1970, Rod Stewart. “Gasoline Alley” My first of four consecutive album’s playing piano and sometimes bass with Rod.
This was the first of four Rod Stewart albums I played on way back in 1970. I played piano on “Country Comforts”, and bass on “Cut Across Shorty”. The next album was “Every Picture Tell a Story”…I played piano on that one. I haven’t seen or spoken with Rod since I did his last British made album, “Smiler in 1973…I scarpered off to San Francisco to join Jefferson Starship and lost touch with the British music scene. We went in different directions anyway. I still speak with Ronnie Wood occasionally though…but only see him when the Stones drift through the Bay Area. The brilliant acoustic, jazz, blues, classical guitarist Martin Quittenton who was responsible for much of Rod’s early success in writing became disgusted with the music business and became a recluse on the Celtic Island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales. We were both session musicians on Rod’s four early albums, but right after my last one Smiler, we had an instrumental band together with John Lingwood of Manfred Mann, and Jazz pianist Max Middleton. Island Records were interested. Anyway, as I mentioned, I went off to San Francisco, and Martin left the music business. I did an interview for Classic Rock Magazine to celebrate “Every Picture Tells a Story” a while back, and the English interviewer told me he wasn’t able to find Martin anywhere….even his own brother didn’t know how to find him. Sort of a Syd Barrett style character. The amazing drummer on all those early Rod Stewart solo albums Mick Waller drunk himself to death in Richmond, London. He was a close friend, and we’d toured together on the first Long John Baldry Blues tour of the U.S. Micky had also played with Jeff Beck. Great player…one of Charlie Watts favorite drummers. Micky was an odd fellow…and Rod would play practical jokes on him….but we were very close. I seem to be attracted to eccentric characters as friends…hmmm?