Photo: Penny LancasterBack in 1963, when Rod Stewart was just a teenager and still an unknown, he got his girlfriend pregnant. Because the couple wasn't married and had no money, their baby girl was given up for adoption. Now, Stewart has written a tribute to that old girlfriend on his upcoming album, Time.
The song is called "Brighton Beach." Speaking to the British paper The Independent, the singer says, "It's about a real girl, her name is Susannah Boffey. She was what I thought at 17 was my first love affair and she was the mother of my first child. She was adopted because we didn't have a pot to p**s in in those days."
Rod adds, "There was no consideration of marriage and it was a real blot on your character to get a girl pregnant in those days. I was frightened to tell my mum and dad so I told my brothers and they said 'We'll take care of you.'"
These days, Stewart has a good relationship with Sarah, his child with Susannah, who re-connected with Rod years after being adopted at age five. "I'm very much in touch with Sarah now and we've just begun to call each other father and daughter which was hard because I didn't change her [diapers] or take her to school," he tells the Independent. As for Susannah, 68, who now lives in France, Stewart says, "She doesn't want much to do with us, unfortunately."
The singer says that he hasn't told either Susannah or Sarah what the song is about, but he predicts that Susannah will "love it." The lyrics describe their romance being consummated "under the stars," as Stewart sings, "You were Greta Garbo, I was Jack Kerouac." Now, Rod sings to her, "I swear to God, I could not have loved you anymore…I sit here playing with my kids and wonder where you are in this world…do you ever stop and think about me?"
Stewart's new album Time, featuring "Brighton Beach," is due in May. He has said that writing his autobiography inspired him to pen the songs on the record, and in this case that certainly appears to be true.
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