Still sexy af­ter all these years

Penticton Herald - - ENTERTAINMENT - By JOHN CARUCCI

The As­so­ci­ated Press

NEW YORK — More than fifty years into his ca­reer, Rod Ste­wart shows no sign of slow­ing down. When he’s not on tour, he’s busy at home chas­ing his two young sons, Ai­den and Alastair, around the yard. And on Sept. 28, he will re­lease his 30th stu­dio al­bum, “Blood Red Roses.”

While known for writ­ing sul­try songs — from “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Al­right)” to “You’re In My Heart (The Fi­nal Ac­claim)” — Ste­wart’s also not afraid to tackle so­cial is­sues. In 1976, he broke new ground with “The Killing of Ge­orgie (Part I and II),” about his friend who was killed be­cause of his sex­ual iden­tity.

Ste­wart dis­misses the idea of be­ing coura­geous writ­ing the first main­stream pop song to deal with gay bash­ing.

“It was a true story and it’s much eas­ier to write about the truth,” Ste­wart said about the iconic song.

The 73-year old crooner gets se­ri­ous again with his new al­bum’s first sin­gle, “Didn’t I,” which deals with teenage sub­stance abuse from the par­ent’s per­spec­tive.

In an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press this week, the Grammy-win­ning singer dis­cussed his longevity in the mu­sic busi­ness, what he thinks of the #MeToo move­ment and main­tain­ing his sig­na­ture hair­style.

AP: That hair is just amaz­ing. How do you keep it up?

Ste­wart: It’s pretty good, isn’t it? I don’t know. I think I’ve just been lucky, you know, with the hair. It gets a lot of ma­nip­u­la­tion, you know, be­cause I al­ways have to keep it (up). When I’m do­ing a show, I have to go and dry it . ... I cut it every two weeks. No, but other than that I just think I’m lucky.

AP: You move pretty well on­stage for a guy in his seven­ties...

Ste­wart: Soc­cer has al­ways been a pas­sion of mine. You know, I played it, read about it, watched it all my life, and I still play a lit­tle bit. And I do work out a lot, I must ad­mit. And that keeps me fit for on­stage. How long can I go on? That’s the mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion. You know, I en­joy it. I get ex­cited about it, and as long as that ex­ists, I think I can carry on for another three weeks (laughs).

AP: Your two sons were on­stage with you at your Madi­son Square Gar­den show this week. Do you al­ways take them on the road?

Ste­wart: They don’t come on the stage every night. Only when they’re on tour (with me in the sum­mer). And they pester me. The older one is get­ting a bit too old for it now. But the young one loves it. You know, he loves it. But hav­ing younger kids, I’ve got eight kids all to­gether, cer­tainly does keep you on your toes, and they, es­pe­cially the youngest one, he’s just so cute. He amuses me all day long. It makes me smile. And that’s longevity in it­self, I think be­ing able to smile all day.

AP: You’ve al­ways been a fan of the ladies, do you con­sider your­self a.

Ste­wart: Sex sym­bol? Now I hate that word. ..I never pur­posely went out to at­tract the op­po­site sex. I mean, it just comes with the mu­sic, you know, the mu­sic is very sen­su­ous and vi­brant. So, if I do some­thing sug­ges­tive on­stage it’s merely by ac­ci­dent.

AP: “The Killing of Ge­orgie” was bold for its time. Do you feel it helped change at­ti­tudes in some small way?

Ste­wart: Yeah, yeah, you’re right. It was ac­tu­ally banned by the BBC when it first came out. But the most in­ter­est­ing thing about “Ge­orgie” is I bump into a lot of peo­ple, gay men who say, “You know when ‘The Killing of Ge­orgie’ came out, it re­ally helped me through my break­ing out and feel­ing proud about who I am.” And that means a lot to me.

AP: The in­dus­try has changed. Is it no longer sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll?

Ste­wart: Ob­vi­ously, I’m not, you know, sweet 16 any­more, and there are things I have to pre­serve, namely my voice. I re­ally have to look af­ter that. So, as I said, I was never re­ally a drug­gy­type per­son be­cause I played foot­ball and I was al­ways get­ting up in the morn­ing play­ing foot­ball and so that side hasn’t changed a great deal for me.

AP: But things are chang­ing, es­pe­cially with the #MeToo move­ment.

Ste­wart: Well that’s true. There were a lot of women throw­ing them­selves at us in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and they were good old times, re­ally great times. But, you know, the #MeToo move­ment is long over­due. But I must ad­mit I’ve never had trou­ble, you know, en­ter­tain­ing women. I’ve al­ways en­joyed the chase, ac­tu­ally. I’d never thrown my­self on any woman. You know, I en­joyed ro­mance and then the chase.

AP: Do you ever look back and go, “Wow, what a ca­reer?”

Ste­wart: Every day. Every day. I never take it for granted. I re­ally don’t. You know, it’s just the best job in the world. I know that’s an old cliche, but it re­ally is. (Pres­i­dent Don­ald) Trump thinks he’s got a good job. I’ve re­ally got a great job.

Rod Ste­wart will per­form Nov. 1 at Pros­pera Place in Kelowna. Visit: pros­per­aplace.com.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Rod Ste­wart, shown here in a re­cent in­ter­view, per­forms at Pros­pera Place in Kelowna on Nov. 1.The As­so­ci­ated Press re­cently did a lengthy in­ter­view with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

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