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Rod Stewart Mulls Retirement from Touring

Rod Stewart
Chris Jackson, Getty Images

For decades, Rod Stewart has been one of the most dependable — and popular — live acts on the market, but he suspects his road run might be coming to an end.

Stewart sat down with the Kansas City Star in advance of his Aug. 14 show with Carlos Santana at the local Sprint Center and admitted that, while he still loves touring, at age 69, he’ll have to stop eventually. “Touring is what I do. Nothing compares to it,” he mused. “Songwriting: You write a song, record it and put it out to the public, not knowing whether they’ll accept it or not. I prefer getting on stage. It’s an immediate satisfaction, sending an audience home happy. I want to make the most of it. Nothing lasts forever. I still have the energy to do it, and I look forward to at least three or four more years of it.”

Writing songs has been a larger part of Stewart’s routine in recent years. Although he stressed that he’s “not a natural songwriter,” he credited working on his 2012 autobiography with awakening an increased urge to pen his own material, and it paid dividends on 2013′s ‘Time,’ which includes 11 Stewart co-writes. “I’ve never really done that before,” he noted. “My biggest output has been four or five songs for an album. But once I got a couple written, it gave me a lot of confidence, and I was off and ready and able to write others.”

In fact, he added, he’s already looking ahead to his next release: “I’ve already written seven or eight songs for the next album. One of them is about putting my 3-year-old son to bed. There’s loads to write about.”

In the meantime, plans continue to slowly coalesce around a Faces reunion, which Stewart now says needs to wait until Ron Wood completes his latest round of touring obligations with the Rolling Stones. “It will happen. But the ball is in Ronnie’s court,” he explained, adding that when the Stones “stop touring, they stop for a long time. So whenever he’s finished, I’ll be available.” According to Stewart, drummer Kenney Jones “wants to do it,” although he expressed a little doubt regarding keyboardist Ian McLagan. “If we could just keep McLagan quiet for a bit, we could get on with it. But he seems to come out and say the most negative things about me. But Ronnie and me want to do it.”

In fact, while Stewart sees a possible end to touring after three or four years, he also jokes that it could take quite a bit longer for the Faces to find their way back together. “[Wood] emailed me the other day and said: ‘I’ve got a few nights off. Let’s get dinner,’” he recalled. “I said, ‘I’m on holiday in the south of France.’ He said, ‘OK, let’s wait until we’re 78.’”

Next: Top 10 Rod Stewart Cover Songs

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