Age wearying Rod Stewart? No, it’s put a whole new swing in his step

Age hasn't wearied veteran rocker  Rod Stewart, who keeps churning out the hits.

Age hasn't wearied veteran rocker Rod Stewart, who keeps churning out the hits. Photo: Getty

At 79, Rod Stewart continues to power full-throttle into 2024, adding the 200th show to his Las Vegas residency, an ongoing world tour and a new swing album.

Swing Fever is a collaboration with Jools Holland and the talk show host-musician’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and tackles some timeless tunes from the Big Band era, like Pennies From Heaven, Lullaby of Broadway and Sentimental Journey.

Stewart expressed gratitude singing songs crafted at a time when a songwriter was a specific job, before bands wrote their own.

Holland, who began his career with 1980s band Squeeze joked on how the paradigm shifted.

“I think the Beatles were to blame. I think everybody thought they could write songs after that. So bands always kept doing it,” Holland said.

Stewart, who has written his share of hits, was happy to concentrate on crooning.

Stewart was recently in New York, and before heading off to a downtown pub to watch his beloved Celtic soccer team take on rivals Hibernian, he took some time to chat with The Associated Press about making music, maintaining his health and whether there’s retirement in his future.

AP: What was the appeal of going back to these tunes?

STEWART: They make you tap your feet. They make you smile. Both of us (Holland) were brought up on this music. I did The Great American Songbook, so for me this was a natural progression. And one thing I said to Jools was, I’m not going to do any slow songs, I want all upbeat, happy (claps his hands) which we need in these grim times that we live in.

AP: Did your health scare a few years back change anything?

STEWART: It’s all part of getting older. My thoughts at the moment are with our King who’s got some sort of cancer. But I’ve made a promise to myself since I was really young. I’ve always played soccer, and I still do. I play with my kids as well. I keep myself really fit. I work out a bit. I’m mad about nutrition, watching my weight and everything. So I do work at it, and I think that helps a lot. And do your due diligence. You know, men are notorious for not wanting to go to the doctors. You should.

AP: That sounds pragmatic. Do you have any worries about staying healthy?

STEWART: I’m not obsessed by it. I mean, none of us want to pass on. You do think about that as you get older, but not in a morbid way. I’m not frightened of dying, but I’m just enjoying myself so much. I feel absolutely privileged to be doing what I’m doing.

AP: Is there an end in sight, do you see a point where you would retire?

STEWART: Not really. I suppose, I mean it wouldn’t be for me to judge, but I imagine if people stop buying tickets for concerts and don’t buy records anymore maybe that’s a sign. I don’t know. The word retirement is not in my vocabulary at the moment because I’m enjoying myself.

-with AAP

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