#741: 1971, Rod Stewart, Maggie May

by Jackie_South on August 18, 2013

By Charlie East-West

As we continue our rather contentious theme week of great Scottish music, and an ongoing debate about what constitutes ‘being Scottish’ – in terms of musicianship, I would like to point out the following – Anyone who is a) born, b) raised, c) parental nationality – has the criteria of a particular nationality. For example, David Byrne (being born in Scotland) qualifies as ‘being Scottish’.

An example of criteria (c) – is Rod Stewart.

Apart from his wonderful early career music with Jeff Beck Group, Faces, and his early solo career (Every Picture Tells a Story released in 1971 is a brilliant rock album), Rod Stewart also gets a nod and a wink from myself – because he actually wants to be Scottish, loves Scotland, loves Scottish football, and sets out to define his musical direction by a consistent use of Celtic folk influences within his music.

A perfect example is his definitive song Maggie May. A song that still defines his career and a perfect example of rebellious youth – of wanting to run away, play pool and find that rock and roll band that needs a helping hand.

It is quite brilliant. It is a shame that Rod the Mod decided to walk the path towards Hollywood Boulevard and leopardskin spandex from 1978 onwards. Since the early 1980’s, his love of money has taken the priority over the overall musical quality. But, between the mid 1960’s and mid 1970’s Rod Steward was magnificent.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

George_East August 18, 2013 at 9:58 am

With John Peel on mandolin….


Jackie_South August 18, 2013 at 10:02 am

Yep – one of the all time great Top of the Pops performances, because they take the mick out of the miming – the bit where Ronnie Wood is climbing about the stage during his solo, kicking the football around Peel at the end. I understand that they asked Peel on stage just before to stand in as the mandolin player.


George_East August 18, 2013 at 10:06 am

Yep. It might actually be the first great Top of The Pops Performance, setting the scene for some of the great performances of the 1970s and 1980s.


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