Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Rod - The Autobiography - Rod Stewart

As these things tend to do, Rod starts the book with his harrowing tale of an engine going out on a plane. I’m
sure that this was quite frightening at the time, but the re-telling just makes it sound like something that almost every air traveler has experienced at some point – though this was more serious than most. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that with all that Rod has experienced in his life, there would be something that was more emotionally charged than this.

Once he gets these faux-dramatics out of the way, though, and starts to tell his tale of growing up in post-war London, it does read better. Since I do not care for sports at all and know next to nothing about soccer, when he rambles on about the game he again loses me. He also has chapters dedicated to digressions about his love of model trains and (real) sports cars, both fairly dull subjects to me.

He runs through the recording of his first albums incredibly quickly – just a few paragraphs for each of the first three – and jumps into his time with the Faces. I understand that he has a long career to cover in the space of a 300-some page book, but it was a bit disappointing to not learn more about his most creative and inspiring time.

Quite a lot of the book is spent on his many relationships and his philandering. Again, it is understandable that this working class bloke would want to brag about all of the blond, leggy super-models that he has bedded, though it gets a bit tedious. He does at one point claim to be somewhat ashamed about some particularly bad behavior, but he did sabotage most of these trists himself, one way or another.

He does also admit to being pretty much the personification of everything that punk rock was rebelling against in the music biz – and, in fact, seems to be quite proud of this fact. He muses that after punk hit big, he put out a ballad and hit big with it. Of course, his “Do You Think I’m Sexy” was pretty much the epitome of the crassness and bad music that punk wanted to eradicate.

Regardless, if indeed this really is Rod writing the book, he is not bad – better than many r’n’r autobiographies – even though I wish that he had spent more time on some of the nuts’n’bolts of the business, though I’m sure many of his fans would disagree with me on that point. All-in-all, a decent read, if you’re not looking for any deep insight into the music biz.