The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

WHO among us, dur­ing an idle mo­ment in the sun tap­ping one’s toes to one of the epic tracks from Rod Ste­wart’s The Great Amer­i­can Song­book, hasn’t had the thought: ‘‘ Wouldn’t it be great to write a song for Mr Ste­wart?’’ I know it has crossed my mind more than once. In fact I have a few bel­ters sit­ting in my bot­tom drawer that could eas­ily be right up Rod’s al­ley. So the Spin Doc­tor of­fice was non­plussed in no un­cer­tain terms this week by the news that Scot­tish be­spec­ta­cled twin tune­smiths the Pro­claimers are pin­ing for Ste­wart to cover one of their songs. Char­lie and Craig Reid, who dur­ing the past 20 years or so have penned clas­sics such as Sun­shine on Leith, I’mOnMy Way and I’mGonna Be ( 500 Miles), are said to be des­per­ate for Rod the Mod to get his ton­sils around one of their acous­tic dit­ties, per­haps one of the lesser known clas­sics from their back cat­a­logue. Just why the brothers SPEAK­ING of cov­er­ing other peo­ple’s songs, a rare per­for­mance by an Aus­tralian rocker slipped un­der the radar last month, in­spired by Todd Haynes’s Bob Dylan film I’mNot There, which is re­leased here on Box­ing Day. The I’m Not There con­cert at New York’s Bea­con Theatre was held as part of the film’s launch cam­paign and fea­tured My Morn­ing Jacket, Sonic Youth’s Lee Re­naldo and Calexico on an all- star bill. Join­ing them was Saints singer Chris Bai­ley, who just hap­pened to be in town with the Saints and was asked by the film’s sound­track pro­ducer if he would make an ap­pear­ance. Bai­ley joined Re­naldo’s house band the Bil­lion Dol­lar Bash­ers on Dylan’s Mag­gie’s Farm, which was, ac­cord­ing to one ob­server, the rockingest song of the night. ■ spin­doc@ theaus­tralian. com. au think His Rod­ness would do jus­tice to their work is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine, but given that any­thing with Ste­wart’s name on it sells in the mil­lions, the re­turns in pub­lish­ing money would be con­sid­er­able. Ste­wart, of course, will land on th­ese shores for a sell- out tour in Fe­bru­ary. Per­haps, rather than some of our Aus­tralian artists tak­ing the Pro­claimers’ ini­tia­tive and try­ing to flog him ma­te­rial as well, we should vol­un­teer our best- known per­form­ers to do cov­ers of Rod clas­sics on stage with him. Given her new ‘‘ gee is it hot in here or am I Delta Goodrem?’’ im­age, per­haps a duet on Do Ya Think I’mSexy? wouldn’t go amiss for the for­mer Neigh­bours girl next door. And Guy Se­bas­tian, now of­fi­cially one of the great­est soul singers in the his­tory of Ade­laide, would surely blend right in with the age­ing rocker on a cou­ple of Sam Cooke favourites. A Ste­wart- Barnes duet would also de­mand top dol­lar. Any­way, the idea is out there. Let’s see if it comes to fruition.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Tom Jel­lett

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