Rod Stewart is among the most successful musicians of all time. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide and has six consecutive number one albums in the United Kingdom. But why do you think this extremely gifted musician sang behind the amplifiers in his first concert?
Rod Stewart was so terrified of performing that during his first performance in America that he hid behind the amplifiers while singing. He had to be coaxed out with a shot of brandy. Decades later, he set a record by performing at the world’s largest free rock concert in front of 3.5 million people.
Who is Rod Stewart?
Rod Stewart is a renowned British singer-songwriter, vastly popular in the US and the UK. After brief stints with various bands, he found success with the Jeff Beck Group and eventually rose to prominence with the band Faces, which pioneered the blues-rock genre. Along with his group career, he launched a solo career, releasing albums that incorporated rock, R&B, soul, and folk music.
Throughout his five-decade career, he rose to prominence as a rock and pop superstar, scoring numerous solo hit singles worldwide, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. He is regarded as one of the best-selling British singers of all time, having sold over 130 million records worldwide. He has acquired numerous awards for his contributions to music. (Source: The Famous People)
The Concert When Rod Steward Hid Behind Amplifiers
Stewart revisits the incident in which he hid behind the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Amplifiers during Jeff Beck Group’s first USA show in 1968, fearing being exposed as a fake by the audience.
The event occurred as the band began the first four opening shows for the Grateful Dead at New York’s legendary Fillmore East venue. Stewart recalled it in the latest episode of the How to Wow podcast, just after he’d been terrified by his first jumbo jet flight.
I was so nervous,I always tried to sound like Sam Cooke, sound like a black singer, all my life. I thought, ‘I’m gonna be found out – there’s gonna be lots of black people sitting there, going, “Fake! You’re a fake!” Of course, it was a load of hippies when I eventually came from behind the rack of amps. Jeff said, ‘Come on, you can come out now!’ And it was just a load of hippies!Rod Stewart
He claimed that his band had blown the Grateful Dead away but admitted that not in volume.
America had never seen anything like this, me singing, Jeff playing guitar and Ronnie playing bass, and Micky Waller on the drums, and Nicky Hopkins on piano. What a lineup! They’d never seen Chicago blues being given back to them, fed back to them. This was before Led Zeppelin, of course. The Rolling Stones were big then, but this was us and they’d never seen anything like it, especially a couple of tarts like me and Woody, all dressed up in lurex and high bouffant hair. We had no idea. We didn’t want to be particularly rich; we just wanted to do what we loved, which was play our music. We had no idea of being famous. It didn’t enter our minds. I think I speak for everybody else of that era.Rod Stewart
(Source: Rock Pasta
Image from Livenation.Asia