Do Ya Think He's Relevant?

Rod Stewart and his second wife, Rachel Hunter, as they appeared on Oct. 25, 1996. AP (file)

Rod Stewart has suddenly been taken by a serious attack of the honesties…. a rare thing for celebrities. In an interview, he first declared himself more than a mite miffed for not having been made a Sir, like Mick Jagger and Bob Geldof -- and then announced he was fed up with being condemned for the endless stream of younger women in his private life, when after all Paul McCartney's just had a child with a woman who's twenty five years younger.

But it's not in Rod, to be a Mick or a Bob, or a Bono or a Sting. They're today's Rockracy…. dull as ditchwater and seen in all the best places.

Rod is, well, Rod is a Rocker. He comes from a different age, when Rock was about great music, great insecurity and great excess. Back then, rock and rollers drove cars into swimming pools, disappeared for days and then couldn't remember where they'd been or what they'd done, and sometimes turned up in Elvis Presley's back garden with shotguns. But they played like angels and devils.

When I first met Rod, he was the way all Rock stars should be, drunk…. and angry. Like his band at the time, The Small Faces, he was too nervous to go on stage without a skinful, though now, thirty years down the track, I can't remember why he was angry as well. Since then, I've watched as Rod's close relationship with his wallet has made sure that his money stays with him and provides him with the wherewithal for the luxury lifestyle, private planes, big homes on both sides of the Atlantic and those blondes.

He once said to me gloomily, as the latest disappeared to the powder room "yeah, I'll probably marry that one as well". Actually, I think he gave that one a miss.
But he stuck with a few of the others. You see, however much he'd love it to have done, the money really hasn't changed him.

I was chaperoning him out of a hotel lobby in London once and some lads came up and invited him to play soccer with them in Hyde Park that night. He said he'd love to. I thought he was giving them a gentle brush off… but, as the sun set, there was Rod, in his soccer gear, kicking the ball about with the best of them.

Rod... aah, Rod. Even though he now makes very honest albums of classic standards, Rod, thank heavens, will never be respectable. If you think he's sexy, if you want his body… he's always going to be right there, a bit dangerous, a bit of a lad, a rocker. And he'll never ever miss a soccer match when Scotland are playing, not even for the blonde.

By Simon Bates
  • Bob Bicknell

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