He may travel all over the world and live in a $5 million home in Los Angeles now, but Rod Stewart grew up dirt poor in North London, the youngest of four children.
“I grew up in a very wonderfully loving but poor family,” Stewart said in the second part of a three-part interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. “We were poor. And were we poor.”
Just how poor? Well, Stewart might exaggerate a bit.
“Well, we all used to live in a septic tank,” Stewart said. “My father used to make me lick the pavement when I was a bad boy.”
When he and Sawyer laughed together, Stewart persisted.
“It’s true. The whole family got a box of matches for Christmas to share amongst us. That’s all we got for a Christmas present. Were we poor,” he said.
The Importance of a Good Hair Dryer
The 56-year-old rock star is known for jet-setting all over the world, driving luxurious cars, and his relationships and marriages to a string of beautiful blondes. He plays soccer and stays fit. But how old does he feel inside?
“Well, on the soccer field I feel, you know, like I’m 19 or 20, because I can run forever,” Stewart said. “When I wake up in the morning after a hard night, and I look in the mirror, and I’m 90. I’ve got a good hair dryer.”
How he feels about his appearance depends on where he looks.
“It all depends. I think one should always have nice mirrors in one’s house, you know, well lit,” Stewart said. “As the years advance, we need those things.”
Back in his London days, Stewart acquired the nickname “Rod the Mod.” When he played with the Jeff Beck Group on a tour that started at New York’s Fillmore East in 1968, Stewart’s style won the American crowds over, even though British audiences still didn’t know him yet.
Yet the British rocker said he wouldn’t want to go back to those early days in his career.
“I think I look a lot better now than I did 30 years ago,” Stewart said.
When Sawyer theorized that his appeal to women was that he was “extremely dangerous and sort of safe,” Stewart called it a fair statement.
“There’s always going to be an element of risk in everything we do. Otherwise, it’s not challenging,” he said.
And he has never been, and is not now, bashful about liking women.
“Nothing wrong with that is there, guys?” Stewart asked.
Three Blondes and a Turkey But liking women is one thing. Stewart, who is a father of five, has managed to have three women, the three mothers of his children, for Christmas at his house.
His first wife Alana Hamilton, whom he married in 1979, has two kids with Stewart: 21-year-old Kimberly and Sean, 20. His ex-girlfriend, Kelly Emberg, has one child by Stewart, 13-year-old Ruby. And with Hunter, his second wife, he has two children, Liam, 6, and Renee, 8. On Christmas, the whole group assembled at Stewart’s $5 million estate in Los Angeles.
“Yeah, it was quite remarkable,” Stewart said. “I was married to two of them. But they all offered off their own back to cook me dinner, and they all turned up and did it, and I was very honored. And I thought, ‘Well, I must have done something right with all three of them.’ And it’s now gone down as the evening of the three blondes and a turkey.”
He speaks to all three exes every day.