Rod Stewart was born the working class son of a Scottish plumber in north London. Despite some early close shaves with a number of diverse career paths ranging from gravedigging to professional soccer, it was music that truly captured his heart - and he never looked back.
Rod started out in the early 1960s playing the clubs on London’s R&B scene before his distinctively raspy voice caught the ear of the iconic front man Long John Baldry, who approached him while he was busking one night on a railway platform. Stints with pioneering acts like the Hoochie Coochie Men, Steampacket, and the Jeff Beck Group soon followed, paving the way into a raucous five years with the Faces, the rock star’s rock band, whose onstage and offstage antics with alcohol, wrecked hotel rooms, partying, and groupies have become the stuff of legend. And during all this, he found a spare moment to write "Maggie May", among a few other tunes, and launch a solo career that has seen him sell in excess of 200 million records, be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and play the world’s largest-ever concert. Not bad, as he says, for a guy with a frog in his throat.
And then there is his not-so-private life: marriages, divorces, and affairs with some of the world’s most beautiful women - Bond girls, movie stars, and supermodels - a struggle with steroids, and a brush with cancer, in which he almost saw it all slip away.
Rod’s is an incredible life, and here - thrillingly and for the first time - he tells the entire thing, leaving no knickers under the bed. A rollicking rock ’n’ roll adventure that is at times deeply moving, this is the remarkable journey of a guy with one hell of a voice - and one hell of a head of hair.
©2012 Rod Stewart (P)2012 Random House Audio
For a story by a rocker -- I give it a 4 out of 5.
I thought I better leave a review since this is such a new book. I listened to it in a couple of days. Do you have any interest in Rod Stewart? You must or you wouldn't be here! So, go ahead and listen. It is worth the experience and I don't regret hearing what he had to say.
The narrator is one of the best and I thought that was a really smart choice to choose him.
So, is there something negative lurking around this review? A titch.
First, I learned a LOT of amazing things about Rod that I never even knew. I had to take a second look at how many times he was married. I would say that this is the area the book that got a little too repetitive and slightly irritating. I think in one wife episode he mentions his Lamborghini a few too many times to not alert the Freudian in the reader.
I found some of the decadence a little unpleasant and/or could have been presented with more elegance, although, I have no idea how. (I wasn't expecting this to be Shakespeare and I wasn't disappointed.)
What I did like is he was not abusive to the memories of the vast plethora of women and wives. He probably could have said a whole lot more than he did, but he does have 7 children to think about who are probably reading the book. I think he struck the right balance in trying to explain the life and behavior of a modern amoral "king."
What I like the most is that, in the end, finally, he found himself and (we hope) love. I don't hang on every word in the tabloids and had not really known too much about his personal life before reading this. I was really happy that there was a positive ending to his story thus far.
My conclusion to Rod's story is this: Extreme wealth and poverty are different sides of the same coin. Finding oneself is the same journey for all and just as hard for the rich as for the poor. The meaning and the closeness with his family and the strength learned from his humble beginnings is what helped him find himself in his later years.
So, yes, listen to it! If you have been touched as much as I have by his music then we owe him at least another listen to this, his story. I also give him a lot of credit for telling his story when he probably, absolutely, does not need the money.
Light, life and love to a great musician who has been a special part of the fabric of many of our lives.
I'm a designer (interiors and graphics) with an English degree. I recovered my love of reading after a disastrous bout with grad school.
If you have ever wondered what the British term "Jack the Lad" means (as in, "I was very much Jack-the-lad in my twenties"), this book provides an extended definition. It means behaving like Rod Stewart, who has managed to maintain the stance for nigh unto seventy years. Rod (or his ghostwriter) has shaped an amusing, self-deprecating, lively narrative, long on anecdote and short on self-reflection, that rolls merrily along and does not overstay its welcome. Nor does it peer too closely into the darker corners of rock stardom, or the prolonged adolescence of its hero. Why should it? Rod the Mod is, he reminds us, an entertainer first and foremost. Looking round at his generational cohort, and their success at re-packaging their lives as beacons of boomers' youth (Pete Townshend, Keith Richards and Neil Young are a few who have had successful memoirs lately), he may well have decided to cash in. It's not even irritating when he fetches up at the end with an earnest tease for ... a new album, coming out this spring. Exasperating, but part of the bad-boy charm.
One of the (perhaps) unintentional running gags in this memoir is Mr. Stewart's persistent habit of marrying/having children by a tall, blonde underwear model. I use the singular because I googled Britt Ekland, Alana Stewart, Kelly Emberg, Rachel Hunter and Penny Lancaster and they all look exactly alike. One hopes all those kids take after their mothers.
The narrator, Simon Vance, deserves a special shout-out for conveying exactly the right tone without being intrusive. I am most used to listening to Mr. Vance as I make my way through Anthony Trollope's vast oeuvre, so to find him here amid amps and microphones was both funny and reassuring.
I've recently read(listened to) a slew of rock bios. For the most part, they get dull when our subject hits middle age or starts to share his addiction recovery story. This one never took itself too seriously and kept my interest to the end.
I only have one Rod Stewart album, but I like music biographies so I thought I would give this a go. I was pleasantly surprised. As well as very interesting, I found it to be incredibly funny as well. At times when listening I would just burst out laughing at some of the stories.
It gives an excellent overview of his life from his childhood, to his early career with Long John Baldrey, The Jeff Beck Group, The Faces and then to his solo career. Overall it is fantastic, I have seen him interviewed but he is much more articulate in this book.
I think even the casual listener would get a lot out of this book.
I have been a huge Rod fan since for many years and was very excited when I saw this come out. This is a great bio from a great performer, but the humor in the book was outstanding. I found myself literally laughing out loud in my car at various points in the audio.
I flet like it was Rod's voice throughout the entire listen. Exceptional narration.
YES - once again, it has so much humor in it that I couldnt wait to hear Rod's next story or just his presentation of the event. Some of it was not so much the event itself, as it was his take on it. The book also comments on other British bands that were just getting started such as The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and how American singers such as Muddy Waters influenced their music.
I would say that if you are a Rod Stewart fan, this would be a must. If you are not, it is still a great listen. Getting a first hand look at the British invasion groups and the great story behind it is great.
I enjoyed hearing about how Rod was able to date some of the most beautiful models in the world.
Rod seemed a bit too into himself how he often referred to himself as "the hero of the story".
This would have been more enjoyable if Rod had read his book. That was what I enjoyed most about Pete Townsend's book.
Only recommended for die hard Rod Stewart fans. Any casual fans may not enjoy it.
I give this autobiography a Number One with a Bullet.
I don't have anything to compare it to.
Simon Vance is a great narrator, AND he doesn't have Rod Stewart's raspy voice. Very listenable.
I was surprised at how funny Rod Stewart is. I never suspected that he had a great sense of humor. And he's so honest about himself, his situations, his surprising career rise, and his painful indiscretions.
Rod Stewart is really a "regular joe" who got famous somehow. I felt like "Rod" is what I would be like if I had stumbled into fame and fortune.
At times the reader made you feel like you were listening to Rod read this great book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Made me laugh a few times
I really enjoyed this Autobiography. I listened in as I was going about my day. It would have been better if Rod himself was narating, but I got used to Simon after a while. Its a great insight to what was going on in those early days.
I always love a great recommendation. Thank you in advance for my future discoveries based on YOUR reviews.
I was impressed by the Rod Stewart's openness in sharing so much.
What is more romantic than believing in true love even after separations, divorces, disappointments and moments of insecurity and uncertainty? I really loved every chapter, but my favorite parts were about the closeness he shares with family and friends. Rock on, Rod!
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