June 16, 2021

Forever Young: Rod Stewart turns 75 | Culture | DW

Over the course of his 50-year career, Rod Stewart has embodied, and also helped create, more than one cliché about rocker life. “Drinking and having sex … and destroying hotel rooms” is the way the singer himself recalled, on the Carpool Karaoke program, the first years of his career.

Everything indicates that the passage of the years has not managed to soften the interpreter: he is accused of having attacked a security guard at a New Year’s party in Florida (United States) and now faces charges for injuries before the court.

Most likely, the fine he might have to pay if convicted will not dampen the excitement at his birthday party, which takes place this January 10: the British press estimates that Sir Roderick David Stewart’s assets amount to 223 millions of euros.

A late race

Born on January 10, 1945 in Highgate, North London, Rod Stewart grew up in a football fanatic family. That is why he tried himself, at 15, at the London club Brentford FC, but it did not go very well.

Rod Stewart and his colleagues at Faces.

As his career as a professional footballer did not have good prospects, he drifted into the musical world, first as a vocalist for the Jeff Beck Group, and then – since 1969 – with Faces, along with guitarist Ron Wood, who a few years later left the band to join the Rolling Stones.

In hindsight, Stewart says he’s fine with how things turned out in his life. Not only does his bank account seem to show that he made the right decision, but also the fact that the daily life of a rocker is easier than that of a footballer. At least that’s how Stewart sees it, who in his 2012 autobiography notes that, unlike elite athletes, musicians are allowed to drink while working.

“Rod the Mod”

In 1970, Stewart released her first solo album, entitled “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down.” A year later, “Maggie May” from her third album, “Every Picture Tells a Story,” hit No. 1 on the UK and US charts.

That was a turning point in Stewart’s solo career, as a musician and as a brand. People began to affectionately call him “Rod the Mod”, and the artist became an icon of the fashion subculture, creating a very particular “elegance” in clothing, one that has markedly marked the British music scene. to this day.

With the success came a busy decade for Rod Stewart, with tours, concerts and new releases. He liked to be seen driving luxury cars, always accompanied by supermodels and bunny rabbits. Playboy. And despite his rock star image, Stewart managed to remain in the collective imagination as an artist to be paid attention to.

A football fan, the musician tried to make a career in football, but was unsuccessful.

A football fan, the musician tried to make a career in football, but was unsuccessful.

On top at 75

The 1970s and 1980s may be the most successful for Stewart, but they in no way marked the beginning of his career decline. In 1994, for example, he gave the largest open-air musical concert in history, when he performed on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, before 3.5 million people.

To date, the singer-songwriter has sold more than 200 million records, and this is not seen to stop anytime soon.

In November 2019, he recorded his greatest hits with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The resulting album was titled “You’re In My Heart” and includes 22 songs, including “Sailing” and “I Don’t Want To Talk About It”, as well as versions with new arrangements of “Forever Young”, “The First Cut Is The Deepest ”,“ Downtown Train ”and“ Maggie May ”. With this album, Stewart became the oldest male artist to reach the top of the UK album charts, where he stayed for five weeks.

In the fall of 2019, Stewart announced that he had had prostate cancer but had recovered, adding that he was going public to promote screening. It was the second time he had beaten this disease, having been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000.

Tireless, father of eight, cult figure and rock icon, Stewart is still on the slopes, and in February 2020 he begins his new tour of the United States, a tour that will later take him to Australia. And we are not facing a farewell tour. On the contrary: the septuagenarian loves his job so much that in 2018 he told the magazine Rolling Stone I was very happy with this one. “They pay me to go on stage to sing and to send people home satisfied. It is not like being a footballer or an athlete, it may be that, if you lose, you send people home frustrated. For me it is about a situation in which I always win ”.

(dzc / cp)

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