Rod Stewart: ‘I got Elton a fridge for Christmas. He got me a Rembrandt’ | Rod Stewart

Did you’ve got any heroes to start with of your profession that you just needed to maneuver or seem like? JoeHill

I didn’t take a look at singers and assume: “That’s how I need to transfer,” however I sorta needed to sound like ’em. I began off with Eddie Cochran – that rough-edged voice – and moved on to Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack and David Ruffin. I went from being a beatnik to a mod with lengthy hair.

Born to Boogie on the brand new album [The Tears of Hercules] is about Marc Bolan. We used to go to the hairdresser’s collectively. I did the 1971 Weeley pageant once I was within the Faces and Maggie Could was No 1 and he was in T Rex, and he was ok to come back within the dressing room and admit that he didn’t need to observe us. Not many stars would have accomplished that. We grew to become nice mates. I beloved his music. It was simpler for him to put on sequins and no matter in Putney than up north.

You latterly revealed you have been transport your gorgeous mannequin railway to the UK. How do you transport such a venture? DoubleRDiner

It’s a mannequin metropolis [based on New York and Chicago] that took me 23 years to construct. It’s 60ft lengthy by 25ft extensive. Greater than most individuals’s homes. It’s taken seven months to maneuver. A whole lot of it needed to be rebuilt, as a result of you possibly can’t transfer a mannequin railroad. It’s very costly, however value it, ’cos it’s my favorite pastime and I work on it each day. I used to be born in Highgate, north London, and out of my window I may see railway traces and, past that, soccer pitches. I as soon as stated that I’d somewhat be on the duvet of Railway Modeller than Rolling Stone journal and Rolling Stone haven’t spoken to me since.

Which 5 songs do you by no means tire of singing? Nigglypat58

I really like all of them. They’re my infants. There was a time I got bored with singing Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? as a result of it was so critically put-down, however it made folks glad, so what’s mistaken with that? It nonetheless places a smile on folks’s faces once I sing it.

Are you able to inform us something extra in regards to the man who impressed The Killing of Georgie and the way intently the tune’s lyrics stick with what actually occurred? MissidahoPotato

As a homosexual child rising up in Glasgow, it meant a lot to listen to you singing one thing so passionate, if heartbreaking, about homosexual folks. Had been you nervous about how the tune can be obtained? Trumansdad

It’s a tune about a man who befriended the Faces. An excellent-looking homosexual black man who turned us on to a lot nice music. Within the 70s, being homosexual was harmful. Whether or not he got murdered as a result of he was homosexual or black or robbed, I don’t know, however it was in Decrease Manhattan. I believe the one resistance was from the nice previous BBC, however they resist something that could be risque. They didn’t realise I used to be serving to a lot of individuals. It offers me extra satisfaction than something when homosexual guys say: “Within the 70s, when it got here out, it was a actually black interval of my life and also you’ve no concept how a lot this tune helped me.”

I’ve been in legislation enforcement for 18 years. How do you are feeling about Penny [Lancaster, Rod’s wife, a special constable] being on this subject, particularly this present day? JbirdHuck7

A couple of years in the past, she went out on the beat with actual police for a TV particular. She had a few frights – a girl drug addict chased her with a needle making an attempt to stab her – however she beloved it. She handed her exams and the bodily stuff, equivalent to a bleep check, to see how sturdy her coronary heart is. Throughout coaching, guys would swear at her and cost at her like they have been rioters, however I’m so happy with her. She needs to take care of town she loves, which is London. Go lady! She’s 6ft 2in, so I don’t have to fret about her.

How a lot did Kenny Everett’s impression of you in leopardskin trousers sting on the time? johnnyfingers

When he had an inflating bum? [Laughs.] I beloved it! Sensible. I don’t thoughts the piss being taken out of me. I actually don’t. I’ve nonetheless got these trousers.

Is it true that you just have been paid for your legendary vocal on Python Lee Jackson’s In a Broken Dream with a set of automotive seat covers? doowenday

My mate labored for Marcos automobiles and I had certainly one of their little sports cars. He was making an attempt to get into managing rock teams and this lot got here from Australia, however they’d this tune which the singer couldn’t sing. My mate stated: “Are you able to come and do a demo for me?” That they had no cash, so he supplied me a set of carpets for the automotive. I sang it in two takes and by no means heard something extra about it till A$AP Rocky sampled it in Everyday. My boys love that, however ’cos it’s A$AP Rocky, not due to me.

I throughly loved Elton John’s account, in his autobiography, of his limitless makes an attempt to point out you up and upstage you. Which is your favorite – and do you’ve got a favorite retaliation? mattyjj

A few of them have been very public, however the one the place he confirmed me up essentially the most was in personal. We used to dwell 20 minutes from one another in Berkshire, so for Christmas I purchased him a pop-up fridge from Harrods. You pressed a button and there’d be steam and lights and a bottle of champagne. It value me £600; a lot of cash within the 70s. We swapped presents and he stated: “Oh very good, expensive, thanks.” He gave me a Rembrandt portray! I’ve by no means felt so stingy. He’s eternally essentially the most beneficiant particular person I’ve ever identified. I’m undecided what one of the best one I’ve accomplished on “her” is … he’s often got one over on me. I can’t bear it. We talk by means of the press now, however we love one another. That’s what counts.

Elton John and Rod Stewart in 1973, playing football at Watford’s Vicarage Road stadium
Elton John and Rod Stewart in 1973, taking part in soccer at Watford’s Vicarage Highway stadium. {Photograph}: Sydney O’Meara/Night Commonplace/Hulton Archive/Getty Photos

How lengthy does it take to realize the total Rod Stewart hair? Punkawallah

Two minutes! Get the hairdryer, put a little bit of product in it, dry it the wrong way up to make all of it arise, then put a little bit of wax on, which didn’t exist once I began this haircut, making it arise utilizing sugar and water. I began it, so I’m gonna end it.

Your 1977 single I Don’t Need to Discuss About It famously saved the Intercourse Pistols’ God Save the Queen off the No 1 spot. Out of your understanding of the backroom machinations, was it a truthful struggle? McScootikins

I didn’t actually care who got here in at No 1 or No 2. [The Pistols’ manager] Malcolm McLaren kicked up a big fuss and stated I used to be a thieving, mendacity sod, but when there was any shenanigans I’d come clean with it. God Save the Queen was sensible. I beloved the Intercourse Pistols and thank them for giving Bowie and Elton and me and all the remainder of us a good kick up the arse. They confirmed that music could be made by anyone.

I used to be moved by your rendition of Grace, which tells the story of a chief of the Easter rising marrying in jail simply earlier than his execution. Are you able to say the way you got here to this tune and what it means to you? timothyogrady1

About eight years in the past, I heard the Celtic supporters singing it on the Scottish Cup remaining and simply fell in love with it. It’s about Joseph Plunkett and Grace Gifford, who have been married in jail in quarter-hour with guards with fastened bayonets both aspect of them. He was taken out the following morning and shot. I visited Kilmainham jail and all of the related spots to do with the rebellion and I watched a programme on Netflix known as Revolt and gave myself a historical past lesson. The BBC assume it’s an IRA tune. In fact it isn’t. There’s nothing in it to offend. It’s one of the vital attractive love songs I’ve ever sung. After I sing it in locations like New York, the place there’s a lot of Irish folks, you possibly can hear a pin drop.

Did you flip down any songs that you just want you had recorded or document any that you just want you hadn’t? MarkStewart

The one one I used to be a bit unhappy over was That’s What Mates Are For, which was a massive hit for Elton and Stevie Surprise [with Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight], ’cos I did the original. The document firm didn’t see it as a single, however then they got maintain of it. No exhausting emotions or something. Their model was good, however not so good as mine. That bloody Elton John once more! [Laughs.]

How essential was [the British rhythm and blues singer] Lengthy John Baldry to your profession? artistian

He was all the things. Completely all the things. He not solely got me began … He discovered me drunk, singing on Twickenham railway station, taking part in harmonica. I’d simply been to see his present. He came visiting and he was a bit like Stephen Fry. Properly spoken. Cyril Davies and the All Stars have been the important thing blues band, earlier than the Stones and all the things, however Cyril had died and John stated: “Younger man, I would like somebody to open the present for me.” I used to be solely 16 or 17 so I stated: “You’ll need to ask me mum.” So he got here spherical to see my mum with a bunch of flowers and he or she beloved him. They have been taking part in all the colleges and my mum advised him I may do it “so long as he’s residence by 11 o’clock”. How may I try this if we have been taking part in Newcastle College?! However he was such a well mannered, well-mannered gentleman that he wooed her over. She beloved him. The entire household did. I beloved him a lot. It’s time I wrote a tune about him.

Will we see a film of your life like Queen’s [Bohemian Rhapsody] and Elton’s [Rocket Man]? guy1h1

Properly, I’m praying somebody will make a biopic. There’s been rumours, however nothing but. My two sons may play the youthful me. They haven’t got the hair, however these days the wigs look very regular. Take a look at Elton’s barnet!

What Celtic sport gave you essentially the most pleasure and why? Ghilliedhu

After they beat Barcelona within the Champions League in Glasgow 2-1, in 2012. I used to be seen – and you can see it on YouTube – crying my eyes out like a child. I didn’t know the cameras have been on me, however I used to be simply so emotionally overcome. Nice questions, readers! A giant distinction to the same old boring shit.

The Tears of Hercules is out now on Warner Information

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