David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

What can I say? It was the 1970s and.....

Because I loved music, from Mozart through Miles to Steely Dan, I was given all the 'rock star' jobs. I could put up with their often dreadful behaviour in return for going backstage, frontstage and sidestage on their gigs. Rod Stewart was one of the ones I worked with quite often, partly through my friend and colleague at the time John Blake, now, via pop columnist and editorship of the Sunday People, a highly successful publisher.

Rod was noted for his meanness. Once, being a soccer fan he agreed to sign a football for charity. He would bring it in to our office on Tudor Street EC4. He duly turned up and I met him in reception. 'Where's the football', I asked. 'Sorry, I forgot it', replied Rod. Leaving me to go out and buy a football for Rod to sign! Twice, photographing him at home, he'd said he'd get his housekeeper tp lay on a bit of lunch. Twice he 'forgot' but would 'take us down the pub and buy us lunch there.' Twice he 'forgot his wallet' was 'sorry' and would reimburse us. And didn't. No wonder he's a millionaire.

On the other hand, I spent a few days with him in Belgium on tour and in the studio with his band for Der Stern magazine. I was listening to the greatest rock and roll.

In concert in Belgium, with the band including Jim Cregan on guitar and Phil Chen on bass, Rod played some of the best rock I've ever heard, a wall of rhythm and sound.

I'd forgive him anything for that. Not that he needs my forgiveness for anything.