Rod Stewart was blessed with a voice made for rock and roll. Still, he says his skills as a vocalist improved dramatically during his time with the Jeff Beck Group.
“Prior to that I was in bands with lots of musicians and singers,” he explains, in a just-published interview with M Music & Musicians. “The Jeff Beck Group offered lots of fresh air and space. Jeff can be a busy guitar player when he wants to show off, but he can also be wonderfully economical. Just listening to Jeff’s guitar taught me a lot about phrasing. I learned a lot from his guitar licks. It was a great band to be in. Ronnie [Wood’s] s bass playing could be exceptionally lyrical, and the late Mickey Waller was the most laidback drummer ever. He was brilliant, that guy.”
Stewart went on to say both the Jeff Beck Group and the Faces had tremendous band chemistry. “You can’t plan these things, it just happens,” he said. “With the Faces, our chemical was alcohol, unfortunately. We drank an awful lot. We used to drink port and brandy on an empty stomach, purposely, so that it would have twice the effect. How stupidly ruinous can you get? But still the shows were great. I look back at pictures of the Faces now, and we’re all in a big heap in the middle of the stage, lying on top of one another. And that’s just halfway through the show! We’re all getting on a bit now, so if we ever got the band back together we couldn’t do that stuff. Those youthful days are gone.”