Last year I spent the summer with Keith Richards and emerged slightly ashen but in better health than I’d thought possible.
This year my holidays have been taken with Rod Stewart. And it’s been a lot more fun.
“The hair is part of the job. It’s my signature: a convenient shorthand for me and what I do,”
The wife must have thought she was on to a winner after the Rolling Stone’s memoir kept me quiet for days so, this Christmas, Rod’s autobiography (wittily titled Rod, The Autobiography) was nestling under the tree.
The book’s great, and funny too. From Highgate to Hollywood it’s all there - the highs, the lows, the model wives, the model trains (he’s a big fan) and in one long and very detailed chapter, the hair.
That blond, spiky instantly recognisable hair. A cut that's known all over the world and one that its wearer is very, very proud of.
“The hair is part of the job. It’s my signature: a convenient shorthand for me and what I do,” he writes.
“Even now it would be possible to go in to any barber’s ... and ask for a ‘Rod’ and without further explanation the barber would know what you’re talking about.”
It’s a hairstyle that’s lasted basically unchanged throughout his career and he's generous enough to share some tips.
He recalls how in the early scuffing-around days he'd keep it up with sugar water, a blow-dryer, and lots of back-combing but laterly he uses ‘a spot of product’ and a technique he learnt on tour in Chicago in ‘68 - upside down blow-drying.
“Blowing through from the nape of the neck downwards,” Rod was told, “makes use of the natural oils far more efficiently than back-combing.”
The thing about his hair he says, is that, with a few exceptions, and minor changes in colour and bouffiness, it’s pretty much stayed the same for years.
“It’s what I have in common with the Queen: both of us had more or less the same hairstyle for the last forty-five years. Well if you find something that works for you …”
So what about you? Are you like Sir Roderick? Do you stick with the same style year in, year out? Do you have a signature cut that works - and see no need to change it? Or are you the kind who’ll chop and change with the seasons? And have you ever asked your barber for, as it were, a ''Rod"?