After years of writer's block, Rod Stewart says he was finally able to come up with the songs on his new album, Time, because he'd written his autobiography, and thinking about his life got the creative juices flowing. In fact, so many of the songs on Time are autobiographical that Rod agrees that in a way, it's kind of like the soundtrack to the book.
"I never thought of it that way, but that could be a possibility, yeah," he tells ABC News Radio. "The one was certainly inspired by the other. 'Cause when you write a book, you gotta put your memory hat on and get your family and friends around and remember the old days, and that's what inspired some of the songs."
After years of releasing albums full of cover versions, like his Great American Songbook discs, Rod says it's truly rewarding to finally be recording his own music.
"It took me a long time to realize it, but [it is]," he tells ABC News Radio. "Y'know what it is? It's [that] your own songs have got your identity, nothing to compare them to. I mean, I loved doing the American Songbooks, and I loved doing cover versions. But there's always the greats that's done them before you. Whereas with my songs, they're my songs."
Among the topics Rod covers on Time are his relationship with his current wife, Penny; his painful breakup with his ex-wife, Rachel Hunter; his love for his children; and his teenage romance with the woman who was the mother of his first child, later given up for adoption. So, was it therapeutic for Rod to get all these intense feelings out in song?
"Not while I was doing it," he says. "But now that it's finished and I listen back to it I sometimes wonder, 'God, how did you write that song? Where did that come from?' That is the wonder of writing songs. Still, to this day, I don't know how it happens." He adds, "It was, after the event, it was cathartic, without a doubt."
Rod's very pleased with Time, and he's even happier about the fact that, for the first time in his life, songwriting isn't a chore...it's a joy. So does that mean he'll be writing more original songs in the future?
"Hopefully so," says the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. "Hopefully this won't be the last self-penned album. If it does well, I'm sure the record company will ask me to do another one. But, yeah, it was an absolute pleasure. I don't know why. It's just...suddenly I enjoy songwriting!"
Rod's got a U.K. tour booked for next month, but in July he'll return to his gig at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where fans will be able to hear him perform some of the songs from Time live. In October, he'll kick off a U.S. tour with Steve Winwood.
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