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on April 21, 2016
Rod Stewart is the luckiest man in the world. And he knew it. His words. He still wakes up every day and thanks his lucky stars for the life he has led. He is also a very entertaining writer. A very glib, easy-going writing style -- it slides by without unnecessary words or serpentine meaning. And he knows how to use a summation sentence to start each paragraph, so you never have to re-read anything or ask yourself `What is this numnut trying to say?` He's self deprecating, and zero ego driven self-absorption is evident. There's much in it about his love life, which I appreciated. 3 wives plus 2 long term sig-others later, you do start to wonder if he will ever realize that his penchant for tall gorgeous blonde models in their early 20's may have had something to do with things eventually not working out. Really though, if you are also of the male persuasion, who likes tall gorgeous blonde models in their early 20's? (You can't see it, but my hand raised...).

I could have done without the details of his soccer(football) experiences, it being one of his passions and all. But he had the forethought to contain it in a few dedicated chapters titled `Digression` so it was easy to skip through it without missing anything else. But mostly Rod's autobi is about the music, and this is critically important to me. I was never a Rod superfan, but as a rocker I always liked what he put out along the way -- always a mixture of a lot of styles that only the rock idiom can do. It was about musical blends. I loved the details of how songs got written, who was playing what, and why the arrangements came together as they did. Too many Rock Stars tell you all the details about what happened to them, but not what it all meant. Only the evolutionary details of the music, and the times in which it was created, can explain what it all meant, and Rod digs deeply into his professional life in this regard. Very cool.

Of course, you also learn all the incredible long shots and lucking strokes that had to come together make a Rod Stewart. And there were plenty of them, most not the slightest bit obvious to Rod as they happened: `If you expect to get anywhere in the music business, son, you're going to have to get that raspy buzz out of your voice!` And on from there. By the end of this delicious autobi you agree with him -- he is without a doubt, the luckiest man in the world. At least the luckiest Rock Star. In addition to all that, he delivered something in his Rock Star autobi that few others have: Interesting writing!
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on March 10, 2016
I am an absolute Rod Stewart freak and don't deny it. I've had the privilege of seeing him in concert four times, albeit from the lawn section of the PNC Arts Center in NJ, so I went into this book expecting to like it. I didn't like it...I loved it. Rod is very realistic about his life, sharing both his triumphs and all the crazy (and costly) shenanigans he and his band-mates participated in, especially regarding hotel rooms. There was a great deal of honesty in this book, and I appreciated this, as any reader should. It was nicely rounded-out by the fact that the man can, and frequently does, laugh at himself. Breath of fresh air, especially given that he lives in a world where people tend to be overly-impressed with themselves. His writing style is tongue-in-cheek and, while it will never be nominated for a Pulitzer, it was very well done, in my opinion, from the perspective of one who reads for pleasure. The chapter on his hair deserves it's own was absolutely hysterical and literally had me laughing out loud (I was glad I was home while reading it, rather than sitting in the dentist's waiting room, or some other public place).
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on October 14, 2014
Rod Stewart is my All-Time Favorite Male Entertainer. Luv U Babe!
So I had to down-load this to my Kindle & check it out. The book did not disappoint. I read it mostly at work on my breaks & lunch hour.
Rod's story had me laughing out loud...giggling...smiling quite a bit! We are both the same age so I could relate to all the early days of groups from his teenage years and beyond.
It was totally fascinating & funny. Gave a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what groups have done while on tour over the years w/time to kill on their hands. The hijinks in the hotels was unbelieviable...but I've been to very few concerts over the years & have never been back stage much less a groupie waiting at the any hotels hoping for a chance to party aka as drinking w/any rock n roll performers.
I have seen Rod perform in the Albany, NY area at least 4 times...He along w/my all-time favorite female entertainer...
Tina Turner...(I've attended at least 5 of her concerts) have always given at least 110% at each performance! They are professional & it's thrilling to see either in person.
So YES I would definitely recommend this book to any Rod Stewart fan! He is very sincere & authentic. It was a hoot!
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on August 6, 2013
Just finished this lively, surprising humble and thoroughly enjoyable book. Well written to be enjoyable for anyone. Filled with lessons on love, kids, careers, and life that all of us can relate to. The perspective is not flamboyant indulgent rock star but instead is a mix of humble, ah-shucks, I'm a lucky bastard. Really cool to see someone that has lived the majority of their life in limelight still has the basic working class mentality at heart. That's not to say that Rod Stewart has lived a life full of adventure, sex, and craziness, lucky enough to come out the other side as a good guy. By the end of the book, you feel like you could sit down over a pint and hang out with Mr. Stewart.
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on June 11, 2015
As I long time fan, I was eager to read Rod The Mod's autobiography, especially after my sister had highly recommended it. I was near fanatical about Rod back in the Faces day and went to numerous concerts in and around the NY area. I continued to go to his solo shows and was never disappointed. He has such a great voice which is matched by his writing "voice" and I loved his wonderful British sense of humor (that's my peeps!) that had me laughing out loud from page one.

I appreciated the honesty with which he approached his checkered history with women and although I followed his hijinks closely over the years, some things still came as a surprise to me. From his early years growing up in London, to the glam of Beverly Hills and English countryside estates, it was a thoroughly engaging tale that I had to force myself to not read it through in one sitting. I limited myself to only as much as I could fit into my lunch hour just to make the experience last.

His endearing love of family and loyalty to friends shone through this tale of the most charming rogue in rock and roll and I can't recommend this highly-entertaining read enough.
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on November 21, 2012
Way back in the 1970's, I saw Rod Stewart acting like a petulant prima donna on a British TV program, and for a long time thereafter had him pegged as an immature twit, albeit one with a great voice. As someone who went to university in London in the mid-70's and saw just about every rock band that was worth seeing - plus a fair number who weren't - I was never a great Rod Stewart fan. I liked some of his songs - I would have absolutely killed to see the Faces play "Stay With Me" in concert - and appreciated his unique voice, but I never jumped wholeheartedly onto the Stewart bandwagon.

All of which somehow makes this autobiography all the more of a delightful surprise. It's lightly written, funny and informative. It's also charmingly self-deprecating; here is the voice of a former Bad Boy of Rock and Roll, all grown up and now looking back with the balance and wisdom of his later years.

The book is full of good behind-the-scenes stories that tell of bands, songs and relationships. We learn of Stewart's humble origins, his unsteady progress as a singer and harmonica player (he notes wryly that he was playing the latter badly for a year before someone pointed out that you could actually play the instrument by sucking as well as blowing into it), and the ups and downs of various bands and albums before fame and commercial success finally sunk their hooks into him for good. This happened in part because of his classic song Maggie May, which Stewart almost discarded from the Every Picture Tells A Story album because he didn't think much of it:

"When the Beatles finished `Please Please Me', George Martin allegedly clicked on the talkback and said, `Congratulations, boys, you've just recorded your first number one.' What would I have said had I spoken to the studio after finishing Maggie May? Probably, `Well, that's sort of OK, I suppose. Drink, anyone?'"

Originally released as the B side of a single, Maggie May was played widely by radio DJs in the States, and then in Britain, and this finally catapulted both the song and the album to number 1 at the same time in both countries (a feat which, Stewart notes, not even Elvis or the Beatles had managed).

Stewart avoids the temptation to use his autobiography to settle scores, and usually describes conflicts tactfully, despite telling us that, "as everyone in the business of rock'n'roll knows, the rule is as follows: in bands, there's always one c**t who no one gets on with." (Amazon won't allow the c word to be printed, even though it's a quote from the book). That he was a horrible and terminally unfaithful partner to his various wives and girlfriends he openly admits. The caricatured life of a star - literally sex, drugs and rock and roll - was too good to pass up, and Stewart indulged unceasingly and head first. At one point he confesses to spending a week in a prime hotel suite in the south of France, literally flying in one girl after another (his manager would drop off one girl at the airport and then head over to Arrivals to pick up the next to arrive).

And on the positive side, we get some great stories about his closest friends in the business; the tales of his long relationship with Elton John, including their constant practical jokes and one-upmanship, are particularly amusing. Not to mention the so-called Sex Police: members of the band who tried their best to stop any other band member from having sex with whatever groupie he'd brought back to the hotel after a concert. In one case, this involved removing every last piece of furniture from a musician's hotel suite and replacing it with live chickens. The afflicted band member duly returned and, acting as if nothing was amiss, proceeded to enjoy his girl anyway... as Stewart notes, the important thing was not to give your friends the satisfaction of seeing you inconvenienced or annoyed.

Along the way, we get amusing digressions on various topics ranging from his love of cars to Rod Stewart impersonators to the staggering amount of work involved in creating his hairdo... all of this related in a tone that makes it clear he never takes himself too seriously.

Viewed superficially, Stewart could be written off - as some have done - as a pretty boy with a good voice. But that does him a disservice: it's very clear from this book that a genuine love of great music was there from the beginning, and he has both appreciated and embraced genres that ranged widely from folk to blues to hard-core rock. Indeed, reading this book made me go back and listen to a "Best of" album (I highly recommend The Definitive Rod Stewart, a two-CD set that includes most of his best songs); in doing so, I recognized many of these influences, sometimes woven together to give a richer whole. Above it all, of course, is that famous raspy voice which, at its best, reflects Stewart's emotional investment in the lyrics (listen to his heartfelt rendering of Tom Waits' wonderful song Tom Traubert's Blues).

But overall, you don't have to love the guy to enjoy this book; it's a very entertaining romp through his career, and along the way it provides a highly readable history of the musical era in which he became famous.

And Rod Stewart - at least in his maturity - turns out to be a nice guy after all.
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on August 3, 2013
"Rod" will stand the test as one of the best books of the genre.

The first thing one notices about these guys is that their self centered focus on career often makes them jerks - Clapton, Steve Earle, etc. Or they cannot write - Grace Slick and most everyone else. (Or worse, all the do is talk about their destruction of hotel rooms, Moon.) Does anyone really care beyond 5 pages?

Then the books from Patti Smith, Tommy James, or Keith Richards come out and your faith is renewed. People can be interesting, literate, and human. Success is not the barometer - Babes in Toyland barely sold any records, but Kat's book is super.

Rod falls into the latter category. Funny, interesting, well written, self effacing, and a good buddy to have around for a few days while reading through his remarkable life.

Since we are all reading this book, I presume most of us are fans. However, there is enough insight, People Magazine clutter, and humor to keep almost anyone entertained. My wife, who could give a rip, enjoyed the occasional quote. The whole attitude was relaxed and fun. I liked the book and believe I would like him personally too (not that is a requirement of a good book!).

I still won't buy any of his post Faces records, but now that I realize that "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" was written in the third person from the voice of an average Joe getting ready for a date (rather than in the narcissistic first person, as we all assumed), I'll listen a little more attentively next time I inadvertently hear the tune for the 200th time.
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on July 15, 2014
exactly what i was hoping for.....this book is not great literature, but i wasn't looking for great literature with meaning and pathos and some kind of redemption for the hero....i saw rod stewart a couple of years ago on Joy Behar's show, and he was interesting without being gossipy, self-deprecating, funny, and utterly charming. His book is just as entertaining as he was on that show, and that's what i was hoping for. He is a man who knows what he did wrong in life, but more importantly, he knows how lucky he has been, and this gratitude for the good fortune makes him humble. I didn't mind all the talk of football, or his love of model trains (surprising), because it's such a big part of his soul, and shouldn't be glossed over. I read it quickly---not because it is short, but because it was fun and easy to spend time in his company. i grew up with his music, it was inescapable, and while i consider Maggie May to be on my Top Ten list of any music, any time, i was not a die-hard fan and don't own much of his catalog, so i didn't open the book already loving it. a perfect book for summer.
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on May 20, 2015
This book was on sale, so I thought I'd try it out. He is a rock star so there is a lot about drugs, music and other things associated with it. I wasn't sure I wanted to keep reading at points, but I think what kept me reading was how he told the story. It was like he was sitting down with me and telling me the story--complete with sarcastic remarks and witty humor. There is a lot of name-dropping of people he's met, dated and been friends with. He admits his mistakes and things he feels bad about. He is matter-of-fact about the wild parts of his life. I also like the Digression chapters where he covers topics like his hair, his love of cars, model trains, love of football (soccer), etc. Worth a read, but be prepared for some rough language and a few shocking stories. Subject matter is not appropriate for children & teenagers.
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on January 12, 2014
Rod Stewart presents himself in this memoir pretty much as one would expect. He seems quite gregarious with an eye towards the ladies and more than a dabbler in drugs and alcohol although more restrained than other rock stars such as Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. His rise toward startdom is not particularly surprising in its course but it is still interesting to hear about. Romantically he is quite an energetic fellow. At one point he has a girl (model) in bed at a hotel waiting for him while he is pursuring another girl (model) even while his wife waits for him back on the west coast. Ah, the life of a rock star! I have been and remain a fan of his music so all this is entertaining to hear about. I particulary like one passage where he and Ron Wood settle in a room to write a song. Hours pass an nothing. A bottle of wine is summoned and consumed. Nothing. They pass out and wake up. Nothing. The rigors of song writing. There are lots of amusing stories in this book and Rod Stewart is not above making fun of himself at times and tries, to his credit, to present himself honestly both as a singer and song writer and in his relationships whether for friendship or love. He is quite the nostalgic family. And above all to his credit he is a great soccer fan. It's a good book to read and enjoy.
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