Ah, to be a rock star. Reading Rod Stewart’s autobiography, aptly titled Rod: The Autobiography, it’s clear that he and Elton John are close. They twit each other, as friends everywhere do, only with the budgets of fabulously wealthy rock stars. There’s a passage recounting their playful war of Christmas gifts. One year Rod hit upon the perfect gift, a novelty portable refrigerator: “You plug it in and press the button and its door opened automatically, and it lit up and a bottle of rose out of it in a cloud of vapor.”
That year Elton made Rod a gift of an original Rembrandt drawing. As Rod writes,
A fucking Rembrandt! I felt pretty small-–although not as small as Elton presumably wanted me to feel when he later referred tartly to my present as “an ice bucket.” It was not an ice bucket. It was a novelty portable fridge.
A couple years later, Elton marked the joyous occasion of Rod’s marriage to Rachel Hunter with a Boots voucher worth ten quid and the note “Get yourself something nice for the house.”
You get the idea. Rod and Elton have the kind of expensive fun together that you would hope famous rock stars have together. On one occasion, Rod and Elton spent an evening at a Los Angeles house Queen kept there, hanging out with Freddie Mercury. During what was presumably mirthful conversation, someone hit upon the idea of joining forces for a ridiculous supergroup consisting of the three of them:
We traveled together a bit, too, or sought each other out when we were abroad. The band Queen rented a house in Bel Air, Los Angeles, for a while, and Elton and I spent a long evening there with Freddie Mercury, a sweet and funny man whom I really adored, discussing the possibility of the three of us forming a supergroup. The name we had in mind was Nose, Teeth & hair, a tribute to each of our most remarked-upon physical attributes. The general idea was that we could appear dressed like the Beverley Sisters. Somehow this project never came to anything, which is contemporary music’s deep and abiding loss.
The detail that makes the anecdote is that last one, about the Beverley Sisters, who were kind of an English version of the Andrews Sisters from the United States. They sang tightly harmonized songs, several of which are Christmas classics in the U.K. Here’s a picture of the Beverley Sisters:
via That Eric Alper