Sir Rod Stewart once bought Sir Elton John a £600 Harrods mini-fridge for Christmas – and felt “stingy”.
The two rock stars were at loggerheads for a few years after the former Faces singer criticised his old friend’s plans for a retirement tour, branding it “not rock ‘n’ roll” and insisting he wouldn’t do the same.
But the pair have since put their differences aside, and the ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ hitmaker has just revealed a secret gift he got the ‘I’m Still Standing’ singer in the 70s, a fancy “pop-up fridge” with a bottle of champagne inside, and how he felt bad when Elton got him a Rembrandt painting, some of the most expensive artworks in history.
Answering a reader’s question about the pair upstaging each other, Rod told Britain’s The Guardian newspaper: “Some of them were very public, but the one where he showed me up the most was in private.
“We used to live 20 minutes from each other in Berkshire, so for Christmas I bought him a pop-up fridge from Harrods.
“You pressed a button and there’d be steam and lights and a bottle of champagne.
“It cost me £600; a lot of money in the 70s. We swapped presents and he said: ‘Oh very nice, dear, thank you.’
“He gave me a Rembrandt painting!
“I’ve never felt so stingy. He’s eternally the most generous person I’ve ever known.
“I’m not sure what the best one I’ve done on “her” is … he’s usually got one over on me. I can’t bear it. We communicate through the press now, but we love each other. That’s what counts.”
Rod previously shared how they had officially buried the hatchet, after admitting it didn’t seem fair for him to tell his eight children to apologise to people without following his own advice.
He said earlier this year: “I say to my kids, ‘A man apologises, go and apologise to your mother’. We’ve just made up as friends again, me and Elton.
“We’ve always been fierce enemies, as you know, through the years, but it’s always been at a playful level.
“But we had the worst row, like a married couple. It went on forever.”
And the ‘Maggie May’ hitmaker, 76, insisted he “regrets” lashing out at Elton for his farewell tour.
He added: “I was a bit spiteful when he announced his tour. I regret it, I really do regret it. So we’re mates again now. I do love him.”
Elton had insisted he “bears no grudges” toward Rod, as he confirmed the pair were friends again.
The ‘Tiny Dancer’ singer, 74, said in 2020: “Rod and I have always had this kind of rivalry but it’s always been very friendly and it’s always been funny and I love him to death.
“We’ve had this rivalry for a long time and it’s been very, very funny, and I love him dearly, and if I saw him in the street I’d give him the biggest hug. There’s no point in carrying on vendettas in this world. Life’s too short.
“Honestly, I don’t bear any grudges about him whatsoever. He gets a Christmas card from me and I wish him the best. You can’t erase all those years of great friendship by just one thing that happened, and I’m not going to do that.
“As far as I’m concerned he’s a brilliant artist who’s had a great career, and he’s such good fun.”