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Rod Stewart
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1. It was after hearing Specialty Records',
Larry Williams inimitable gravely voice, that Rod Stewart decided he would become a lead vocalist. With his own inimitable gravely voice, and his one-of-the-lads demeanor, and longtime reputation as a master showman, Rod Stewart became one of the true superstars of the '70s. A onetime soccer player, gravedigger, and street singer, Stewart began his career with U.K. singer Long John Baldry's group the Hoochie Coochie Men in 1964, moved on to later groups such as Steam Packet and Shotgun Express, and established himself internationally in 1968 as lead vocalist of the Jeff Beck Group.
----- Before leaving, he signed a solo deal with Mercury Records that would lead to 1971's international No. 1 smash "Maggie May"; at the same time, he and Beck Group bassist Ronnie Wood became key members of reconstituted '60s pop group the Small Faces. By the time the Faces disbanded in 1975, Stewart was an enormously successful solo act and has continued making top 10, platinum-selling albums well into the '90s.
----- While Stewart's brilliance as an interpretive singer has often been the major focus of his acclaim--indeed, many think his readings of Cat Stevens's "The First Cut Is The Deepest" and Danny Whitten's "I Don't Want To Talk About It" are definitive--his song writing skills are in many ways critically undervalued.
----- While he has generally tended to use collaborators--most often band members or accompanying musicians such as Ronnie Wood or Martin Quittenton in the early days, Gary Grainger, Jim Cregan and Carmine Appice later on--several of his biggest hits, including "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)," "Hot Legs" and "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)" were entirely self-penned.
----- In fact, during the earliest phase of his solo career--between 1969's "The Rod Stewart Album" and 1971's "Every Picture Tells A Story"--the singer drew as much critical attention for the folksy warmth of his song writing style as his singing prowess.
----- Even later, while Stewart was scoring top 40 hits with the comparatively shallow lyrical fare of "Hot Legs", he was also producing sophisticated and intelligent work such as the top 30 "The Killing Of Georgie (Part I and II)," a moving song about the death of one of his friends.

During the same period (1969-79) --
Stewart was dogged by press accounts of his glamorous personal life,
which has included a string of notably beautiful blonde girlfriends and wives (including Britt Ekland, Alana Hamilton, and current spouse Rachel Hunter), and his tax-driven 1975 move to glitzy Los Angeles--which made him a prime target of celebrity-cruising paparazzi for much of the decade.
----- Nonetheless, as musical trends came and went, whether disco or punk and new wave rock, Stewart's noteworthy consistency throughout the '80s won him back much of the critical admiration he'd lost during the "Sexy" period.
----- Alternative heroes such as the Replacements spoke warmly of the singer's early '70s work with the Faces, and in the '90s, hugely popular bands such as the Black Crowes reached the top of the charts playing music obviously deeply influenced by Stewart. Additionally, the fact that the singer's 1989 top 5 hit "Downtown Train" was penned by a critical favorite like Tom Waits suggested Stewart's taste was as contemporary as ever; at 45, he was still no dinosaur.
----- Stewart became (and remains) an enormously popular concert attraction, and was one of many older artists to resolidify his career via one of MTV's Unplugged sessions. Rod Stewart "Unplugged and Seated", 1993 set, shot to No. 2 and went double platinum; further, it provided him dual hits via his remakes of Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately" and Tim Hardin's "Reason To Believe," the latter of which he'd originally covered on 1971's Every Picture Tells A Story.
----- By late 1993, Stewart had yet another large hit on his hands with "All For Love," taken from that year's film The Three Musketeers and featuring the triple-talent lineup of Stewart, Bryan Adams, and Sting. In 1998, he released the oddly-titled "When We Were The New Boys," which actually contained covers of songs by Oasis, Primal Scream and Waterboy Mike Scott. In all, three decades into a hit-filled career, Rod Stewart remains very much in the picture--and that picture, as the song goes, tells one very fascinating story.

Rod Stewart Quotes From Smiler
----- "I'm a great model railway enthusiast and I'm building a huge layout over there in California so that takes up a little bit of time and football takes up a little bit of time. And then there's the Children and I like to go out with the lads two or three times a week and go completely mad and sometimes I get barnet done . . . it's still all my own hair, you know.
----- Which is more than can be said for Elton. Bald bugger. And in between all that, I sometimes try to fit in a bit of music."
----- "I'm a great model railway enthusiast and I'm building a huge layout over there in California so that takes up a little bit of time and football takes up a little bit of time. And then there's the Children and I like to go out with the lads two or three times a week and go completely mad and sometimes I get barnet done . . . it's still all my own hair, you know. Which is more than can be said for Elton. Bald bugger. And in between all that, I sometimes try to fit in a bit of music.". - - that's Roderick David Stewart in his own words.

Born in Highgate, North London,
on 10th January 1945.

----- Rod's father Robert Joseph Stewart came from King's Port in Edinburgh, Scotland. Rod's mother, Elsie, came from Upper Holloway, North London. The Cockney girl fell for the Scot and the couple married in 1928.
----- The Stewart clan began to appear afterwards. Rod's brothers Don and Bob and his sisters Mary and Peggy were all born in Scotland. However the family moved to London to 507 Archway Road, Highgate where after a gap of eight years, young Roddy was born. This means that Rod is the only member of the family to have been born in England, a misfortune which Rod has tended to overlook....
----- Thirty minutes before Roderick was born a big shock had hit the district in the shape of a German V2 rocket which made a direct hit on Highgate Police Station. Rod reflected years later:
----- "I've always thought that I was very lucky because that bomb fell just a stone's throw from where I lived. I've sort of had a feeling that I nearly didn't make it."
----- Rod Stewart's childhood was conventional. He lived above the news agent's shop in Archway Road in North London. The news agent's shop was owned by the Stewarts themselves. As already mentioned, Roderick was the youngest of five so he was spoiled by his family but of course, he was taught to respect his elders, especially his parents.
----- He was mainly interested in football and model railways. He's never lost that passion over the years. He still enjoys to play with the model railway and football is still as important (or even more) to him than it was way back in the fifties. He was very much interested in the singer Al Jolson, an American Jewish baritone, who was very popular in the thirties. Rod's father and the two brothers were football fans. They even started a local team called the 'Highgate Redwings'.
----- Al Jolson was Rod's great love and many times the Stewart family would regularly gather around the piano and sing Jolson's hits. When Rod became older, he started to read books about him and began to collect his records. He was very impressed by Jolson's performing style. Jolson died in 1953. He was Rod's strongest influence and that stayed with him throughout his life.
----- Schooldays were spent at the William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School in Hornsey. Rod once said about school:
----- " Horrific! Primary school, which is from age five to eleven, was just bearable because it was close to my home . . . I'm very close to my whole family. But when I went to Secondary Modern it was about five miles away and that was unbearable. I really wasn't good at school and I didn't like it, although I never missed a day. My favorite subject was probably history and I was very artistic, good at sketching. I was real cocky, and that obviously comes from insecurity. I was real aggressive, taking the piss out of people all the time".
----- So, Rod felt that only playing football could be a way he could earn a living. He practiced as much as possible and eventually signed apprentice papers with Brentford FC in West London. Robert Stewart was very pleased -- however, the apprenticeship wasn't a holiday.
----- Young Roddy was expected to get up early in the morning and much to his dismissal found himself cleaning the first team's boots most of the time. The training program didn't appeal to him either and so after a few weeks, much to Robert Stewart's disappointment, he decided to leave the place and quit.

BIOGRAPHY from Smiler tviNews / Biography participation, by Dave DiMartino

The title always bothered the singer.
It led many to think Stewart himself was posing the question. "If I ever wrote a song which put a fly in the ointment or a spanner in the works--it's this one," Stewart pointed out in the liner notes to his 1989 career retrospective, Storyteller/ the Complete Anthology: 1984-1991. "It was frightening, stirring up so much love and hate at the same time:
----- Most of the public loved it; all the critics hated it. I can understand both positions. Anyway, that was then. By the way, just to set the record straight. This song is not sung in the first person and your most humble vocalist is not singing about himself nor am I praising my minimal sex appeal. I am but a narrator telling a story about a couple."
----- "To add a few tidbits about the above", said, Josie Cory, in an interview for this article, "when with Stewart upstairs in the stage penthouse where he was getting ready for the the second video song, and acting as his hairstylst, he was all business. When I quized him about the rock disco sound, and the blond Adrian teen models, Troy had lined up for the shoot, and which of the songs he thought was going to be the big hit, Mr. Stewart in a serious round about way, said, "Blondes have more Fun" . . . was the song the band got into. His only complaint was the hair dryer and the towels. The dryer wasn't powerfull enough and the towels weren't brown . . . so . . . he sent his assistant out to buy them.-
----
"In essence", said Troy, during the same interview for this article, "I agree with those who say, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" and "Blondes Have More Fun", ended the era's Bee Gee disco trend. "In 1979, we sold the studio to disco hit maker Donna Sommer, who was just celebrating her number one chart hit, "Hot Stuff".
----- After making a few music videos, she turned the famous Hollywood studio that once headquartered the sounds of CBS's Groucho Marx, NBC's, Steve Allen, Rod Stewart, and my own syndicated musical/comedy television show, -- into a religious relic." It was Steve Allen, who used the Hollywood Ranch Market across the street from the Studio, as a video location focal point, to interview people about, "Life in Hollywood". Click to learn more About Troy Cory's Vine Street Video Center.

-----"It just goes to show you,", says TVI Magazine -- "NOTHING IN THIS WORLD IS PERMANENT" . . . so follow the money - - and take some advice from a dinner-time chat with "Stonehead" -- Disappointments Are Great! Follow the Money . . . the Internet and the Smart- Daaf Boys.

 

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