Rod Stewart autobiography reveals roadie took Rod’s driving test

In the world of rock and roll music, it’s taken for granted that Head Roadie = Wing Man. For Rod Stewart, Roadie on the occasion of passing his driving test was about as literal as one could get, the only Wing in sight, that one chancing it with a prayer…

Rod Stewart - Atlantic Crossing

Rod Stewart – Atlantic Crossing (c/w Celtic scarf!)

The year’s 1967, Rod Stewart is making the transition from The Steampacket to The Jeff Beck Group and about to ditch pro-soccer for rock and roll.

Very soon, he’d ‘find [him]self a rock and roll band that needs a helping hand’ in The Faces, with the summer of love but a few seasons away.

Few rock and roll stars have achieved the continued success – and the opportunities of free love that presented themselves (and probably still do) as a result of fame and fortune – that Rod Stewart has.

At the height of his skin-tight trousered, spiky-boufanted rise to chart-topping success, the women were, by his own admission, in and out of his bed like a production line.

Being a true Scot in every sense of the word, ‘wine, women and song’ seems to have been a phrase penned for Rod the Mod. Well, swap ‘wine’ for ‘whisky’, and you’re probably even closer to the mark.

Would Rod Stewart have been eligible to drive in ’67?

The Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Front: Jeff Beck....

The Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Front: Jeff Beck. Rear (from left): Aynsley Dunbar, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turning up for a driving test reeking of stale perfume and last night’s scotch fumes would in no way have enamoured Rod Stewart with any driving instructor.

In Rod Stewart’s autobiography, released October 2012, he admits to sending his head honcho, roadie Pete Saunders, to take his driving test in his place.

Pete passed the driving test under Rod’s real name and, to this day, the renowned Celtic fan has never taken a driving test in the UK.

To be fair, it was probably not the brainchild of Rod himself.

The autobiography goes on to reveal that it was Roadie Pete – tired of chauffeuring Rod Stewart (and no doubt an endless procession of totty) around London – who suggested the ruse.

London back then was the place to be, with Rod Stewart in demand all over the capital.

Pete had enough on his plate rigging up the sets without having to worry about getting the star of the show from A to B in between performances.  If you now what I mean?

One day, the Wing Man simply strolled into a driving test centre, registered as Roderick Stewart of Highgate, London, took the driving test and passed it there and then on behalf of the man of the moment.

Rod Stewart does, however, now drive legally under his own name. He eventually sat his own driving test following one Atlantic Crossing to The States eight years later in 1975.

Photo Credit: mightymoss via Compfight cc

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David Bowie new single, Where are we now?, shocks music press

There were those in the music press who’d written David Bowie off. Or at least his credibility.  They may wanna rethink this premature post-mortem of Bowie’s career after the release of his new single, Where are we now?

A ‘thanks, but no thanks’ response to the London Olympics showcase finale, no new releases for a decade, a heart-attack eight years ago – they did all seem to point to one thing: David Bowie had retired.

And let’s dance face it, with Bowie turning 66 last week, who’d blame him if he had?  No matter what creation or persona he’s chosen to wear over the years, he’s thrilled armies of fans across the globe.

Where are we now? released on Bowie’s 66th birthday

Best of Bowie - (new) Album Cover

Best of Bowie – updated to reflect another incarnation?

David Bowie’s not been without his critics. But when you’re trying to create rather than go with the flow, you’re gonna ruffle a few feathers.

And just when you thought the manifestations were over, along comes the new single.  But isn’t that just his style, in an era where Style went out with The Council?

On the stroke of his 66th birthday, on both his website and on the iTunes store, the new single appeared.

No announcement, no manipulation of social media, no great fanfare or furore.  It simply appeared.

It received as much media interest in the aftermath of its release as it may have done had there been the pomp and circumstance of a marketing campaign.

For an artist who’s lived most of the last decade out of the public eye, the scenario fits Bowie as perfectly as any of his Manish-festations have done in the past.

No one knew about the Bowie album, either

What really rubbed the music informants up the wrong way was the subsequent news that there was an album, too.

Two years in the making, without so much as a tidbit thrown to the sound-hounds, “The Next Day” will be available on CD for shipping on the 11th March, 2013.

Recorded in New York, the Bowie single Where are we now? is quoted as not being typical of the album.

For me, that’s no bad thing.  It’s a bit melancholy for my taste but long-time fans of David Bowie will relate to it.

Where are we now? is set as the sixties became the seventies.  The Manish Boys had been and gone, Ziggy Stardust was being conceived and David Bowie was living and working with Iggy Pop in Germany.

The video and lyrics hark back to that time.  No, almost yearn for them as the realisation that youth is not eternal weighs heavy on Bowie’s shoulders.

David Bowie - Best of Bowie album cover

Are we yet to see the Best of Bowie?

The sound is very latter-day David Bowie; there’s no new manifestation waiting to surprise us unlike the updating of the Best of Bowie album depicted in the contrasting covers, above.

Other than perhaps a more mature, reflective aspect to both the vocals and outlook, it’s classic Bowie.  And certainly worth a play of the video.

Is this heartfelt reminiscence Bowie’s swansong?  A parting gift for the legions of fans who the mega-star has, one would often think, begrudgingly let follow him?

Just in case it is, you can buy the single (MP3) now and/or pre-order the album The Next Day from Amazon (CD, UK, pre-order price £9.00 as at today’s rate) through the respective links, above.


I’d love to know what Bowie/Ziggy fans think of the new track.
Drop us a line in the comments, or come sound me out on Google+

Old ‘Best of Bowie’ Album Cover photo credit: PianoPiano via Flickr under CC 2.0 attribution license

David Bowie new single causes media storm

Journalists have got lazy. Want to report the daily activities of an en vogue celebrity? Check their Twitter, facebook, Instagram or Google+ account and there they are, eating breakfast. So how rude of David Bowie to release his new single without a tweet or poke in sight.

David Bowie - Best of Bowie album cover

Have we yet seen the best of David Bowie?

There are very few artists manage to maintain their mystique, presence, integrity and cool across a generation. Well, unless they die early, immortalising their legendary status at the age of 27 as so many have.

[Sir] Paul Weller has managed the transition; so did Freddie Mercury. Elton John, Metallica and The Charlatans have likewise seemingly become cooler. These, along with David Bowie, are the few to stand out as ticking all of the above boxes.

David Bowie releases single on 66th birthday

Many thought, after his heart attack in the summer of 2004, the odd one-off performances we’ve seen since might be it from Bowie. Indeed, rumours concerning his health have been rife. But haven’t they always?

It’s been almost a decade since David Bowie released anything. Perhaps, then, music journalists can be forgiven for turning off their Ziggy-radars.

Especially considering he was the only star to turn down the opportunity of performing at the closing ceremony of last year’s London Olympics. This added more fuel to said health fire.

Then from nowhere, on his 66th birthday, up pops the new David Bowie single, Where are we now? Not just on the David Bowie website, but simultaneously on the iTunes store. If ever there was a case for a musical Drop the Dead Donkey, this was it.

The David Bowie bandwagon was hauled out of the knackers yard. No sooner had the musical obituaries and official discographies been scrapped and “David Bowie for beginners” guides posted, the Ziggy express was ready to run Station to Station again.

Is “Where Are We Now?” any good?

As it turns out, David Bowie has not only been working on his new single, but there’ll be an album in March, too (The Next Day – CD released [UK] 11/03/2013 – available on Amazon.co.uk pre-order @ special £9.00 price [price right as @ 13/1/13]). Similarly, this has been done without creating a ripple on the surface.

And it’s been recorded in New York, of all places. You fart in public, someone’s uploaded the outburst on YouTube a minute later. Your methane is then cast upon the winds of eternity and infamy – that’s New York today.

But Bowie’s new single is reflective of an earlier era. References to a time when the world was basking in the afterglow of The Summer of Love and Bowie was working with Iggy Pop pock the track.

The mood is sombre, too. Does it mark a change of direction? No. As befits his age, it’s a bit of a crooner. Melancholic, yearning for the Golden Years of youth, even.

It will, without a shadow of a doubt, please the patient, frustrated fans. But, irrespective of the David Bowie wikis we might see as a consequence, there’ll be few new fans convinced enough to wait another decade for the follow-up, should it not be forthcoming from the new album.


Have Your Say:

  • What do you think of the new single?
  • Is it a reflective swansong or is the best of Bowie yet to come?

photo credit: PianoPiano via Flickr under CC 2.0 attribution license

Victoria Beckham doubt over Spice Girls tour leaves Geri fuming

Dunno about you, but when you think of the Spice Girls videos (not that I do that often, understand?) can you ever picture Victoria Beckham singing? Well she did and the thought of taking the band on the road one last time without Posh Spice may preclude manager Simon Fuller’s involvement, too.

Spice Girls in Concert

Posh & Ginger not on same Page

The Spice Girls were a phenomenal British success story, no question. And although Victoria Beckham’s contributions vocally may have been limited, she brings a lot more to the band than meets the eye.

Victoria Beckham influence deeper than vocals

So much so that manager Simon Fuller considers it a “real risk” taking the Spice Girls back on the road for their rumoured final farewell tour (again) without her. And Victoria Beckham has made it quite clear she’s not interested.

The decision is reported to have led to a ‘war of words’ between Geri Haliwell (Ginger Spice) and Posh that casts doubt on the tour even further. Posh is not talking to Ginger as a result and the Spice Girls Tour looks doomed.

When the Spice Girls set out on the road for their last reunion tour, Victoria Beckham’s influence was huge. First off, Victoria enticed Jamie King, Madonna’s choreographer, to sort out their moves.

Secondly, she negotiated the deal with Dolce and Gabbana for the outfits the band wore for the tour. The Spice Girls were big, but without Victoria Beckham’s designer influence, would D&G have got invoved? You’d think not.

Geri & Posh war of words not a Ginger thing

All of this is proving a big frustration for Ginger Spice, Geri Haliwell. According to all sources, she’s looking to get the Spice Girls back on the road as soon as is humanely possible. Hence the war of words, which has left the two Spices not talking.

The writing may well have already been on the wall. Even though the Spice Girls rejoined to help close out the 2012 London Olympics, Victoria Beckham digged in with David, rather than with the band.

Last summer may well be the last time we ever get to see the Spice Girls together (everybody: aaahh!). It’s one for the record books, for sure. The last bastions of Girl Power fizzled out for good…or has it?

In my opinion, what Victoria Beckham has achieved post-Spice Girls does far more for Girl Power than anything the Spice Girls ever achieved. Raising a prolific family and keeping them out of the spotlight as much as possible, creating a powerhouse fashion company as head designer in New York and being Mrs Beckham?

I think Posh Spice is a woman who has already got what she wants, what she really, really wants. And doesn’t need Geri or anyone else to tell her any different.


Have Your Say:

  • Is Victoria Beckham being mean by not going on tour with the Spice Girls?
  • Or is she right to stand by her principals and put family and successful fashion career first?

photo credit: .Martin. via photopin cc