<back...The Making of
a Legend by Rod Stewart
He always had encouraging words, especially when I’d mess up on stage.
He’d just say, "Oh you’re young yet; it’ll all come to you". It
wasn’t dismissive. It was always said in a way that made me feel he
believed what he was telling me. John taught me so much – things
that apply to my life and things that made me the human being I am
today. He had tremendous stage presence. "You watch any great
performer and they never stand at the microphone with their legs
together." he said. "Have a manly stance. Be bold on
stage – bold as you would be playing soccer", which I was good
He taught me to
project with my hands when I’m singing. See me onstage today and
you’re seeing what John taught me. John was really looking out for
me when we were on the road. My first time in a club outside of
London, we played a club In Manchester (Kyle’s note – where Eric
Burdon lived and started). He said, "Don’t worry just get up
there and sing". I was nervous. A band mate gave me a pill – an
amphetamine called a black bomber. I got onstage and played one song
for 20 minutes, the same verse over and over. John found out and
reprimanded the guy, firing him for corrupting me. He was very
fatherly, always looking out for my welfare. As our careers
progressed, John continued playing in clubs, which he’s still
happily doing. He didn’t write songs; he’s never been ambitious that
way. Although he made some albums that got radio play, he was never
a huge recording star. But in the UK he did have a #1 hit with 'Let
the Heartaches Begin'. He’s not particularly worried about
financial gain or seeing himself in the papers. He’s
comfortable as long as he can play his guitar. John may not be
a legend in the proverbial sense, but he’s a cult hero with
his own following and the fans who flock to his performances.
He leaves me phone messages with that accent of his: "Dear Roddy, how the hell are you?" Every time I pick up a guitar, I
play the old folk song 'Mother Ain't Dead', which I learned
with John in the mid 60s. We both love the Blues, and we’re
tremendously in love with American Folk music. In fact next
time I’m touring & he’s in the neighborhood, I think I’ll ask
him to come onstage and play 'Mother Ain't Dead',
just the two of us. It’ll be great.
Mother Ain't Dead
/with Rod Stewart
STEWART'S TRIBUTE -
Friday, July 29, 2005 - National Exhibition Centre Arena -
performed Friday July 29/05
in Birmingham England and paid tribute
to Long John Baldry's memory singing
Be Seeing You'.
Thank you Rod for this heartfelt tribute.
View the tribute performance here.