Rod Stewart Biography

Review The Artist (25)

Rod Stewart-photo
BORN: January 10, 1945, London, England

b. Roderick David Stewart, 10 January 1945, Highgate, London, England. The leading UK rock star of the 70s started his career as an apprentice professional with Brentford Football Club (over the years Stewart has made it known that football is his second love). Following a spell roaming Europe with folk artist Wizz Jones in the early 60s he returned to join Jimmy Powell And The Five Dimensions in 1963. This frantic R&B band featured Rod playing furious harmonica, reminiscent of James Cotton and Little Walter. As word got out, he was attracted to London and was hired by Long John Baldry in his band the Hoochie Coochie Men (formerly Cyril Davies' All Stars).

Without significant success outside the club scene, the band disintegrated and evolved into the Steampacket, with Baldry, Stewart, Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll, Mickey Waller and Rick Brown. Following a television documentary on the swinging mod scene, featuring Stewart, he collected his moniker 'Rod the Mod'. In 1965, he joined the blues-based Shotgun Express as joint lead vocalist with Beryl Marsden. The impressive line-up included Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and Peter Bardens. By the following year, Stewart was well-known in R&B and blues circles, but it was joining the Jeff Beck Group that gave him national exposure. During his tenure with Beck he recorded two important albums, Truth and Cosa Nostra-Beck Ola and made a number of gruelling tours of America.

When the group broke up (partly through exhaustion) Stewart and Ron Wood joined the Faces, now having lost their smallest face, Steve Marriott. Simultaneously, Stewart had been signed as a solo artist to Phonogram, and he managed to juggle both careers expertly over the next six years. Though critically well-received, his first album sold only moderately; it was Gasoline Alley that made the breakthrough. In addition to the superb title track it contained the glorious 'Lady Day'. This album marked the beginning of the 'mandolin' sound supplied by the talented guitarist Martin Quittenton. Stewart became a superstar on the strength of his next two albums, Every Picture Tells A Story and Never A Dull Moment.

Taken as one body of work, they represent Stewart at his best. His choice and exemplary execution of non-originals gave him numerous hits from these albums including; 'Reason To Believe' ( Tim Hardin ), 'I'm Losing You' ( Temptations ), 'Angel' ( Jimi Hendrix ). His own classics were the irresistible chart-topping magnum opus 'Maggie May' and the wonderful 'You Wear It Well', all sung in his now familiar frail, hoarse voice. In the mid-70s, following the release of the below average Smiler, Stewart embarked on a relationship with the actress, Britt Ekland. Besotted with her, he allowed her to dictate his sense of dress, and for a while appeared in faintly ludicrous dungarees made out of silk and ridiculous jump suits.

At the same time he became the darling of the magazine and gutter press, a reputation he unwillingly maintained through his succession of affairs with women. Atlantic Crossing was his last critical success for many years; it included the future football crowd anthem and number 1 hit, 'Sailing' (written by Gavin Sutherland), and a fine reading of Dobie Gray 's 'Drift Away'. His albums throughout the second half of the 70s were patchy affairs although they became phenomenally successful, selling millions, in many cases topping the charts world-wide. The high-spots during this glitzy phase, which saw him readily embrace the prevalent disco era, were 'The Killing Of Georgie', Cat Stevens' 'First Cut Is The Deepest', 'Tonight's The Night' and 'You're In My Heart'.

Other hits included 'Hot Legs' and the superbly immodest but irresistible number 1, 'D'Ya Think I'm Sexy'. His 'Ole Ola', meanwhile, was adopted by the Scottish World Cup football team, an area in which his popularity has always endured.

Stewart entered the 80s newly married, to George Hamilton IV 's ex-wife, Alana, and maintained his momentum of regular hits and successful albums; his large body of fans ensured a chart placing irrespective of the quality. The 80s saw Stewart spending his time jet-setting all over the world, with the press rarely far from his heels (covering his marriage break-up, his long relationship with Kelly Emberg, and the unceasing round of parties). Behind the jack-the-lad persona was an artist who still had a good ear for a quality song, a talent which surfaced throughout the decade with numbers like 'How Long' ( Paul Carrick ), 'Some Guys Have All The Luck' ( Robert Palmer ) and, reunited with Jeff Beck, a superb performance of Curtis Mayfield 's 'People Get Ready'.

His biggest hits of the 80s were 'What Am I Gonna Do', 'Every Beat Of My Heart' and 'Baby Jane'. As the 90s got under way Stewart, now re-married, indicated that he had settled down, and found an enduring love at last. His new guise has not affected his record sales; in April 1991 he was high on the UK chart with 'Rhythm Of My Heart' and had the best selling Vagabond Heart. Unplugged And Seated in 1993 boosted his credibility with an exciting performance of familiar songs. A new album in 1995 was his best for years and during the launch Stewart undertook some interviews which were both revealing and hilarious. The once seemingly pompous rock star, dressed to the nines in baggy silks was really 'Rod the Mod' after all.

Rod Stewart, one of the biggest 'superstars' of the century, has turned 50 without his audience diminishing in any way. His credibility as high as it had ever been, Stewart then released When We Were The New Boys, debuting at UK number 2 in June 1998. On the album Stewart covered newer material by 90s bands including Skunk Anansie ('Weak'), Primal Scream ('Rocks') and Oasis ('Cigarettes & Alcohol'). He also revisited the Faces on the single 'Ooh La La', originally sung by Ron Wood on the album of the same name.

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Sailing | Reviewer: Peter Ndungu | 1/5/14

There has never been a rocker in the UK like Rod. My fisrt album was "Atlantic Crossing". When I flew from Nairobi via London to Toronto, Vancouver and Maimi on different ocassions the lyrics of "Sailing" were on my lips! My heart sang the song! Visit Kenya some day for a holiday or safari! Lots of celebrities like Naomi Campbell and British Royalty do! Hakuna Matata i.e. No problem

Stirling Castle | Reviewer: Ann Thomson | 12/8/12

Watching your Christmas show on tele wishing I had been there, what a lovely show. Have seen you in concert many years ago at the Playhouse in Edinburgh and at Ibrox Football Stadium. Long may you continue to entertain us. Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2013 as always x

Great admirer of a great family man | Reviewer: Jan Watson | 11/6/12

I saw Rod on loose women 5/11/12 and his sister Mary,how proud he was of her with constant reconision of her,how lovely to see.i went straight out and bought his autobiography and am glued to it. Long live Rod. Ardent Chelsea and Celtic fan born in the same year.

A fan letter | Reviewer: Jo | 4/17/11

Hi Rod, I've been a fan of yours forever. I have never seen you in concert but have always loved your music. Would love a hello from you. I'd frame it and show it to all my friends. My best to you always.

Rod stays "forever young" | Reviewer: Carol | 4/7/11

Hi Rod, saw your concert in philly the other night and enjoyed it immensely. you are truly a legend and still as sexy as the first time i saw you in concert about 15 years ago. keep on going. stay forever young and keep entertaining crowds of all ages. I'm 65 yrs old and wish i could dance around like you. you're in my heart and in my soul forever. God bless you and your new baby.

You are timeless! | Reviewer: Andrea | 3/30/11

Hello Mr. Stewart
I have enjoyed your music all my life and I really enjoyed your interview with Piers Morgan!
Your sense of humour is delightful.
The reason I am writing however, is that I have a very good friend who adores you and attends all of your concerts in Toronto. This woman saved my life, quite literally, and the best gift I can think of to show my love and appreciation, is to arrange any thing with you. If I sent you the money, could you send her a T-Shirt with your name and hers on it or give her a shout out at your next concert??? Or if you could think of something original, I would love to hear it. This woman is a hero to me and you are her greatest hero! I sincerely hope to hear from you.

to great man, | Reviewer: danette hall | 10/31/10

what can i say . you so wonderful to me. i,ve been fan ,since 1967 .you got thur hard times in my life , goodtimes. so you ever get back cleveland .i,m coming see you . i,m grown now . but tatse in music didn,t change you,re no1 in my book .i love you ,i love you so much from bottom of my heart ,soul .

Credits | Reviewer: wt | 6/15/10

In the bio author credits Robert Palmer as original artist of "Some Guys Have All The Luck". It was in fact Jamaican artist Junior Tucker. Palmer thought he wrote it and came very close to taking credit for it on the album, later saying "It must have been playing while I was sleeping some where...woke up with it in my head...and recorded it. Actually in the interview he didn't seem too sure.

oxoxox | Reviewer: pandy | 11/3/09

Dear Rod Stewart,I seen you on sunday in redondo i blew u a little kiss!I didnt want to bother u so i kept on walking.You look really good.By the way you made my day..i love your music and your rustic voice.Hope to see you again one day.i do still think your Sexy ololol.Love,pandy

you will always be in my heart and soul | Reviewer: Amanda Lam | 9/2/09

I'v lisened to you music for ever,You were there when I broke up with my first love.
I have your music in my car and the house, I even sing your songs when I got to karaoke not that I can sing as good as you do lol.
Thanks you for bring your music to are hearts xxx

Canadian fan | Reviewer: Joanne | 7/17/09

I'll never forget how your music help me through some very bad stuff, for the last 8 years, I have lost my dad, one special little boy and lots of special kids in my life. I loose myself in your music and can forget for a while the bad things. I will always remember you and your music. You are to me, a music legend. Your in my heart and will always stay there. Never seen you in concert. Maybe someday my dream will come true. Thanks for that wonderful raspy voice, don't ever chance. Love, Joanne

I'll be seeing you | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/14/09

My Brother's wife of ove 49 years passed away 3 years ago, she was a great fan of Rod Stewart, for several months after her death the computer she always used would start at the same time every day with the song I'll be seeing you by Rod Stewart we never figured out how.

Helping me through Chemo | Reviewer: Lynn | 1/3/09

I have been a big fan of yours since the beginning and have been to many of your concerts. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through Chemo and surgery, I lost myself in your music. I really helped me. Thank you

rod the legend | Reviewer: sioban | 12/12/08

I have been a massive fan of Rod since I was a teenager and his music all through the years. His music brings back special memories of my first love from Atlantic crossing and the gorgeous (P) to a few years later Out of Order and (P) again. Keep singing Rod but I do prefer the original music from Rod and not his recent albums, lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxx

greatest fan | Reviewer: lauren aube | 11/9/08

rod stewart im a 15 year old girl from south africa i realy love you and your music and i would realy appreiciate it if you would email me im coming to your concert on the 6 of december in johannesburg

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