Rod – The Autobiography
By Rod Stewart
Century – £20.00
Having read Rod – The Autobiography, I’m not really any the wiser as to Rod Stewart the singer/musician/artist.
I’ve admittedly come to know a hell of a lot about his personal life with regards a menagerie of fleeting, vacuous WAGS – a footballling term I know, but as our Rod’s into Footie in a B-I-G way – but to be honest, I was hoping for more of an insight into his views and thoughts on singing in general.
Not to mention the everlasting influence the sublime Sam Cooke has had upon Stewart’s startlingly successful career. Alas, this wasn’t to be.
There are admittedly, a few reticent references (or so it would seem) to the uber fantastic likes of The Faces, Ronnie Wood, Jeff Beck and Elton John; yet given the potential impact these artists could, and ought to have had amid these 346 pages, it’s disappointingly thin on the ground.
I for one, really, really couldn’t give a toss about how Rod met yet another twenty-two-year-old blond bimbette in a nightclub in Los Angeles or London or Monte Carlo or wherever. And even he admits as much in Chapter Fifteen, where he writes: ‘’Mostly, though, the ‘long hot summer’ trip was Jack the Lad writ large – a slice of rich hedonism. So rich, in fact, that I ended up sickening myself. What’s that Woody Allen quote? ‘Sex without love is an empty experience – but as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best.’ That’s undeniably true, let me tell you, from a position of some expertise in this area. Yet in a quiet moment, between the comings and goings, I found myself thinking, ‘You’re a 45-year old man and you’re flying in shags. Is this what you now amount to? Is that all you’ve got?’’’
Precisely, is this what Rod Stewart’s undeniably eminent career has amounted to? Not only having shags flown in from around the planet, but then having some sort of reflective rancour to write about?
The fact that Stewart has come to admit as much, might, in assorted quarters, be considered commendable. That he has done so without any seeming qualm(s) whatsoever, is altogether, another. It doesn’t do much to alleviate the irksome and annoyingly relentless barrage of Stewart’s rather myopic view of sparkling success – that’s for sure.
Let’s be honest, Rod Stewart is a terrific singer: his timing, his phrasing, what he chooses to leave in, what he chooses to leave out; all are without question. I could well do without the tedium of the terrible ‘Songbook’ collection mind, but that’s a different matter altogether. No doubt, Stewart will quaff at this last remark by informing me as to how many albums said awful collection has shifted. So what? The fucking devil incarnate, otherwise known as Justin Bieber, has sold quite a few albums too.
In all, Rod – The Autobiography is a huge disappointment. It ought to have been one of the best autobiographies on the market. Instead, what we have here, is a withering re-collection of tiring totty conquests, punctuated with a few threadbare rock’n’roll anecdotes.