In a recent interview with Classic Rock, legendary rocker Rod Stewart opened up about a remarkable and touching connection from the early days of his career. Stewart shared that the ashes of a fellow musician reside within his guitar, a tribute to the late musician who played a pivotal role in Stewart’s rise to fame.
Stewart’s journey to stardom began when he was recruited as a backup singer by Long John Baldry for his band, The Hoochie Coochie Men, in the mid-1960s.
Reflecting on that fateful encounter, Stewart recalled:
“I was playing a harmonica and singing by myself, doing an old Muddy Waters song, and he came over and said, ‘Young man, would you like to join the band as a backup singer?'”
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The decision to join the Hoochie Coochie Men marked the beginning of Stewart’s extraordinary career.
He shared the heartwarming detail that connects him to Baldry to this day:
“I’ve still got his guitar. His ashes are inside, so if I rattle it around, I can hear him. He’s still with me.”
Stewart and Baldry remained close friends until Baldry’s passing in 2005.
In a previous interview with the Guardian, Stewart emphasized the profound impact Baldry had on his life and career, describing him as “absolutely everything.” Baldry not only kickstarted Stewart’s career but also played a significant role in shaping the young musician’s path.
Stewart’s initial hesitation to join Baldry’s band at the age of 16 or 17 quickly faded with his mother’s approval, provided he returned home by 11 o’clock. Over time, Stewart’s family grew to appreciate and cherish the memory of the late musician who continues to resonate within the strings of his guitar.