The music scene

Rod Stewart: ‘Time’ is on his side

 
 
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  Rod Stewart meets fans and signs copies of his book 'Rod: The Autiobiography' at Waterstone's, Piccadilly on November 7, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Rod Stewart meets fans and signs copies of his book 'Rod: The Autiobiography' at Waterstone's, Piccadilly on November 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Rod Stewart has never shied from the spotlight, but on this day, the famously cheeky rocker wants a softer glow.

He’s waiting to be interviewed on camera about his first album of original music in almost 20 years, and the lighting inside the fitness center of his Beverly Hills compound isn’t quite right. He calls for his No. 1 expert.

“My wife’s on her way over,” he says.

When Penny Lancaster arrives, legs all the way up to her tousled blonde ponytail, she looks through the camera and insists on softer lights. As they dim, the 42-year-old model/photographer dusts Stewart’s face with powder, then leans in toward his trademark spiky `do.

“Not the hair, not the hair, not the hair,” he protests uselessly.

She tugs at two strands, the result imperceptible.

“You only thought you had it perfect,” says Lancaster with a cover-girl smile.

There’s a lot of love in Stewart’s life now, and it’s on full display on Time, his new album. There are other signs, too, like how his youngest sons’ weights are scrawled on a scale inside this apartment-sized gym, just above “mummy” and “daddy”; and how he pauses during an interview to shout, “See ya, Shawny,” to his eldest son, Sean, as he grabs some water after playing basketball on the court outside.

After releasing eight cover albums — his five Great American Songbook volumes, a Christmas album, Soulbook and his classic rock collection — Stewart rediscovered his songwriting voice while reviewing his life for his 2012 autobiography, Rod.

“It was probably the longest writer’s block in history, you know, 20-odd years. But it wasn’t self-imposed. It was maybe a lack of confidence,” Stewart said. “I’d sort of given up, let’s put it that way. But because of the autobiography, it inspired me. And I had a lot to write about… Probably I was in the right state of my life to start writing these very personal songs.”

Not only did he find a wellspring of material, he found a delight in songwriting that had always been elusive.

“It always used to be like work for me. It was never a pleasure. It was never a joy. It was like being at school,” he said. “But now, I finally enjoy it. My wife will tell you, I was getting up in the middle of the night and writing down lyrics, just inspired. I can’t wait to start writing again. It’s tremendous.”

The autobiography and the album are companions, Stewart said, though in some ways the album is more revealing. Where the book chronicles his evolution into a world-famous rock star along with the happiness of his present circumstances, only the latter comes through on Time.

“I’ve got a feeling that this album is a watershed album for me because it is so personal,” he said.

That means embracing an image far from the Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? swagger of his heyday. Here, the 68-year-old is a loving dad, grateful son and faithful partner.

“It’s OK,” he said. “I believe that’s one way you can write songs – be as personal as you can. I’ve always said my life’s been an open book, I’ve got nothing to hide… I think it’s even somewhat brave to be that personal and put it down on record for the rest of your life that people are going to hear.”

Stewart’s new tour starts June 1 (there are no Florida dates).

“I don’t go quite as mad as I used to when I was in my 30s. I just enjoy what I do and hopefully will go on forever but obviously it can’t. I do hope I’ve got the dignity and the awareness to bow out at the right time, which is when I’m 93.”

Sandy Cohen

The Associated Press

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • La vida local

    Marlon Wayans couldn’t let it rest: he’s back for ‘A Haunted House 2’

    Last time we spoke to Marlon Wayans, he was promoting A Haunted House back in January 2013.

  • Celebrity birthdays on April 17

    Actress Olivia Hussey is 63. Singer-guitarist Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks is 59. Actor Sean Bean is 55. Actor Joel Murray is 52. Actress Lela Rochon is 50. Actress Leslie Bega is 47. Actress Kimberly Elise is 47. Singer Liz Phair is 47. Rapper-actor Redman is 44. Actress Jennifer Garner is 42. Singer Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls is 40. Actress Rooney Mara is 29.

  • Celebrity roundup

    Rob Kardashian in treatment

    Rob Kardashian has bigger issues than trying to lose weight. According to Star, the reality brother, 27, is being treated for depression at The Meadows trauma and addiction treatment center in Arizona. Poisons of choice are apparently marijuana, alcohol and prescription cough syrup.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category