As the saying goes, it is a long way to the top if you wanna rock ’n’ roll, and Sir Rod Stewart can relate. Rod the Mod has been looking back on the early days of the Jeff Beck Group and says that he and Ronnie Wood were so broke that they’d have to steal eggs.
“Jeff was a great guy, but he wasn’t a great bandleader,” said “I mean, you have to look after your band. I remember when me and Ronnie were staying in New York, and we never got a per diem, we just got our money every week, and sometimes that money would be very late in coming.”
It is a tale as old as time. The players are the last to see the bread. In Stewart and Wood’s case, quite literally, and even then they would have nothing to put in it. Thankfully, they had some friends in high-places who would check in on them and make sure they didn’t go hungry.
“Sometimes Jimi Hendrix’s girlfriend would go and buy us breakfast because we had no money,” said Stewart.
Stewart and Wood both joined up with the Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Wood was initially on rhythm guitar before switching codes to bass. They would both leave the band when Small Faces split to reform as Faces in ’69.
If their time in the band was brief, it was productive, leaving behind two studio albums that would cement Beck’s reputation as one of the world’s best guitar players, Truth and Beck-Ola.
Stewart doesn’t blame Beck for those early days, scratching around New York City with empty pockets. Again, in a tale as old as time, the fickle finger of blame could be pointed at the management.
“[It was] no necessarily Jeff’s fault, but his manager,” said Stewart. “I think it was Peter Grant. So me and Woody would go up the corner from the Gorham Hotel where all the bands used to stay, and we’d go into shops and nick eggs – steal them.”
Which begs a follow-up question: what did you to do with the eggs, Rod? Drink them Rocky-style?
To find out, check out the full interview in Classic Rock.