Rod Stewart: Maggie May


In late 1971 I was on a Thomson Regional Newspapers training course in Newcastle upon Tyne and most lunchtimes some of us would repair to a pub called The Pineapple, which did good toasted sandwiches. I have tried to find it online but it seems to have gone. My recollection is that the bar was in the basement. Anyway, every day the jukebox or whatever played Maggie May.

It was co-written by Stewart and guitarist Martin Quittenton, and recorded in 1971 for Stewart’s third solo album Every Picture Tells a Story. I have just read his autobiography, Rod, and he says it is based on his first (fleeting) experience of sex. This was with an older lady at a music festival. I don’t think he knew her name, but it was definitely not Maggie May, who was a legendary Liverpool prostitute.

This is the album version.

It was shortened for release as a single and launched Stewart’s solo career. In October 1971, it simultaneously went to No 1 in the UK and the US, and so did the album.

Here is a mimed performance on Top of the Pops with the Faces including the future Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, plus DJ John Peel on mandolin.

I don’t think miming was Stewart’s style, so here is a live performance from 2004, again with Ronnie Wood. That’s 33 years later and he is still brilliant!


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