More from Groovy History

When Rod Stewart Was 'Rod The Mod'

Music | January 6, 2019

Rod Stewart and Faces. Concert in USA. April 1975. Source: (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

During the groovy era, countless, hip music artists were front and center; each one doing their best to carve out their own niche. In the decade of the Woodstock Festival, there was no shortage of iconic music groups and soloists. It was a time of sex, drugs and rock and roll with a mentality of “anything goes.” People were in their own groove during the ‘60s when Rod Stewart became well known.

Rod Stewart is a British singer, songwriter, producer and musician who began his career as a teenager in 1961. He was first into the beatnik scene, but soon embraced Mod culture, a distinctive subculture in Britain centered on fashionable clothing and American R&B music. 

Rod Stewart was affectionately nicknamed 'Rod the Mod'

Rod Stewart. Source: (

Rod Stewart began his spectacular music career in the early '60s, and his looks and style earned him the nickname "Rod the Mod." As a fashion icon, he was known almost as much for his spiky hair and stylish outfits as he has been for that soulful singing voice.

Musically, Stewart has always been known for creating and performing classic rock and roll, pop rock, blues rock, folk rock as well as some soul music. His signature raspy voice and limber body, jumping around on stage at live performances, thrust him into the spotlight and landed him in huge demand.

Rod Stewart’s storied music career includes stints in the classic-rock institutions Faces and The Jeff Beck Group

The Jeff Beck Group in 1967: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Micky Waller and Jeff Beck. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Though today we think of Stewart as a solo vocalist or frontman, his career actually took off when he was an in-demand harmonica player for the R&B and blues-rock bands that proliferated in the UK in the early '60s. These groups included The Dimensions, Steampacket and Shotgun Express. None of these acts made it to the recording studio, but Stewart's next groups did, in a big way. Stewart recorded two albums with the Jeff Beck Group and four with Faces, all of which are considered classic and influential LPs.

Rod Stewart released his first single, "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl," in 1964, and his first solo album, An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down, five years later

The Dimensions. Source: (

Throughout the '60s and into the early '70s, Rod Stewart somehow managed to simultaneously maintain a solo career while being a member of various groups. The balancing act showed signs of strain during Stewart's tenure with Faces. Rod Stewart’s solo albums like Every Picture Tells a Story (1971) and Never a Dull Moment (1972) and singles including "Maggie May" were chart-toppers, while Faces albums from the same period weren't faring quite as well. At the end of 1975, Faces broke up.

Stewart's early music was a combination of folk, soul, rhythm & blues and rock and roll, all rolled into one. After his solo career skyrocketed him into superstardom, he couldn’t be stopped! Stewart was in high demand for his singles, albums, and live performances.

Rod Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists in history

Rod Stewart. Source: (

Stewart has sold over 100 million records all over the world. He also boasts six consecutive number one albums. At least 31 of Rod Stewart’s singles hit the top ten on the music charts; 16 of which are on the U.S. charts. He also holds a Guinness World Record -- in 1994, Rod Stewart played a concert in Rio de Janeiro for an audience of 3.5 million fans. It remains the largest crowd ever to attend a musical concert.

Rod Stewart ultimately reinvented his career which lent itself to more of a new wave and soft rock music genre

Rod Stewart. Source: (

Beginning in the late ‘70s, Stewart decided to reinvent himself in the music world. Soft rock music became more his style and it worked for him. Stewart managed to weather the changes in pop music throughout the '80s and into the '90s continuing to release albums and singles that reached the top ten of the pop charts in numerous countries. Stewart also continued to perform live, and his dynamic stage persona remained a draw for fans.

Stewart was inducted into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016

Left: Rod Stewart in his sex-symbol heyday. Right: Stewart with four mothers of his children. They are all models or former models: Alana K. Stewart, Penny Lancaster, Kelly Emberg, and Rachel Hunter. Sources:;

Stewart has been honored many times over in the music world. A Grammy and a Brit Award are among the many accomplishments under his belt. Stewart was also inducted into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his brilliant solo career in 1994, then again, as a member of Faces, in 2012. In 2016, he received his knighthood, joining contemporaries like Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger.

Tags: 1980s Music | Celebrities In The 1960s | Celebrities In The 1970s | Faces | Jeff Beck | Maggie May | Music In The 1960s | Rare Facts And Stories About History | Rod Stewart | Then And Now

Like it? Share with your friends!

Share On Facebook

Rebeka Knott


Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.