At 7:39 am on May the 10th 2013, Rod Stewart was my personal alarm clock. I do not mean I got a brand new alarm clock set to a song of his to wake me up. I mean the man himself rang me up on my cell.
Rod rang me up, because I won a phone call from him via his twitter for sending in a photo of myself with his best record in 20 years "Time." Simple as that. Ha!
Back to the story...
I had planned when he called me and said hello to go "Hello is this Phyllis?"... I planned to tell him how much through his musical influences, and the artist he has covered in his career that I have learned so much about the origins of rock and roll and have been exposed to so many great artist that I may never have been exposed to otherwise. I wanted to tell him that when I was going to school for design that any of my projects that made sense for me to, I would do it on his music/career. I strangely (but in a good way) found it amusing to see how many projects I could do throughout my time at school on him. I also wanted to educate the class about Rod's contribution to music history. I wanted to tell him that one of the first things people know about me is that I love his music, and that makes an impression on them to remember me. I wanted to tell him about being a member of the best fan club ever the "Rod Stewart Fan Club." I wanted to tell him to keep writing. I wanted to tell him about the fan book of letters Gail and I put together, that Tam so generously gave to him in Scotland back in 2003... However like most things you want in life, they just don't happen as you planned or at all.
I had woken at 7 am to take a bit of routine medication. Then 39 mins later my phone rang. I for the life of me don't remember ever hearing it and I don't know how I couldn't. The ringtone was a custom bit of a live recording of Plynth from the Faces. If you know what I'm talking about it is the bit where the music stops , Rod comes in and then Jones thrashes on the drums. Nevertheless I answered it. On the other end was a woman's voice (Lotus I am assuming) she said " Is this Jennifer I have Rod Stewart on the phone for you." I said "yes" and "ok." (Face to palm.. It's happening!).
Rod said "Hello." I can't remember if he said "Hello Jennifer," but I assume that it is quite possible. I said "Hello Rod." (Lost the Phyllis line already. Oh here we go). I rose from my bad and sat. I frantically looked for my notes. I found them, but by then Rod had started asking me things. (Notes out the window now).
Rod asked me if I had any questions for him. Questions , I thought. What are those? Ah, I didn't really prepare any questions. Funny how "questions" could lead you to more question marks. I did however ask him one that I prepared.
I asked him what the story behind recording over his version of Sam Cooke's "A change is going to come" with "I've been drinking again" was all about. Of course the question didn't come out as smoothly. It was filled with a lot of "hmm" "Uh" "...."'s in between words. At any rate he understood. He also asked me if he woke me up and if he should call back later. I said "No, its ok. " That's usually my typical response when people call and wake me up. Plus would he have really called back? I wasn't going to take that chance.
About my question. He said something along the lines of "Well we were in the studio probably started with " A change is going to come," but the Sam Cooke version was so incredible... I said "Yeah" and he said "So we ended up not doing it. " I can't remember from then to this, but he said "You are referring to the Jeff Beck song. " I said "yes, that one." As you know Rod had started out doing one song or another before in his career and ended up finishing a recording of The Rolling Stones "Street Fighting Man" for example. I am glad he knew I knew which story went with which. Hopefully that question conveyed that I was a genuine fan.
Then he asked me to ask him more questions. QUESTIONS Christ. (Laughs). I am not much of a question asker in life, so this was again getting dicey. He could sense I was floundering and spit fired questions that I could answer about myself for him. Questions about myself? I don't even know where I am right now, but thankfully apart of me did, the part I needed the most... My voice.
He asked me "Where are you? Are you at home, at work? Are you married? Do you have kids? " I said "I'm at home, not married, don't have kids. I said "I'm 31 years old and I just graduated from Cal State Long Beach in Graphic Design. " He said "That's wonderful. Are you looking for a job?" I said "What?" (oh god. I just asked Rod to repeat himself.) "Are you looking for a job?" he repeated. I said "Yes." He said "We are all looking for jobs." I thought could it be possible Rod is applying to retail or thinking of changing careers. Nah. Would be funny if he was a greeter at Walmart though. I'd actually go to Walmart more often then.
He asked me or said "You are in California (Los Angeles) " I said "Yes." He said "Im in New York" and said something about "the weather." I looked to my window with the sun barely peeking through my mini blinds. I said "It's sunny here." (What the hell. Really Jennifer. It's 7:40 something in the morning. It's not sunny. You just told a half truth to Rod Stewart. Shame on you.).
He asked if I had anymore questions. I was like "Hmm, Uh" . He caught me back on track again and said "I know, what do you think about the new album?" I said "That I can answer for you." (Face to palm again). I told him "I loved it. I said "This is the album that I've been waiting for, for the 20 of the 22 years of being a fan. He told me "Yeah, I had writers block for a long time and the songbook records." I thought "Hmm, where have I heard this answer before... Could it be that he has said this in every interview that he has given for this cd so far? (Laughs) Bless him.
I told him my favorite songs off the album are "Can't stop me now," "Brighton Beach," "Time," and "It's over." He said "Oh good, I am singing that one today on Kelly and Michael . " I'm not sure if he told me the song, so I said "Oh great." "He said again "Be sure to watch Kelly and Michael today at 9 am. 9 am." I said "Yes, I will. I've watched all your appearances so far." He said "Thank you. Thank you darling." I said "I really liked the concert from yesterday." He said "The online one" I said "Yes." He said "Thank you, darling."
Then his lovely assistant said "Rod we have to go." Rod said "Well I have to go. It was lovely talking to you darling. " I said "It was lovely talking to you too." He said "Bye, darling." I said "Bye." It was done.
After two days of anxiety, jotting down notes on what to say, many conversations with Rod friends.... I managed to say two or three things off the list that I wanted to. The rest organically fell where it did. It may not have been all of what I wanted to say, or thought I would say... (Hey it was a surprise call that woke me from my sleep deprived self.) I will probably kick myself for a bit on all of that. In the end however I talked to Rod "The Mod" freaking Stewart on the phone! The man whose music has been at the core of my life and has inspired me to be a creative human being for 22 of my 31 years . Not many people can say that they have chatted to their inspiration in that circumstance, if at all. In that line of thinking I wouldn't change a thing. Not one nervous speechless moment I would take back. I am very grateful. A dream come true. Some girls have all the luck!
Some of my beginning Graphic Design Course Work that I have done on Rod:
This is Type 2 course Rolling Stone Magazine project. I got to do it on Rod, and did the title of the article as well as the concept.