By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Once upon a time, long before R. Kelly or Michael Jackson was accused of a sex crime, before entire careers were demolished by scandalous quotes or pictures or footage, rock critics were actually able to hang out with the subjects they were writing about. Believe it or not, writers would get backstage passes, would travel with the artists on the tour bus, would follow them to their hotel rooms and out to dinner -- all so they could actually observe the musicians outside of their public personas and maybe, if lucky, get behind the walls that fame erects so quickly and sturdily.
Those days are long behind us.
Case in point: Rod Stewart is promoting his latest mortgage-paying, double-platinum-selling suite of oldies-but-goodies, As Time Goes By...: The Great American Songbook, Vol. 2 (on which we finally get to hear the sweet, peanut-butter-and-jelly blend that is the voices of Stewart and Queen Latifah singing the title track). Used to be with this kind of thing, if you were writing a story about a new album and Stewart, you'd want a little face time with the guy, and you'd get it. Then face time turned into phone time, and phone time usually came with a paranoid publicist listening in, her itchy trigger finger hovering over the receiver, ready to cut off any call that got too invasive, too personal, too...real. Nowadays we don't even get that.
There is one thing, however, that these crack PR peeps have yet to rule out: They do not forbid calling your mom, who is a huge Rod Stewart fan, and asking her if she'd like to interview him. And because they make no mention of this rule, this is what you do, and because your mom is not a real journalist but a substitute teacher in her early fifties, she cares little about staying on topic or sticking to only one question. Unlike every other dispassionate pundit on the line, Mom is absolutely thrilled to be talking to one of her favorite singers of all time, and she's gonna ask him whatever the hell she wants. Let's listen in:
Pam Kamps: Hi, Rod.
Rod Stewart: Hi, Pam.
What a pleasure to talk to you. I go back a few years, and you actually struck a very strong chord in my heart back in the "Maggie May" days. I hate to say it.
Way back then. And I just have wondered: Was there ever really a Maggie May?
Yes, there was, and that wasn't her name. She was my first sexual encounter when I was I think either sixteen or seventeen. So I wasn't a late starter. It was a very, very quick romantic situation at a jazz festival in the south of England.
And she took me into her tent and threw me aside.
[Her] name wasn't Maggie May. And there's also -- there's a few embellishments along the way in the song. But basically that's who it was about.
Yes. Do you have any idea where she is now?
No. But I imagine she must be about -- you know, 68 or 70 now, because she was a lot older than me.
Just a young chick.
Yes, I was just a little virgin, and she took advantage of me.
Oh. Well, that was -- that was a song that held deep memory for me. And I actually hate to say it, but it was responsible for my first divorce.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my. But it was good. It was all good.
That's the first time -- so if you ever come to the show, just put your earmuffs [on] and don't listen to that one.
Oh, OK, OK. No, I have to. I'll sing along.
Oh, thank you very much.
Yes. -- Garrett Kamps
Cock Rock Corner
Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin DuBrow still kicks butt. As part of the "Bad Boys of Metal" tour, he'll be playing at Pop's with Jani Lane of Warrant and Steven Adler of Guns N' Roses on Friday, August 6. We never dreamed we'd be able to talk to him ourselves, but then we got an e-mail publicizing the tour. From him.
The Riverfront Times: So, you're your own press agent? What gives?
Kevin DuBrow: Yeah, well, you know what? The computer's a beautiful thing; I know how to use it. The agency that assembled the tour, they didn't hire a press agent, and, because it's me sending it out, people are really receptive. I've got time, I've got energy, I wake up early, I go to the gym. I'm all about working.
Who do you think has sexier hair, Jani Lane or Steven Adler?
I don't really think about it much. Being that they're both men, the sexiness of their hair doesn't really enter into the equation much for me.
Do you consider Quiet Riot a completely different genre from Warrant?
I think the music is way different. The uninitiated would lump us all together, but definitely Quiet Riot songs are more harder-edged. Warrant was more pop.
What's the greatest number of women you've ever been in bed with at once?