a-nods-as-good-as-a-winkWho would have thought when Roger Daltrey sang 'Hope I die before I get old' in the mid Sixties, that almost 50 years on, rock biographers and rock autobiographies would be big sellers and that generations not even born in the 60's would be reading the tomes of Rock Superstars now old enough to draw their old age pensions.

Rod Stewarts self titled autobiography Rod, infuses a certain wonderment as he narrates his musical life continually pinching himself throughout his story to say how lucky he has been...

The heart of the book really is in his formative years, growing up in North London, learning and performing on the vibrant 1960's UK tour package circuit alongside contemporaries and lifelong friends such as Elton John.

By the time of his 'overnight success ' after a long 7 year apprenticeship with the world hit single ' Maggie May' and the accompanying album 'Every picture Tells a Story' in 1971 he was more than ready for the international stage, he had paid his dues as all the greats do.

The heady days of The Faces, the move to America, the global solo success, the relationships, the friendships, it's all there. Despite the fame and money, he continually played grass roots football, which in itself literally kept his feet upon the ground and a life long passion for building model railways gives a certain normalness to Rod, even if that model railway could take up an entire floor of his mansion!

The uncanny gift of interpreting an old song and making it his own shaped the musical direction although initially his raspy chords held him back commercially, but it is clear from his narrative that the constant touring, and his love of live performance were the foundations of his long and successful career.

In print, Rod is the perfect rock star, the well publicised enthusiasms for blond models, the football fanatic, the fast cars, private jets, a drink with the lads, but not necessarily in that order....

He candidly admits to indulgences for cocaine which he eventually distanced himself from and of course the revolving door syndrome he often happily found himself with the blond of the moment.

You sense though throughout his story that he was clearly in control and was a very focused artist.

It's also the stories of learning the stagecraft, writing a song, which he admits to always finding challenging, the collaborations, the insights into recording that provide some real texture.

The writing is a cut above the norm, the jokes good, his deep love of American folk, R&B and soul indespensed with his articulation about what he knows best, his knowledge of music and his life long obsession with football and his long term close family ties throughout his life clearly made a life in a band a logical step.

This almost makes up for the 'Rock Star Behaving Badly' label with endless partners, consistent infidelities mostly very public, the endless pursuit for the next conquest, Rod candidly admits to transgressions in a much repeated self deprecating manner with the ' wink wink say no more ' cheeky chappie persona he always likes to project, it's hard to take his words seriously though when he admits to bad behaviour time and time again.

I finished the book still though with a liking and admiration for Rod, his achievement as one of the top Rock stars over the last forty years speaks for itself and despite the naughty lad tag it's his music that will be his lasting legacy.

In Rods case Blondes clearly did have more fun if they bumped into a global superstar on his ascent!