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February 2019



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life on mars

TV watch: Imagine: Rod Stewart

Yesterday evening I watched a repeat of this programme, which was timed in 2013 to plug Rod’s latest album. Yes, that ridiculous man Rod Stewart is my guilty secret. He’s everything I ought to dislike and disapprove of, yet I forgive it all: the string of identical, leggy wives and girlfriends, the laddishness, the football, some of the terrible records he’s made (e.g. Do You Think I’m Sexy), for the sake of That Voice. Anyone can sing a song; it takes a special kind of voice to, as Bob Harris put it, get you right in the heart.

The best thing about the programme was the old black and white footage from the sixties. We saw Rod’s dad in his Highgate shop (Scottish, my foot!), Rod the Mod buying shirts in Carnaby Street, Rod with various bands (for my money the early stuff is the best). By the time we’d got through Long John Baldry, Jeff Beck and The Faces I was regretting having sold Rock Family Trees. Rod and Ronnie Wood put on a very entertaining double act as two old Faces. Despite his habit of looking, in the noddies, like a psychiatrist listening dispassionately to a patient, Alan Yentob seems star struck on these occasions and didn’t ask any hard questions. Not very revealing, then.

To me, Rod Stewart seems rather like Frank Sinatra and Dolly Parton: essentially vulgar yet deeply serious about his music and artistry.


He's our guilty pleasure too. Despite all the girlfriends and wives and the silliness, he seems like a good person at heart. And I love his version of 'Reason to Believe', and 'You Wear it Well'.

It was just what we needed last night.
I'm so glad you were able to enjoy something!
You summed up my feelings about him perfectly :) I've always had a love/hate affair with Rod, cringing yet in awe at his marvellous voice.
Glad we agree but not surprised :-)