The Dimensions to The Steampacket
Having gone through an unstable childhood and teenage, Rod Stewart had to take up several odd jobs in order to make the ends meet, which included working as a newspaper boy. However, throughout this time, his passion for music didn’t dim, as he started getting inspired by the music of Bob Dylan, Ewan MacColl and Derrol Adams. Awed by the glamorous music industry in early 60s, he adopted the Mod look with spiky rooster hairstyle, which has now become a Rod Stewart trademark. With continuous struggle to enter the music industry, back in London Stewart eventually ended up with a blues and rhythm group The Dimensions as a harmonica player. However, his stay with the band wasn’t for long.
During 1964, Rod Stewart was discovered by Long John Baldry of All Star. This led to his joining the Hoochie Coochie Men. Stewart finally made his recording debut with Up Above My Head. After a fight with Baldry, Stewart left this band by the end of October as well.
Stewart started playing dates on his own during early 1965. Eventually, the Hoochie Coochie Men band also broke up and Baldry and Stewart settled down their differences, patching up again. Soon, in collaboration with the impresario, Giorgio Gomelsky, Stewart and Baldry founded a new band, The Steampacket. The band supported The Rolling Stones in the mid of 60s and toured with them. This brought them to limelight; however, the band couldn’t sign to a recording company because all of the members were at that time signed to different labels individually.
Departure from Steampacket & Jeff Beck Group
In March of 1966, Rod Stewart left The Steampacket and was recruited by the guitarist, Jeff Beck. By February of 1967 he was a regular member of the Jeff Beck Group, as a songwriter and vocalist. This led to the biggest breakthrough of his career, when he first played side by side Ronnie Wood. The group went through several changes during its first year. Eventually, the band embarked on a UK Tour and also released two singles, with Stewart on the B Side.
Apart from that, Stewart also continued with his solo career and released Little Miss Understood in 1968. With Jeff Beck Group, his first album, “Truth” came out in August of 1968 and made it to the US Albums chart at number fifteen. During his time spent with the group, Stewart was still learning and forming his own style; however, after the release of band’s second album, Stewart had groomed enough and had plans of his own.
The Small Faces & Fame
Rod Stewart signed to Mercury Records as a solo artist in 1968. Meanwhile, the English band, The Small Faces was replacing its guitarist. When Rod’s friend Ron Wood was hired as the guitarist, he was introduced as well. Eventually, Stewart became the band’s new vocalist. This new lineup was renamed to “Faces”. A year later, Stewart released his debut solo album “And Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down”. In 1970, the band Faces also released its debut album “First Step” which had a sound similar to The Rolling Stones.
Three years later, Rod Stewart parted ways with Faces due to growing differences between him and other band members. In 1974, now as an established solo singer, Stewart released “Smiler” which made it to number one spot on the charts. There onwards, Rod earned immense critical acclaim as a solo performer, leading to 2013’s “Time” another chart topping album. On the way, he won several awards and recognitions, which include his induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.