This was the fourth Rod Stewart album I played on, and the final album for Mercury Records, released on vinyl in 1974. Now on CD. My favorite track is “Sweet Little Rock n Roller” with Micky’s Boxer dog “Zak” barking over the intro…one of those beautifully spontaneous moments that can happen in rock n roll.
The release of the album itself was held up for five months due to legal problems between Mercury Records and Warner Bros. Records.
I was living in the little village of Westerham in the county of Kent with my new girlfriend Jeannette, who I had just flown over from the USA. We were married in the USA in 1975.
Paul Kantner & Grace Slick called me in England several times asking when I would be coming back to San Francisco to join Jefferson Starship. The first Jefferson Starship tour used Peter Kaukonen on bass while I was still in England recording.
Ron Wood also put me in touch with Stevie Windwood about possibly playing bass on a new “Traffic” tour of the USA he was getting together. I was also rehearsing a band with guitarist Martin Quittenton. However, I decided to fly back to the States to attend Jeannette’s sister Rita’s wedding, and check out Jefferson Starship…which turned out to be a good move.
“Smiler” sold 1 million worldwide…which was down a bit from Rod’s previous albums. — with Rod Stewart, Ian McLagan, Martin Quittenton, Ronnie Wood, Micky Waller and The Memphis Horns.