With “Maggie May” running through my subconscious, I opened “Rod, the Autobiography” (ISBN 978-0-09-957475-0, Arrow Books, 2012) and began reading. After several hours of chuckles to guffaws, I found I had to change my pre-conceived opinion of this man Rod Stewart.
His book is certainly a no holds barred look at his life and at the outset describes his love of football and his association with Scotland, even though he had been born in London. He even went for a try-out for a professional side, but he was not selected, to his father’s disappointment.
He had several menial jobs after leaving school, recounting in his laconic style, “You learn a lot about yourself, doing physical work. And what I learned about myself was that I didn’t like doing physical work.”
He fell in with some musicians and in his own words, “If there were traces of a future career in these early shamblings, they were hard to spot.” However, he did manage to make a future career in the music industry as we all know.
The book gives an insight into the workings of a group in their early stages, “cash in shoeboxes and envelopes, no proper accounting, just the occasional tally of expenses on a napkin.”
Rod Stewart also mentions the fact that there was no planning of their lives either, with tours on top of tours on top of tours. Of course these did bring in money, and for many of these young lads it was money such as they had only dreamed of. For Rod Stewart, it was for buying Lamborghini’s.
Beautiful women were a feature of his life, and still are! “When it came to beautiful women, I was a tireless seeker of experiences.” However, he was not good at making the first approach, getting his secretary to do that first, before Rod would take the phone. The end of these relationships was often acrimonious, and that with Britt Ekland expensive. “In the two years that I was with Britt, I made two of my most successful albums – as her lawyer would eventually point out in no uncertain terms.”
From his wives and girlfriends he has eight children and he loves them all but you do feel sorry for step-children abandoned post divorces.
There are many plates, both B&W and color, with many being his family, wives and children. The reader is made to feel he or she is a family friend going through Rod’s photo albums.
I laughed all the way through. The self-deprecating style is not what you would expect from someone who is undoubtedly a ‘super star’. However, the insecurity which remains uppermost is something you would not expect from someone who is undoubtedly a ‘super star’ either. When he was unable to see his way clear in his convoluted love life for example, he would go back home to mother! A Jack the Lad in many ways, profligate in others, a life style to be envied in some ways, but comes across as very distinctly human, and likeable.
You probably can’t spend a better B. 385 to fill a weekend.