Rod Stewart has revealed he is retiring from “rock ‘n’ roll touring” after next year and is mothballing popular anthems such as Maggie May and Hot Legs.
But the 77-year-old insisted he isn’t retiring completely and will still perform live – but “in folk clubs with a guitar”.
The London-born superstar, who is hugely proud of his Scots roots, said: “Next year will be the end of my rock ‘n’ roll touring. I want to do something different. It feels like an end of an era. All things must come to an end.
“I’m not retiring and I still love singing, I just want to do something new. I might do a few folk clubs playing guitar. Just be different.”
The father-of-eight – whose youngest sons are 16-year-old Alastair and Aiden, 10 – said family is the reason why he has made the bombshell announcement.
He said: “I don’t want to do the big tours any more, especially in America. It takes me away from my kids for so long.
“It used to be OK because it was fun and games. It is still fun and games but I miss my kids so much.”
Sir Rod, who is also a grandad to Delilah, 11, whose mum is his daughter Kimberly, will kick off what he claims will be his last stadium tour of the UK in Nottingham on November 16.
He plays Glasgow’s OVO Hydro on November 29 and December 3, and Aberdeen’s P&J Live on December 2.
Sir Rod launched the Hydro in 2013 and said of this year’s two dates: “That’s probably the last time I’m going to play it.
“I feel very, very proud that I opened the Hydro and am still able to play it almost 10 years later. It wasn’t actually finished when I opened it. People were still walking around with yellow hats on.
“I can’t wait to play the Hydro soon. I’m always keen to impress in Glasgow as it’s like my second home.”
But next year will be Sir Rod’s swansong of long tours and big venues. He said: “I’ve got one more year doing big gigs in South America, Australia, a Las Vegas residency, some more in England and a couple in Edinburgh.
“But I’m not retiring – I just want to move on.
“I’ve made a brilliant swing album with Jools Holland and love the success of the American Songbook series I’ve done. I’m yearning to do more of that kind of music.
“These last shows will be quite the party and after that I won’t be performing songs like Maggie May or Hot Legs. I don’t want to be singing Hot Legs when I’m 80.”
Sir Rod isn’t the only big hitter who has announced he is scaling back. Sir Elton John and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters have also announced they are retiring from touring.
His fans in Scotland will hope it won’t be the end of the singer performing in some capacity here – and not just punching the air after goals at Celtic games.
Come next year, it’ll be nearly 60 years since Rod – whose Edinburgh-born dad Robert came from Leith – first played Scotland. And it didn’t go well.
Rod, who gets the Daily Record delivered to him every day wherever he is in the world, was part of Long John Baldry & The Hoochie Coochie Men, who played Dundee University in 1964.
He laughed: “My first gig in Scotland was horrible. Long John and I thought, ‘Let’s please the home crowd and we will go out in plaid trousers’.
“They f***ing booed us and threw stuff at us. I must have looked very effeminate – I had a Dusty Springfield haircut.”
Laughing mischievously, he also remembered a gig at the Playhouse in Edinburgh. He said: “I fell into the orchestra pit. I knew I was falling so I made it look like a jump.”
Knighted in 2016, Sir Rod has sold more than 250million albums worldwide, scoring 10 No1 albums and six No1 singles in the UK as well as four US No1 albums and singles. He’s had a string of brilliant songs from Maggie May and Sailing to Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, You Wear it Well and The First Cut is the Deepest.
Rod has dated a string of the world’s most beautiful women and has been happily married to Penny Lancaster since 2007. His blended family are close and he splits his time between America and their £4.7million Essex mansion set in 46 acres of land.
Rod smiled: “There’s not a day I don’t wake up and think, ‘You lucky b******’.”
With a nod to one of his best songs, he added: “Talk about Some Guys Have All The Luck.”
The raspy-voiced singer also loves being a Celtic fan and tries to get to as many games as he can. He toured the club’s Lennoxtown training ground last weekend and pretended to do the laundry.
Sir Rod funds an under-12 Celtic team who were invited to play against teams in the same age group from Celtic, Hibs, and Aberdeen. Youngest sons Aiden was there and Rod admitted: “I’d love Celtic to sign Aiden up. But the boys in the Celtic under-12s were a different class.
“But our team held our own. We drew with Hibs and lost to Celtic and Aberdeen. We expected to get beaten but it was a wonderful experience.”
He’s a big fan of Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and revealed: “I always send him a case of Australian wine when they beat the Gers.”
Former Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is looking for a new club after being axed by Aston Villa but Rod doesn’t think the Liverpudlian will be back in Glasgow.
He said: “I can’t imagine him going back to Rangers. It’s going backward.”
So, as a football fan, how does Sir Rod get match fit for his gigs? He revealed he does vocal warm-ups for an hour, some stretching and maybe goes on a cycling or running machine. If he’s worried about his voice, he doesn’t speak.
He said: “If I’ve been singing for a couple of days and don’t feel 100 per cent, I go into absolute silence and wear a sign around my neck saying ‘Doctor’s orders no talking’. For any up-and-coming vocalists this really works. If you can go 24 hours without saying a word it really does bring your voice back up.”
There is one ritual that still survives from his heady days of rock ‘n’ roll.
The former Faces frontman said: “I always go and have a drink with the band. A rum and coke.