antiMusic Logo
Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds
spacer

Rock Reads: Rod By Rod Stewart

.
Any rock biography that dedicates an entire chapter to one's hair is might as well donate all existing copies to firing ranges. Why would anyone waste time on something as ridiculous and superficial as one's hair when many other more attention-grabbing aspects of a career will go unnoticed? Then again, not everyone is Rod Stewart, whose new autobiography Rod may take the award for the year's most entertaining rock biography. Over the last few months, I have had more books sent to me than I can read. Despite a deluge of incredible biographies by Neil Young, Pete Townshend and the first approved Springsteen biography in a quarter of a century Rod should not stand a chance, and in an odd twist of fate, it may be the best of the bunch. Comparing these four books against one another is criminal as they all take different tones and approaches, but Stewart's is the best written of the bunch and the most brilliantly sardonic. The only time I was not smiling with this book was when he spoke of the love of his children, his wives and their lives together and during these passages, my heart grew. He can be scandalous but comes off as equally sweet.

Rod Stewart may be the rock era's greatest interpreter of songs and yet, he has embraced so many types and genres of music, that he has left a discomforting feeling with many. There is three distinct Rod Stewart's people love and all of these personas get significant screen time in Rod. The first being the bluesy rock n' roller who recorded with Jeff Beck and the Faces in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the second being the pop star of the late 70's through the early 90's and lastly the "Great American Songbook" crooner. His early career with Jeff Beck, Ron Wood and the Faces is spoken of with not just fondness but with insightful particulars including one time where Little Walter, the great American harmonica player, pulled a knife on Stewart. He speaks movingly and affectionately of his times with Jeff Beck and the Faces. He confesses that he has attempted to do a blues standard record with Beck in recent years but the two of them cannot seem to find middle ground to make it a reality. He also speaks about how he wishes the Faces had never broken up and it was only when Ronnie Wood took a job with the Rolling Stones that he felt the band was finished. While his earlier career will hold the most interest for music aficionados, the peaks of his solo career are equally engrossing. We learn stores behind "Maggie May", "Do You Think I'm Sexy", "Forever Young" and "Downtown Train". He speaks of his incapacity to write new material further he views himself as a great interpreter of songs. Surprisingly, I come away from the book with a better understanding for why he tackled the "Great American Songbooks" for the better part of a decade, an idea he initially pitched to his manager in 1983 (that is not a typo). I took away his immense love of music and that he made these records not just for financial gain, but because he is at his best when interpreting and why not tackle the greatest songs ever composed? Lastly, he ends the book with a chapter of his new record, all of which he wrote coming out in 2013. He speaks honestly about finding his muse and how over the course of a year, it flowed out of him. I do not think I have been this excited for a Rod Stewart record in two decades. If it is half as good as Rod then it may be his best record in decades.

There are several chapters dedicated to his obsessions with cars, model trains, women and soccer. I cannot blame him for writing so keenly about his hobbies because it is evident these items make him who he is. He speaks fondly of his friendship with Elton John throughout and one particular passage where they exchange gifts for Christmas one year will make you laugh aloud. He does discuss the overindulgence and pitfalls of the later 1970s. He gets divorced, abdicates the UK for the US, breaks up with the Faces, becomes addicted to cocaine and steroids, embraces disco, reunited with Jeff Beck only to part ways again and meets several women of his dreams only to screw it up time and time again with his philandering. Despite these dalliances, Stewart always finds a way to bring it back to the music. His memory is fertile, full of wit and remorse but above all else, he has a keen awareness of the gaffes he has made and looks back in detestation at some of the things he did. Rumor is that the British journalist Giles Smith assisted Stewart with his memoirs. I hope he is being handsomely rewarded because he has elevated this book to heights few could have foreseen. Telling a tale with a wry smile and open heart is not as easy as one would think and Smith and Stewart find a serendipitous balance here. Even clichιd pitfalls contain such zest you do not cringe when reading them.

Rod made me fall back in love with not just his underrated catalog, but with the man himself in a surprising, charming, cheeky and humorous look into his entire life. He doesn't feel like an elusive rock star out of touch with reality (even though he is just a bit) but by infusing the narrative with great humor, capricious prose and a beating heart, he's written not just one of the best rock n' roll autobiographies of the last ten years, but possibly the most entertaining one as well. There are artists with more admiration and critical acclaim with books out at this time that may overshadow Stewart's but none are as well written or evoke a tremor of glee the way Rod does. A must read for all music fans.


Anthony Kuzminski is a Chicago based writer and Special Features Editor for the antiMUSIC Network. His daily writings can be read at The Screen Door. He can be contacted at tonyk AT antiMUSIC DOT com and can be followed on Twitter


Rock Reads: Rod By Rod Stewart
Rating:

Share this article

More articles for this artist .



advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.

• Day in Rock:
Dimebag Will Be Featured On New Hellyeah Album- AC/DC Add Date To Tour With Axl Rose- Megadeth Plan Benefit For Nick Menza's Family- Dokken's Classic Lineup Reunite- more

• Day In Pop: Calvin Harris Injured In Serious Car Accident- Kanye West 1997 Demo Tape Unearthed And Posted Online- Madonna Defends Her Billboard Awards Prince Tribute- Beyonce Jay Z- more

• Megadeth Icon Nick Menza Dead At 51- AC/DC's Brian Johnson Reveals Hearing Loss Details- Aerosmith Addresses New Singer Speculation- Founding Beastie Boy Dies- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock


advertisement

.
Rock News Stories
• Dimebag Will Be Featured On New Hellyeah Album

• AC/DC Add Date To Tour With Axl Rose

• Megadeth Plan Benefit For Nick Menza's Family

• Dokken's Classic Lineup Reuniting

• Ramones Announce Expanded Deluxe Reissue For 40th Anniversary

• KISS Release Preview Videos For Movie Theater Event

• Rolling Stones Release 'Totally Stripped' Preview

• All That Remains Working On New Album

• Graham Bonnet Reunites With Alcatrazz Bandmate On New Album

• Yossi Sassi Band Release 'Palm Dance' Video Featuring Bumblefoot

• Tony Harnell Reunites With TNT

• Hesitation Wounds Streaming New Song 'Bleach'

• Enter Shikari Star Has Advise For Younger Self

• Dream The Electric Sleep Announce New Album

• The Ghost Inside Look Back At Fatal Bus Crash Six Months Later

• Dream Theater Will Do 'Something Very Different' On Next Album

• Singled Out: Dark Sermon's The Eyeless Needle

• Bullet For My Valentine Release Live Want A Battle Video

• Nosound Release 'Short Story' Video

• Against The Current Announce UK Tour

• Joe Louis Walker To Change Direction On Next Album

• Stephen Stills Was Flattered By Jimi Hendrix's Interest

• Dan Patlansky Releases Live Stop The Messin' Video

• White Miles Release 'In The Mirror' Video

• Megadeth Icon Nick Menza Dead At 51

• AC/DC's Brian Johnson Reveals Hearing Loss Details

• Aerosmith's Joe Perry Addresses New Singer Speculation

• Founding Beastie Boys Member John Berry Dead At 52

Other Music News Stories
• Calvin Harris Injured In Serious Car Accident

• Kanye West 1997 Demo Tape Unearthed And Posted Online

• Madonna Defends Her Billboard Awards Prince Tribute

• Beyonce And Jay Z Reportedly Finish Their Joint Album

• Eminem Selling Limited Edition Bricks

• The Game Lands TV Docuseries 'Streets of Compton'

• Lady Gaga Collaborating With Tame Impala?

• Lil Wayne Slams Cash Money Records At 420 Rally

• Nick Jonas Puts Out Call For Fan Ambassadors

• YG Releases New Drake Collaboration 'Why You Always Hatin'

• Justin Bieber Shares Sheep Photo In Awards Shows Post

• Drake and Future Perform At Floyd Mayweather's Daughter's Sweet 16

• Katy Perry And Orlando Bloom Appear To Be Fine in Playful Photo

• Vince Gill On His Love For Country Music

• Adele Releases 'Send My Love (To Your New Lover)' Video

• Lil Wayne Lands New Reality Show

• Christina Aguilera Duet With Whitney Houston Hologram Leaks

• Madonna Tributes Prince With Billboard Awards Performance

• Interpol's Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan's RZA 'Love + War' Video

• Drake Expands North American Summer Sixteen Tour

• Sia Covers Nat King Cole's 'Unforgettable'

• Ryan Tedder Has Never Seen U2 This Focused

• Ariana Grande In Horror Movie Spoof 'Dogface Filter'

• Blake Shelton Looks Back At 'The Ups and Downs' Of The Past Year

• Wale Releases 'My P.Y.T', First Single From New Album

• Celine Dion Covers Queen's 'The Show Must Go On'

• Minnesota Legislature Pull Prince Bill

• Dr. Luke's Label Approves Kesha's Awards Performance

Reviews
• All Recent Reviews and Interviews

• Denner Shermann - Satan's Tomb

• The Blues: Blind Lemon Peel Blues All-Stars - Don't Tear My Clothes

• Steve Porcaro - Someday/Somehow

• Kiefer Sutherland Live

• The Allman Brothers Band - Live From A&R Studios, New York, August 26, 1971

• Howardian - A Smurf at Land's End

• Anvil is Anvil

• Album of the Week: Generation X

• Root 66: Darryl Purpose - Still the Birds

• Quick Flicks: The Dollyrots - Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles

• 5 Star Friday: Searching for Sugar Man

• Rock Reads: Show Posters: The Art and Practice of Making Gig Posters

• Vehemence - Forward Without Motion

• Ben Craven - Last Chance to Hear

• The Rides - Pierced Arrow

• Psychedelic Shack: Black Rainbows- Deadsmoke- Duel- Holy Grove

• Roots of Creation - Livin Free

• On The Record: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Live - Volume 1

• Classics: Prince's Purple Rain

• The Blues: New Blues Revolution, Golden State - Lone Star Blues Revue, Peter Karp

• Lita Ford - Time Capsule

• The Blues: Jeff Healey - Heal My Soul

• Rock Reads: Little Gray Bastards- The Incessant Alien Presence

• Guns N' Roses Month: Chinese Democracy

• Iron Maiden Live In Chicago

• Grey Heaven Fall - Black Wisdom

• The Blues: Keb' Mo' - Keb' Mo' Live: That Hot Pink Blues Album

• Guns N' Roses Month: Use Your Illusion I and II

• Passport: Lakou Mizik - Wa Di Yo

• Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers - The Dirty Gospel

• Road Trip: Treefort Music Fest 2016

• Shooter Jennings - Countach (for Giorgio)

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.