Frontier Booking International ("If you say the FBI's on the phone, people are going to take that call," he observes), Copeland, 46, who helped build early-career buzz for R.E.M., Squeeze and Nine Inch Nails, remains as enthusiastic as ever. Despite all the club-hopping and travel, the divorced father of two finds time to tend his hillside garden and host jams with friends—although "it may not make me popular with the neighbors."

Come Christmas, the neighbors can anticipate a reprieve: Copeland and his cat Yassir will be moving to New York City. "I like bumping into people, bumping into opportunities," he says. "In Hollywood you see people, but you don't have any contact with them because they're in passing cars. In New York everyone's in your face. I kinda like that."

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