A rock star who realizes that he’s a very lucky man shares how he made his own luck.
Most music fans think of Stewart as the lesser partner in Eurythmics, a duo that owed much of its success to the voice, allure, and songs of Annie Lennox. Yet it was Stewart’s anything-goes adventurism that coaxed the best from Lennox, as he served not only as the sounding board who provided the music, but also the duo’s producer and manager. The most fascinating part of this memoir illuminates the complex relationship the author continues to enjoy with the woman he calls “my dearest friend and closest collaborator,” though what began as a love-at-first-sight romantic relationship was ending even as the two were shifting from the Tourists, their first band together, into the collaboration that would become the Eurythmics. “It’s not easy, this transition from lovers to something else,” writes Stewart. “How do you break up when you’re still together?” Yet just as the contrast between the impetuous Stewart and the more reserved Lennox caused personal tension, their success proceeded from equally disparate elements: “We wanted to create the feeling of beauty and sadness together, like in a garden when the roses have just peaked and are turning blood red—a kind of sweet decay.” Soul and folk, acoustic and synthesized, organic and experimental—“every song became a sonic collage.” His approach also found success beyond the Eurythmics, with Tom Petty scoring big with “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” a song Stewart relates he started after falling into and out of bed with Stevie Nicks. His creative and social orbit eventually included various Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jack Nicholson, and Microsoft’s Paul Allen, though after the Eurythmics, the memoir starts to read, as he quotes an early responder, like “a hell of a cast” in search of a story.
Amid the glut of music veteran memoirs, this holds more interest than most, though Stewart admits that he isn’t very reflective and he too rarely goes deeper than surface anecdote.