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…
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?
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.