|Best bits from Rod Stewart’s new autobiography
Wednesday, October 24 2012
The rock-and-roll hall of famer writes about his life with self-deprecating wit in his new memoir, from how he seduced women with Ronnie Wood to snorting cocaine with Elton John.
Friendship With Elton John and Freddie Mercury
In the early 1970s, Stewart lived down the street from Elton John, and the two became best of friends. They called each other Phyllis and Sharon, or just “Dear.” “Whether it was drink or cocaine, he could see me right under the table every time. One night at his house, we were applying ourselves to the medicinal powders and it got to six in the morning, at which point I tendered a short letter of resignation,” Stewart wrote. He felt like he “had been run over from a number of different directions by a number of different traction engines,” found a bed to sleep in, but four hours later his friend was thumping at the door, “bright of cheek and white of smile,” telling him they’ve got a football match to go see. Stewart even wanted to form a supergroup with Elton and Freddie Mercury, whom they liked very much also. “The name we had in mind was Nose, Teeth & Hair, a tribute to each of our remarked-upon physical attributes. The general idea was that we could appear dressed like the Beverley Sisters. Somehow this project never came to anything.”
Rod Steward also writes about his friendly competition with Elton John in his book:
From time to time this rivalry has driven Elton to pull off some beautifully organized stunts. In 1985 I had a bunch of massive footballs, the size of blimps, tethered above Earls Court to mark the fact that I was doing concerts there. Elton hired a sniper to shoot them down with an air rifle. Or like the time the banner for my Blondes Have More Fun tour, outside the same venue, was matched by one that Elton put up on an opposite building, which read, “But Brunettes Make More Money.”
There is no more generous person on this earth, though, than Elton — just incredibly generous. I have watches he has given me for birthdays: lavish, thickly jeweled pieces engraved “From Elt.” He gave my first wife, Alana, with whom he remained good friends after she and I separated, a Steinway piano. Those don’t come cheap.
And then there was the Christmas where I thought long and hard about the present I was going to give him. That’s always a tough one: What do you get the man who has bought himself everything? Eventually, though, after a bit of scouring around the shops, I lit upon the solution: a novelty portable fridge. … And it cost me about £ 300, which I thought was enough. Elton’s present to me that year: a Rembrandt. A drawing — The Adoration of the Shepherds. A fucking Rembrandt! I felt pretty small — although not as small as Elton presumably wanted me to feel when he later referred tartly to my present as “an ice bucket.” It was not an ice bucket. It was a novelty portable fridge.
Anyway, I played it a bit better on his fiftieth birthday in 1997. I bought him a full-size, sit-under hairdryer like the ones you see in women’s hair salons. Two years later, he marked my marriage to Rachel with a £ 10 voucher from Boots. On the card he wrote, “Get yourself something nice for the house.”
Rod Stewart writes of affection for Elton
Saturday, October 13 2012 at 06:45:23
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