Life Begins At » Rod Stewart – The time of his life
Celebrity Corner Lifestyle

Rod Stewart – The time of his life

Celebrating his fifth decade in the music charts, Rod Stewart is at least quick to admit in our exclusive interview that his rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of 2013 is very different to what it was, writes Holly Richardson.

Rod Stewart rarely lets his guard down as a truly global music icon but in a London interview for The Retiree magazine, Rod Stewart tells interviewee Danny Bowman that at the age of 68 he “only now truly understands the privilege of fatherhood”, revealing the kind of softening which surely only time could extract from one of the world’s biggest selling rock icons.

The London-born singer, who is celebrating his fifth decade in the music charts, having performed with Faces and the Jeff Beck Group (amongst others), as well as embarking on a lengthy and prolific solo career, stormed back into our hearts and onto our music devices last Christmas. He recently launched Time, a collection of new tracks resulting from his first song-writing project in over a decade.

“I’ve never stopped making music; it’s what I do, after all. “But in terms of penning my own tracks and putting together new material, this album has been wonderful and a real return to something I enjoy. “It’s easy to get out of those habits but, once you throw yourself back into the process, it’s an exhilarating thing to be part of again.”

And, it seems, the record-buying public agrees. In fact, in the UK, the release became Rod’s first number one album in 25 years, eclipsing Blondes Have More Fun, which topped the charts way back in 1978.

We shouldn’t be surprised. After all, the singer’s curriculum vitae is simply dazzling. He’s an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has Grammy Awards, a CBE, Brit Awards, and most importantly, single and album sales topping 200 million, including six number one albums in Australia.

That prolific dedication to his craft means he’s sold more than the likes of U2, Frank Sinatra, The Bee Gees and Bryan Adams.

“It’s funny, when people talk about record sales it is just numbers to me. “I can’t really imagine what that number of records looks like, but when I see people singing along to my songs, well that’s a bit different. “That’s when it all becomes real; when I see the enjoyment that music brings to people. “It’s never been about the statistics for me; it’s more the feeling I get when I see that my music has gone so far and wide, and touched people.”

The father of eight says that these days it is certainly a little different – and it is the return to the relative serenity of home comforts – which is now his first and only priority.

“I’m not one for looking over my shoulder and I never have been. I’ve no regrets.” – Rod Stewart

“I love going home – love it. “And, when back, my seven-year-old Alastair is certainly the one to keep me fit. “He’s absolutely soccer daft and he keeps me very happy, every day wanting to kick the ball about. “I’m still in pretty good shape – I have a regular Sunday game whenever I’m over in Los Angeles. “I just love the sport.”

It is good news that he is still in good shape, having just welcomed eighth child Aiden (to third wife Penny Lancaster) into the world. Rod is certainly not new to the idea of crying babies, nappy changes and messy dinnertimes. But Rod says that being much older with Aiden there is a special tie.

“It’s such a pleasure. “Although I’ll admit I don’t change every nappy, being a father again has been magnificent, and I absolutely adore spending time with my children – all of them. “You never know if you’ve had your last child, but Aiden has been an incredible gift. “We had to work hard to get over the line, with a lot of emotionally taxing IVF and everything that goes with that. “And, people will perhaps say I’ve been greedy because I already have so many fantastic children, but those kids have come along across a long period of time, and I love each of them as different people. “To have Aiden as well … I just feel ever so lucky.”

Lucky indeed – Rod is fast becoming known for his timelessness. Which leads our London correspondent Danny Bowman to ask the inevitable question, so when are you visiting Oz?!

“Well it’s a valid question,” Rod smiles. “The truth is we’ve planned a few tour dates for the new material but it has been a hugely busy year.

“So, I’m doing UK and US dates, because they’re ‘home’ tours for me, you might say. “It would great to really get out on the road again with a world tour, and all I will say to that is ‘watch this space’!”

The hectic 2013 tour schedule proves that the old rocker has absolutely no plans in slowing down. And, after time at home, it appears it will be a world tour that is next on his agenda.

Or perhaps Rod will just bring the kids with him, he told the The Retiree magazine; “There’s definitely a bit of music in them. “With the exception of Aiden, who’s still a bit young, all of my kids have joined me on stage at one point. “It’s doubly bad for them – they’re put through that ordeal, and they also have to hear me singing around the house!

“My grownup daughter Ruby is particularly strong when it comes to performing. “Her voice has power and an edge – it’s very much in the style of Janis Joplin. “She has a good band called Le Voltaire, and she’ll share the stage with them now, not me. “In fact, she wouldn’t give me the time of day on stage! She wants to do her own thing and I think that’s great – I really respect that.”

It is hard to pinpoint just one reason for Rod Stewart’s popularity over the years; his appeal is incredibly broad, with age and time no barrier, completely encrusted with personality plus. His music has those raw gravel-like tones, melodies that sit on the subconscious, and timeless classics that have helped define a music generation.

Rod Stewart with the Jeff Beck group“His music has those raw gravel-like tones, melodies that sit on the subconscious, and timeless classics that have helped define a music generation.”

“You never know if you’ve had your last child…”
– Rod Stewart

Rod shared with us his favourites, “they …would have to be Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, You Wear It Well and Mandolin Wind. “I always come back to those.”

“Some songs come together quickly, but others I often liken to children – they start off in your body and in your soul and then they progress and you put them out there to see what people will think. “Then, at some point, you say ‘bye bye’ to them and see how they get on in life. “So really, they’re all my favourites, but they are their own entities.”

There’s something else about this performer though – a presence, an honesty, and a desire to continue moving forward, never resting on his laurels.

Rod Stewart - The time of his life“I’m not one for looking over my shoulder and I never have been. “I’ve no regrets, I’ve had a wonderful life and I just hope it continues that way. “We have little scares along the way; little things that happen that make us take stock. “For me, it was the early diagnosis of thyroid cancer. “That was scary, although it was dealt with so quickly that it almost didn’t seem real.

“But when things like that happen it just makes you want to live on and move on and experience more. “The past has gone – I want to see what the future has in store. “And, I hope it’s more of the same amazing experiences!” he laughs.

So Rod, no fears about growing old?

“God, no. None at all,” he says. “I’ve always warned people that life is like a toilet roll – the last bit goes very, very quickly,” he laughs. “So make the most of it and don’t waste time looking back.”

[related_ad category=”998″ max_size=”3″ title=”Related Offers”] [related_ad category=”8″ max_size=”3″ title=”Related Stories”]

About the author

Alana Lowes

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment