Wednesday, October 29, 2003

BITTER MEN OF ROCK: As regular readers will know, we love nothing more than a spot of unfathomable bitterness on the part of rich, successful rock stars - especially those whose mansion and flash car count far outweighs the levels that would seem fair based on their actual talent. And so, Rod Stewart's interview with the Radio Times is something we shall be treasuring like a latter-day Mappa Mundi of Bitterness.

Bearing in mind that Rod's merely barking up interest for that hole in the road of creative endavour, the Ben Elton-written musical based on his songs (Has anyone been to see this yet? We're shuddering at how Elton will have drag-and-dropped Do Ya Think I'm Sexy into the proceedings), the horse that Stewart is on is admirably over-high:

He was troubled by the fact that "they never have a go at Paul McCartney for marrying a younger woman", he said. "He's 60 and Heather is 34, but they kill me because of Penny." The star told the Radio Times it may be because of the knighthood, "a wonderful little honour to be bestowed on one".

So, Rod, you don't think that the press don't need to hit McCartney over the head about Mills' age because they're too busy slapping him with the story about the game of hunt-the-engagement-ring, or poking him with tales about what a harridan she's meant to be, or punching him with tales of how all the kids hate her, or using the lace garrot of 'we thought Linda was irrereplacable, and yet you seemed to fill the vacancy rather quickly considering?' - and, in light of this, "oh, and she's young enough to be your daughter" might be considered over-egging the egging? Do you really suppose that there are meetings in Wapping where they hold up a page proof with the words "Hopalong is a bitch - Stella" on it, where they suck their teeth and say "ang about, this para here about the age difference; we should take that out, with him being a Sir and all?" You see, we might have thought the reason why McCartney doesn't get the nudging about having a younger woman on his arm and you do, Rod, is because McCartney hasn't happily cultivated the image of a serial-shagging Jack The Lad for the last thirty years.

He also said he was mystified why he had never been honoured by the Queen. "I do my bit for charity. Maybe it will come along - the OBE: Ordered Out Of the British Empire," he said.

Wailing 'I do my bit for charity' at the doors of the Palace is, of course, the equivalent of 'do you know who I am' at the doors of a nightclub - the mere use of the phrase renders its subject - selfless work, celebrity - totally invalid.

It's not just the Queen who's given him the bum's rush, either:

And he was "astounded" that he had never won a prestigious Grammy award - but "they tend not to give it to the British unless you're Sting... Mr Serious who helps the Indians."

Now, the funny thing is, we 're much, much fonder of Rod's solo work than we are of Sting's, but we can at least acknowledge that Sting's workrate and - perhaps ill-advised - experimentation and expansion of his musical grammar is the sort of artistic development which is catnip to the Grammy Awards. Bouncing around in tight pants for thirty years booming out "I'm out of milk and sugar/Thats okay honey, we can watch the early movie" may be somewhat less-so.

But lest you think Stewart to be a bitter, wizzened old man who sits in his palace muttering darkly about how he fails to be recognised for the good that he brings to the planet - we're sure, had there been time, we'd have heard his gripes that he's never been given shit by the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party and that it's astonishing the Nobel people have yet to call - well, you couldn't have got him more wrong. It's all water off a duck's arse to our Rod:

"I'm not upset by what people say, except when it's personal," he said.

And, apparently, when it's not "and the winner… is Rod Stewart."

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