Rod Stewart Childhood Photos
Roderick David Stewart was born at 507 Archway Road, Highgate, North London on 10 January 1945, the youngest of five children of Robert Stewart and Elsie Gilbart. His father was Scottish and had been a master builder in Leith, Edinburgh, while Elsie was English and had grown up in Upper Holloway in North London. Married in 1928, the couple had two sons and two daughters while living in Scotland, and then they moved to Highgate. Stewart came after an eight-year gap following his youngest sibling; he was born at home during World War II.
The family was neither affluent nor poor; Stewart was spoiled as the youngest, and has called his childhood “fantastically happy”. He had an undistinguished record at Highgate Primary School and failed the eleven plus exam
He then attended the William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School (later Fortismere School), Muswell Hill His father retired from the building trade at age 65, buying a newsagent’s shop on the Archway Road when Stewart was in his early teens; the family lived over the shop. Stewart’s main hobby was railway modelling
The family was mostly focused on football; Stewart’s father had played in a local amateur team and managed some teams as well, and one of Stewart’s earliest memories were the pictures of Scottish players such as George Young and Gordon Smith that his brothers had on the wall Stewart was the most talented footballer in the family and was a strong supporter of Arsenal F.C.
Combining natural athleticism with near-reckless aggression, he became captain of the school football team and played for Middlesex Schoolboys as centre-half.
The family were also great fans of the singer Al Jolson and would sing and play his hits. Stewart collected his records and saw his films, read books about him, and was influenced by his performing style and attitude towards his audience. His introduction to rock and roll was hearing Little Richard‘s 1956 hit “The Girl Can’t Help It“, and seeing Bill Haley & His Comets in concert. His father bought him a guitar in January 1959; the first song he learned was the folk tune “It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song”; the first record he bought was Eddie Cochran‘s “C’mon Everybody“. In 1960, he joined a skiffle group with schoolfriends called the Kool Kats, playing Lonnie Donegan and Chas McDevitt hits.