Rod Stewart: Elton John ‘Showed Me Up’ With Christmas Kindness
Rod Stewart recalled feeling that Elton John had defeated him in their decades-long friendly feud when the pair exchanged Christmas gifts one year in the ‘70s.
While it seems like their friendship has become damaged in recent years, Stewart was happy to discuss the way they used to try to outdo each other in terms of practical jokes.
“Some of them were very public, but the one where he showed me up the most was in private,” he told the Guardian in a new interview. “We used to live 20 minutes from each other in Berkshire… for Christmas I bought him a pop-up fridge from Harrods. You pressed a button and there’d be steam and lights and a bottle of champagne. It cost me £600; a lot of money in the ‘70s. We swapped presents and he said: ‘Oh very nice, dear, thank you.’ He gave me a Rembrandt painting!”
Stewart continued: “I’ve never felt so stingy. He’s eternally the most generous person I’ve ever known. I’m not sure what the best one I’ve done on ‘her’ is… he’s usually got one over on me. I can’t bear it. We communicate through the press now, but we love each other. That’s what counts.”
In the same fan Q&A session, Stewart was asked how he felt about the time his single “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” kept the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” off the No.1 spot in the U.K. “I didn’t really care who came in at No.1 or No.2,” he responded. “Malcolm McLaren kicked up a huge fuss and said I was a thieving, lying sod, but if there was any shenanigans I’d own up to it.”
‘God Save the Queen’ was brilliant," Stewart further declared. "I loved the Sex Pistols and thank them for giving Bowie and Elton and me and all the rest of us a good kick up the arse. They showed that music can be made by anybody.”
The singer also touched on the idea of a biopic, saying he was “praying” that someone would make one. “There’s been rumors, but nothing yet,” he reported. “My two sons could play the younger me. They haven’t got the hair, but nowadays the wigs look very normal. Look at Elton’s barnet!”