The Rock-n-Roll Autobiography

When the rock and roll autobiography is well-written, it doesn’t matter how big a fan you are of the music.

Rod Stewart? He managed to ruin “Stay With Me” and “Let it Snow” simultaneously. When I heard one of the most memorable voices in rock music singing, “Oh, the weather outside is frightening,” I could only think of how frightening it was to hear Rod Stewart going all Johnny Mathis on the world. “Cause your perfume smelling sweeter, since when I saw you down on the floor,” might never sound cool again. I was sure when he started all this crooner nonsense that it couldn’t go any lower. But Christmas songs managed to kill what little cool there was left in Rod.

Yet, not so fast. Enter the rock-n-roll autobiography. Rod Stewart’s attempt to write about his life won’t win a Pulitzer Prize, but Rod does know how to tell a story. Negotiating contracts based on the price of the next car he wants to buy, explaining the process of building the cities and landscaping that surround model railroad tracks, getting carjacked with a toddler in tow and having to show the car thief how to start a Porsche, what exactly was up with Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, hiring an airplane to carry a banner across the sky to propose to his girlfriend and then falling in love with somebody new in the amount of time it takes the airplane to take off. This is a book that accomplishes something way beyond winning a Pulitzer Prize: it gets those crooner songs out of the head and puts Rod back where he belongs—in a pair of hot pants.

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