It was a Friday and the Spectrum Picture Editor at Scotland on Sunday Kayt Turner, asked me to make myself available for a ‘big’ interview. She didn’t want to say who it was, in case it didn’t happen or possibly not to make me too disappointed. Anyway, it didn’t happen. Curiosity got the better of me and I asked who it was. She told me. Oh well.
The next morning, I got a call early morning. It was back on.
As I walked up the stairs to the front door of One Devonshire Gardens Hotel, a five star Victorian Townhouse in Glasgow’s West End, one of the downstairs sash and case windows was opened and I came face to face with my subject. ” Good Morning,” said a dishevelled looking individual, white shirt outside his trousers and hair all over the place. “Can I help you?” he added. Slightly taken aback, I said, ” I’m here to photograph you.” “Well you better come in then,” he suggested with mischievous grin. As I motioned toward to front door, ” Not that way, through the window,” he said holding out his hand to pull me through. Without question I obliged.
It took my eyes a moment or two to adjust, from going from the bright summer morning to a darken smoke filled room, as I made my entrance there were howls of laughter and cheering from his drinking mates seated around a huge table. “It’s a photographer,” he announced, to more cheers and laughing.
After a few minutes of been offered various alcoholic concoctions, I decided to seek the sobriety of the hallway and find the journalist. A startled member of staff asked how I got into the hotel. Through the window I said smiling.
I then found the writer Alistair Mckay, who didn’t quite believe my tall tale. Half an hour later, it was time for the interview. We were shown into another room, where an immaculate Rod Stewart stood, looking like he was on his way to a Regatta. He shook hands with reporter and on seeing me, grabbed the cheeks of my face with both his hands and said. ” It’s the guy that came through the window ! ” The look on Alistair’s face was priceless.
After the interview, he asked to go to the toilet before the photo. The picture above happened straight after that. A group of businessmen at a seminar in the hotel walked into the toilet, to be greeted by Rod and his brothers, lots more noise and shouting, Rod and his two brothers then reappear from the toilet, one of them with a basket on his head, all singing ,’....by the light, by the light of the silvery moon…’ I ushered the trio next door and took some pix.
The reporter and I were then invited to join Rod and his mates in their minibus as they made their way to the Scottish Cup Final, where they were guests of the sponsors. En route to the match, it was decided that if Rangers were winning three-nil at half-time against Aberdeen (Rod is a Celtic man) that they would ‘nip’ over to Warsaw for the Poland-England game ! I read the next morning in one of the red tops, that the party had only found it’s way to a pub in Paisley near Glasgow Airport, so they didn’t quite get to Polish evening kick-off.
Spectrum, which normally went to bed on the Friday night, was redone and the whole paper and the Rod Interview and picture above was splashed across the front next day. Later that week, I had a request from the record company for some copies as the family all loved the photograph.”
Drew Farrell trained at Glasgow College of Building and Printing circa 1985 and fell into freelance editorial photography a couple of years after college. And like some hopeless addict has found it difficult to kick the habit. Music, art and theatre are his subjects of choice.
Photographer since 1990, EPUK member since 2000.
See more work by Drew Farrell