What is less known about Rod Stewart is that throughout the 1960's he was very active on the music scene. Here we will take a look at the nine bands that Rod Stewart was in before his solo career took off.
Rod Stewart is best known as a solo singer who, throughout the 1970's & 80's and beyond, racked up the hits in the UK. It all started with his debut solo single 'Maggie May' in 1971 which raced to the top of the charts. Rod Stewart reached the top spot in the UK charts on 6 occasions and reached the top 10 many times more.
What is less known about Rod Stewart, to the casual music fan anyway, is that throughout the 1960's Rod Stewart was very active on the music scene (with rather limited success it has to be said). During that decade, Rod Stewart performed with no less than nine different bands. Here we will take a look at the nine bands that Rod Stewart was in before his solo career took off.
(Rod Stewart during the 1970's - Image Source)
1. The Ray Davies Quartet
In the days before the final line up of the Kinks came about, Ray Davies was trying to get a band together. In 1962, Rod Stewart joined the band but didn't last too long. The reason for Rod Stewart being kicked out by Ray Davies was that the mother of then drummer John Start had complained about Stewart's voice not being good enough.
2. The Dimensions
It was in October 1963 that Rod Stewart joined the band called 'The Dimensions', his initial role was of lead singer and harmonica player. Gigs were rather hard to come by though until Jimmy Powell joined the band as singer. Renaming themselves as Jimmy Powell & the Five Dimensions, Rod Stewart soon found his role in the band lessening and he soon left.
3. Cyril Davies All-Stars / The Hoochie Coochie Men
It was Long John Baldry, who after hearing Rod Stewart busk the song 'Smokestack Lightning', asked him to become part of Cyril Davies' popular R 'n' B combo. Things got off to the worst possible start when Davies died on the night that Rod Stewart made his gig debut. Baldry somehow managed to keep the rest of the band together, under the name of 'The Hoochi Coochie Men' but not for long. They did manage to release one single - Rod Stewart taking lead vocals on a renditon of 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl' - on release in 1964, it failed to chart.
4. Soul Agents
Rod Stewart was a member of this band for a period of 6 months from late 1965 to early 1966. Success did not really come along for the band but they did gig quite a bit in their native city of Southampton.
Steampacket were a band that was created somewhat out of the ashes of 'The Hoochie Coochie Men'. The band featured Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger. The band became popular enough to support the Rolling Stones on tour but split up in 1966. Although no albums were released during the time that Rod Stewart featured in the band, a posthumous album was released in 1970.
6. Shotgun Express
Shotgun Express only ever released one single, 'I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round' in 1966 - it failed to chart. The band featured Rod Stewart sharing lead vocals with Beryl Marsden and also featured future Fleetwood Mac stars Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green on drums and guitars.
7. The Jeff Beck Group
The Jeff Beck Group boasted the cream of British rock, or so they were quick to say. In the latter years of the 1960's Jeff Beck was helped out by Nicky Hopkins on piano, Micky Walker on drums, Ron Wood on bass and Rod Stewart on vocal duties. Rod Stewart stayed with the group long enough to record the 1968 album 'Truth' and the 1969 album 'Beck-Ola'. It was not to be the last time that Rod Stewart and Ron Woods would appear in the same band.
8. Python Lee Jackson
Python Lee Jackson were an Australian band who were pretty much unheard of in the UK when they roped Rod Stewart in to doing the lead vocals for the song 'In A Broken Dream' in 1970. Money was quite tight for the band and they ended up paying Rod Stewart with a set of seat covers for his car. The song was released in the UK in 1973 and, because of Rod Stewart's fame by then, raced up the charts to a peak position of number 3.
9. The Faces
The Small Faces slit up in 1969 but Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones were not finished with music. They hired Rod Stewart and Ron Wood (who had played together in the Jeff Beck Group) and set about recording new material. One of the reasons given for dropping the 'small' from their name was because of how tall Ron Wood and Rod Stewart were - anyway, they band were now known as simply 'The Faces'.