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Ian Copeland.

Ian Copeland, the influential booking agent and music impresario for punk and new wave acts, died May 23 in Los Angeles of melanoma. He was 57.

Copeland's younger brother Stewart was the founder and drummer of the Police, and went on to become a film and television composer. Brother Miles founded Intl. Records Syndicate (I.R.S.).

Ian Copeland founded Frontier Booking Intl. (F.B.I.), the New York talent agency that represented the Police, R.E.M., XTC, the B-52's and the Go-Go's.

Born in Damascus, Syria, Copeland was the son of the late Miles Copeland Jr., a former jazz trumpeter turned U.S. intelligence officer.

He joined the U.S. Army at the height of the Vietnam War, where he was awarded several Medals of Honor and earned the enduring nickname Leroy Cool-breeze.

Moving to London, he worked as a booking agent, handling acts such as the Average White Band. In the mid-1970s, Copeland moved to Macon, Ga., where he worked for the Paragon Agency, booking tours for Southern rockers including Charlie Daniels, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band.

He began booking tours for new bands such as Squeeze, the Police and a local Georgia band, the B-52's.

When Paragon suddenly folded during the height of the Police's popularity with "Roxanne," Copeland started his own booking outfit, F.B.I., specializing in promoting new musical acts on the burgeoning U.S. club circuit.

F.B.I. became an influential talent agency, repping acts including Adam Ant, the Bangles, the Smiths, Thompson Twins, the Fixx, UB40, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Oingo Boingo, the Dead Kennedys and the Cure. Copeland also signed R.E.M., co-founded by his longtime Macon friend and Paragon coworker Bill Berry.

The Copeland brothers were named humanitarians of the year in 1985 by the AMC Cancer Research Center.

Copeland's autobiography, "Wild Thing: The Backstage, On the Road, In the Studio, Off the Charts Memoirs of Ian Copeland," was published in 1995.

In recent years, he opened the Backstage Cafe in Beverly Hills.

He is survived by two daughters; his mother; brothers Miles III and Stewart; and sister Lennie, a writer and producer.

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Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 29, 2006
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