May 8, 2008 / 12:04 AM / 9 years ago

At 63, Rod Stewart not ready to slow down

<p>Rod Stewart performs at the 4th annual Plymouth Jazz Festival April 27, 2008. REUTERS/Andrea De Silva</p>

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Hall of Fame rocker Rod Stewart is 63 years old, but nowhere near retirement as he considers a wish list of future projects that include a movie, an R&B album, and maybe even a fling with country and western music.

“I’d love to make a movie, just for posterity,” Stewart told Reuters ahead of an upcoming 18-city North American tour.

But so far a film project, such as Martin Scorsese’s recent Rolling Stones’ documentary “Shine a Light,” is not in the works simply because, Stewart said, he hasn’t been asked.

Stewart’s career stretches back to 1964 and includes a Grammy award, the U.S. music industry’s highest honor, as well as his 1994 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has sold millions of records with hits such as “Maggie May,” “Tonight’s the Night,” and “Do Ya Think I‘m Sexy?”

Like the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and some other rockers of the 1960s and 1970s, Stewart has successfully moved his career into the new century.

His 18-city North American tour begins in Paso Robles, California on July 30 and stops in Las Vegas, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. cities before ending August 28 in Tampa, Florida. Two Canadian stops are planned for Toronto and Montreal. (Other dates can be found at www.rodstewart.com)

Stewart said he hasn’t yet picked out a song list for what will be his first tour through North America in two years, but recent performances in various countries have included his familiar hits as well as newer songs.

If he had his way, Stewart said he would continue performing until he is 70. “I do love it,” he said. “I actually enjoy this job that I do. I probably would miss it.”

But age and family -- he has six children ages 2-1/2 to 27 and a wife, Penny -- do take time from his schedule, and Stewart said that unlike other performers who go on the road for months at a time, he is more inclined to perform for a few weeks, return home for a month, then hit the road again.

“I don’t do it like Genesis or the Police, they go out six months solid. I just don’t want to do that. It takes me away from my children too long,” he said.

NEW DIRECTIONS

Much of Stewart’s success of late has been with his “Great American Songbook,” a four-part series of standards mostly from the 1930s and 1940s released from 2002 to 2005 that has sold 15 million copies.

More recently, his “Still the Same ... Great Rock Classics of Our Time” album has him singing works by Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Bob Seger, Van Morrison and others.

While that album is selling well, Stewart says he is not done writing his own songs and venturing in new directions.

“There is still this R&B album I want to do. There’s a Country (and) Western album I’d love to do, although the record company doesn’t want it,” he said. “We are still in the throes of talking about it. I very much doubt whether we will get it done this year.”

He also would like do a “fifth and final American Songbook.”

Ron Wood, guitarist for the Rolling Stones and a former member of the 1970s rock group Faces, which Stewart fronted, has said he would like to reunite that band. Stewart said he is unsure that will happen, but he didn’t rule it out.

“I don’t want to do a tour that goes on forever, and I don’t think there are enough people out there who love the Faces,” said Stewart. “It was a great band, but was not as famous as the Police. But, I’ll consider it.”

In looking over the current crop of young artists, Stewart said he sees a few who could enjoy the kind of long-term success he has had, including Canadian rockers Arcade Fire.

“My daughter took me to see them at the Hollywood Bowl. They are probably one of the best bands I have seen,” he said. “Then there is a really good British band called Kasabian.”

“Whether they are going to keep it going as long as we have I don’t know. But they are making good music,” he said.

Reuters/Nielsen

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